Start working smarter, not harder


26 January 2023
Haunted by ghosts of missed deadlines? Dreaming of a smaller to-do list? No worries, we've all been there. Read on for tips on maximizingproductivity and working smarter, not harder!

Haunted by ghosts of missed deadlines? Dreaming of a smaller to-do list? No worries, we’ve all been there. Read on for tips on maximizing your productivity and working smarter, not harder!

Identify your working style

The first thing you need to do to work smarter effectively is to understand yourself and your working habits. Try to think: Which spheres in my professional life need improvement? What time of the day am I the most focused? Am I wasting time on tedious tasks instead of on my real priority?

Understanding the way you work will help you increase productivity. Each person has their own working style and different attention span, and embracing it is the real way to work smart. Try tracking your time and paying attention to your focus depending on the time and environment, and discover your personalized formula on how to accomplish tasks.

Organize your time

Once you discover which solution works best for you, consider organizing your time accordingly. Being a freelancer gives you the freedom to adapt the schedule to yourself. If you know your best ideas always come in the long run – leave some time in the middle of the day for a fitness-fueled thinking session. Early riser that’s most productive in the dawn of morning? Instead of forcing yourself to work when you simply can’t make it, schedule tasks based on your body’s intuitive rhythm.

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Minimize distractions

There’s nothing worse than a notification ringing and disturbing your focus. Make your focus time as distraction-free as possible: put your phone in a non-disturb mode, clear your desk from clutter, close all unnecessary tabs and make a time block in your calendar.

Once again – it’s all about what makes you focused. For example, while many people can’t imagine working in a noisy café, there are freelancers who thrive hearing the muffled sounds of chit-chat and coffee machines. If you get easily distracted at home, book a desk at a nearby coworking office. Or embrace your distractions and take as many breaks for your short bursts of energy as you wish – as long as it helps you slip into a longer, hyperfocused session later.

Take care of your energy levels

Remember that as a freelancer, you’re the one responsible for your own well-being and work-life balance. Take precious care of it, as busy work without well-needed rest is a simple road to burnout. This means hydrating, healthy snacking, stretching breaks, and even naps. Experts suggest that short 20-minute naps during the workday might be the key to strengthening memory and boosting creativity. Why not try it out?

Outsource or automate your repetitive tasks

Try to discover if any of your tasks can be automated or outsourced. If you’re a copywriter who spends their time trying to figure out taxes instead of writing… Are you really being smart? Turning a freelancing service into a successful business will, at some point, require outsourcing some aspects of your work. If you notice managing your business starts taking too much time, consider hiring a virtual assistant who will help you with your strategies.

Moreover, in the age of AI and smart software, there’s an impressive number of tools that can be used to fully or partially automate some hard or tedious tasks. Even simple extensions within your Google Docs workspace can help you save precious minutes of your time. Less time spent on easily automated things means more space for what’s essential (and what needs a real human touch).

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Hack your To-do list

Keeping a good to-do list is always a good idea. Try to hack yours by changing it from a simple box-checking list into an easy way to manage your workload. Start by discovering the concept of gamification, an RPG-based method of assigning value to each task to later “cash out” with an incentive. It’s incredibly simple to implement, thanks to the different types of apps on the market and is a fun way to stay motivated.

One of the best ways of hacking your task list is based on the Kanban board method. The method recommends visualizing the to-do list on a board and sorting them based on their progress and priority. This way, you won’t lose track of the most important tasks while keeping an eye on your backlog section.

Try productivity methods

Widely used in businesses around the world, project management methods like Agile, Kanban, or Scrum have plenty of solutions you can easily implement in your life to work smarter. We recommend starting with a simple Pomodoro technique of working in intervals of 25 or 45 minutes, separated by short breaks to recharge the brain. Agile can come in handy when dealing with a long project, while understanding Kanban will forever change the way you look at your to-do lists. Sometimes all it takes to be really efficient is implementing the right method!

Practice makes perfect

Main takeaway? It’s all about understanding yourself. There is a fair chance you decided to become a freelancer precisely for the benefit of creating your own workflow. Take this opportunity and experiment until you find your own best way of doing things efficiently. Once you do, work hard on making it a habit. Practice makes perfect!
We hope this article will help you work smarter – good luck in getting the job done!


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