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We all work hard trying to reach every set goal and achieve fruitful results in what we are involved in. But when you are a freelancer this task becomes even more challenging. The point is that you are your own boss and at once you are the employee to fulfill all the work. It means that you take the sole responsibility for the income you get and for the working progress you achieve. So what’s the plot?
The main problem of all freelancers is the tempting opportunity to relax and put off doing something today and not tomorrow; or sometimes you work too slow and without enthusiasm which makes you fulfill the tasks in a week instead of a few days. This all happens because you are not focused and can’t concentrate on your work in the way you must.
So, this is it – a focus! This very issue I would like to discuss today. As a freelancer writer I would like to share some helpful tips which can really make someone understand why it is so hard to focus sometimes and what issues prevent it. Maybe you will recognize your own problem in the following points and find the solution to it.
1. Look like an office employee.
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Most freelancers think that they can take a laptop along in the bed and start working right from there once they open their eyes. Or get up and proceed to working without taking off the pajamas. This is wrong! Once your alarm rang you must get up, brush your teeth, make some tasty tea or coffee with toasts or whatever you’d like for breakfast, dress up like you are going to the real office (maybe a bit less formal), obligatory make your bed for it not to tempt you, and only then you can start your working day.
Also try to make all necessary preparations on the eve of the working day, so you don’t have to do it in the morning. Forget that you are a freelancer when you get prepared for your work and believe that you really don’t have enough time to do something surplus.
2. Arrange your own working area.
As I mentioned above, working in bed or next to the TV is a no-no. You have to find a place which could replace the real office desk and be a working area for you. Having a special office-room is great but if you are not that lucky you may use a simple desk instead. Just make it look like a perfect one for work – there must be a laptop and can be your notebooks, pens and pencils, a calendar and even a place for your own cup of tea.
But no ashtrays to smoke right next to your computer! And no other things that allow you doing something without getting up and going somewhere! If you want to eat you must go to the kitchen and eat there, if you want to smoke – you go and do it somewhere else but not at your “working place”. It will be useful both for your productivity and for the physical activity you get.
3. Create a working-day plan.
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If it will be easier for you to manage with all the tasks you must fulfill with the help of a simple to-do list, create it without doubts. And I’d personally recommend doing it every time. A precise list of the following tasks allows you focusing easier because your goals are right behind your eyes and you can start accomplishing every point one by one. Such lists help you concentrating at one task at a time and not being distracted by various activities at once. Of course, this is not a new technique but it really helps, and there is one more important thing to be told about it. When you write a tasks list think about the priority of each one. More urgent and difficult ones must be put in the beginning. Believe, it helps to cope much easier!
4. Don’t pay attention to the routine.
When you are at home there are thousands of things you want to do instead of working, and it really distracts. That is why you must convince yourself that all these routine activities are not important right away and that everything may stay on its place until you finish all the tasks you have to. Don’t start cleaning the flat, cooking, washing the dishes, playing games, watching TV and so on. It will be harder for you to get back to work then. Let everything wait until your so-called working day is over.
5. Have some breaks during a day.
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Sometimes it gets harder to focus if you work too intensively for a long time and then just get exhausted very soon. In order to avoid this problem and not lose your focus you obligatory need to have some breaks, at least 15 minutes every two hours. Let yourself have some rest, either in a set time or after finishing a certain task. Allow you standing up and having a dinner, lying on the sofa for 10 minutes or even going outside for a fresh air and fresh ideas which will come along.
6. Reward yourself with rest.
In order to focus on your goals and have an impetus to achieve them you must invent some certain rewards. Many freelancers think that they are meant for work 24/7, and I’m the one who can’t afford herself having some rest or going somewhere and relax. Thus it means that you don’t feel the atmosphere of your own days off, and that may lead to the extra lassitude and work regress in future.
This is why you must set up some rewards for the work you do. E.g., once you fulfilled a project, have a day of leisure time and meet with your friends, do whatever you like but not related to your work. Let your body and mind forget about being tired for a little bit. Apart from some rest, you can reward yourself with shopping! You will see then that getting back to your work is much easier, and that a fresh mind is much more eager to be focused!
Of course, it is so interesting to sit and browse the tumblers and social updates of your friends and other users – view photos, images, and videos, read life-learning posts and so on. But once you start doing it the hours are flying away and only then you notice that the time run out. If you feel that you can afford yourself some browsing you can do it, of course, but if it sucks you in hurry up to leave such pages. Just think how much you could earn spending time on your work instead of useless images browsing, and you’ll be ashamed.
8. Don’t chat too much while working.
When you work from home and some family members are near there is a huge chance you will get distracted by talks and some requests. So it is better to ask your relatives not to get in touch with you until you are finished with your work or you’re having a break. The same thing is with online chats – if your friends are attacking you by means of messengers and social networks, try not to get involved into the conversation too deeply.
You can answer certain questions and then just tell your buddy that you are busy for the entertaining chit-chat. If you don’t do it you risk to lose the idea of the task you are fulfilling and waste a lot of time.
So I guess now you have something to think over, and I really hope that the points mentioned above will help you in some kind of way. Of course, freelance work doesn’t mean any severe schedule or conditions – you set everything on your own according to your personal preferences. But I do believe that every freelancer needs some discipline to work for better progress and successful goals achievement!
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