In order to finish your freelance project on time, you need a clear plan of action and the discipline to follow through with it. That sounds easy, but it isn't! It is common to lose inspiration while working on some projects and to hit a standstill when working on others. In addition, as a freelancer, you may easily reach a point of burnout.
Is there anything you can do to regain focus on your projects and grow as a freelancer? Here are a few tips to help you deal with your procrastination issues.
Take advantage of timeboxing
The phrase "timeboxing" describes the method of limiting the time necessary for completing a task. You may have heard of Parkinson's Law. In accordance with this law, we will complete the task as much time as we are given. In other words, you can paint a wall in two hours or in two days, depending on the deadline you set.
To use timeboxing, set up time slots to do a specific task each day, such as conducting a virtual meeting with a client, researching the first phase of a report, or proofreading it. You should use a timer once you start testing this system to ensure you do not work too long on it. Don't forget to take a small break of 20 - 30 minutes between tasks.
Get in the habit of mindfulness
By practicing mindfulness, you can become better at recognizing when you get bored, overwhelmed, and procrastinate. As you practice mindfulness, you will be able to recognize your thoughts and feelings that hinder productivity over time.
The practice of mindfulness is characterized by acceptance. In addition, it can help us avoid perfectionism, which is a trap that we are all vulnerable to. If you learn how to accept imperfections using mindfulness, you can accept and beat your inner critic more quickly.
A couple of minutes of meditation a day will help you develop your ability to listen to yourself and address negative thoughts that can obstruct your productivity.
Plan your day in advance
Freelancers tend to procrastinate in many areas of their work, not just finishing projects on time. Many freelancers who want to expand their portfolios and income also procrastinate in accepting new projects.
For example, they do not update their outdated portfolios posted on freelancer websites. In some cases, when potential clients send an email message or want to connect, their email response time is too long for the project to even be considered.
Procrastination is a big mistake when it comes to growing your client base. If you don't have a full pipeline of projects, developing your brand is one of the most important things on your to-do list.
Analyze how the flow for your projects changes. Use a sales CRM to track what projects are close to completion and if you have more in the backlog that you can work on later.
You should consider increasing your Fiverr and Upwork activity or creating your own lead generation machine if your channel is weak.
Make invoicing more simple
The idea of completing paperwork is something every creative mind dreads. Invoices and taxes need to be handled after you have successfully delivered a project on time.
When you don't have a reliable accountant or bookkeeper to work with regularly, you need to educate yourself on what a good invoice should contain and when you need to submit your annual statement. To prepare their invoices, some freelancers still use Excel or Word templates.
Utilizing them, however, creates even more chaos in your life. They typically go missing or appear unprofessional. That is why it makes sense to automate the administrative tasks with billing software and collaborate closely with an accountant to make the billing process more effortless.
Maintaining contact with your clients regarding overdue invoices is also essential. You can set up automatic invoice reminders and avoid uncomfortable conversations by setting up recurring emails.
Be more rewarding to yourself
When you finish the task, reward yourself for your accomplishment. That's how our minds work! When you complete a task, your brain rewards you with a positive feeling and makes you more motivated to accomplish the next goal.
Take a minute to write down your three biggest accomplishments each day and reward yourself. You can reward yourself with anything you like - a relaxing bath or a nice cup of coffee. In addition, you can reward yourself for bigger tasks like taking a vacation or purchasing a new computer.
Getting things done is better than getting them perfect
Rather than perfecting each task to never complete it, do what you can do at the time. It is not necessary to invest a lot of money into a top-notch website if you want to get more projects from it. Instead, use a website builder to build your own website. You may want to consider making some improvements to the website design or functionality as you receive more work from this channel.
You are now in charge
As a freelancer, procrastination is the main reason for your slow growth. You can, however, regain more focus and increase your productivity by applying a few tips and using appropriate tools. So try it!
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