The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
December is upon us, and the pre-Christmas working craze has begun. Busy months are usually a blessing to a freelancer's wallet, but can also be very stressful and energy draining - and we all have our fair share of late night working hours, multiple deadlines, and total chaos.
Being productive is not about working longer hours, but rather about getting more done within the same time span. If you're looking for smart ways to boost office productivity without going cuckoo, these few hacks might help.
To maximise the benefits:
Ideally, your list should include only what you need to get done on a given day. If you complete all of your planned activities before your office hours run out, you can use that extra time to work on your mid or long term projects.
For an extra productivity boost, try creating your to-do lists in advance (i.e. in the evenings before "closing the office"). This will help you avoid the "crowded desk syndrome", and get your day off to a good start.
As an example, a project checklist for a typical copywriting project might include:
Including paperwork in your checklist (such as purchase orders, or invoices) helps you keeping on top of administration duties, thus boosting productivity beyond the project itself.
As an example, I find it easier to work straight through any project or activity requiring less than one hour, but set my pomodoro at 45 minutes for longer tasks.
For an extra boost, also try adjusting your working hours to your own productivity peaks (e.g. early in the mornings, in the afternoons after 4 pm etc.) whenever possible. Working when your energy is at its top also helps minimising self-inflicted distractions, and keeps motivation high.
Improving processes in just one of these time killing activities is already enough to boost your productivity over time. Investing in smarter email management or automated invoicing reduces the overall burden of administrative tasks, thus freeing up time for more lucrative tasks.
When times get tough, the busy freelancer needs to adjust. Still, do not try to change of all your habits at once, or you'll end up with more frustration and fewer motivation.
Productivity hacks exist to make your working life easier, not to drag you down a spiral of misery. If something makes sense to you, try it out and see if it works. If it does, establish the new routine before moving on to the next big change. Understanding and respecting your own pace is just as important as optimising processes, and cutting down distractions.