5-star Freelancers

How to run a business with no pants on

Ways to maximize productivity

So, you’re a freelancer now… Congratulations! You’re your own boss! You get to work from home sit on your coach in your underpants with your laptop in your lap.

If this is you in productive mode… more power to you. But, now I understand why you felt so uncomfortable at your old office šŸ˜‰

Whatever you do, make sure you set up a good environment for yourself to work in. Free of distractions. You are the now accountable for your OWN success. You’re your own boss now. So act like a boss.

Here are some things that might help:

Establish a routine

One ofĀ the best luxuries of freelancing is that you get to design your day-to-day. If you get more energy by sleeping in until 10, fine. Just make sure you dedicate yourself to your day after you wake up and realize you’re a grown up.

Personally, I prefer to establish a routine. I sync my automatic coffee maker and my Pandora alarm clock so that I always wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and my favorite music. I’m at the gym by 8:00 getting my workout in. The “before work” crowds are usually gone by then and I feel like I have the place to myself.

After a quick pump and some half-assed cardio, I make myself a big breakfast and have a second cup of coffee. I’m showered and at my desk by 9:30.

Avoid Distractions

Create a distraction-free environment. If you’re soothed by white noise in the background, turn on the TV or listen to an awesome playlist. Personally, I can’t work without music on. But, if you’re going to want to stand up and sing or tune into whatever’s playing on TV… that shouldn’t be your productivity zone.

Make a top 3 to-do list

Once you’ve set up shop and are in your productivity zone, you need to make sure your goals are clear.

MakeĀ a list of your top 3 most important things to do… and as the caffeine sets in, make sure you focus your energy on those three things until they are DONE.

Put your cell phone aside, free yourself of distractions, and get to work. Remember, we freelance so that we can work on what we want, not so that we don’t have to work.

Take breaks

If you have a mental block, don’t feel pressured to sit there and try to work through it. Freelancing is all about maximizing your productivity.

If you’re not motivated, not inspired, or just plain burnt… get up and go somewhere else. I get motivation and inspiration with a change of scenery.

There are times when I’ll work at my home office for hours and then feel completely burnt out. Then, I’ll pick up my laptop and relocate to a nearby coffee shop. That simple act of relocating gives me the extra boost of energy I need to finish my work for the day.

You have this luxury. Take advantage of it.

People thrive in different work environments,Ā so I’m not suggesting you do exactly what I do. I’m only suggesting you KNOW what fuels your productivity.

Test out different work routines and scenarios. But ultimately, you need to develop a routine habit for your day-to-day.

What do you do to hold yourself accountable for your own success?


About the Author

Drew Palmer is a freelance designer & entrepreneur based in Philadelphia, PA.

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