How to work faster  

Particularly for those who are paid by the project or paid by the page, it is important to be able to work quickly as a freelancer in order to make the most profit out of the time that you dedicate to a cause. While quality is important and helps establish your reputation, quantity is what will pay the bills. Here are a few tricks to help you boost your productivity and to work faster.

Make a plan - a lot of people benefit from having a daily plan, and, especially when you are freelancing, often there are no regulations or rules as to how you should plan out your day. It's very helpful to have set times for work and concrete but reasonable goals to achieve each day. It is also very important to schedule time off, and the beauty of most freelance work is that you are able to plan your own schedules around your social life and your time off. Just make sure you put aside enough time to work and not too much time to socialise. Many people find it helpful to have a very visual aid, and so utilise the calendar on your computer, or make a paper timetable and, most of all, stick to it. You may find it difficult to stick to your self allotted timetable at first, but as you become more accustomed to your work and how long tasks will take, your planning will become more refined and more accurate.
Prioritise - when making your plan, make sure you realise what work is the most important and ensure that this gets done first. If you let the important work linger, it will loom over your subconscious and stress you out. Like writing down a timetable, sometimes it helps to have a visual aid, and there is definitely a therapeutic feeling every time you cross a task off a list.
Time yourself - when you are too lenient with your time, or if you leave your allotted time open, you will almost always take more time to complete a task than if you push yourself. Sticking strictly to pre-allocated time slots is a good way to manage your time and to pressure yourself to work faster and produce more. It takes a lot of discipline and motivation to work when you have a whole day to complete something, so allocate the time to start and the time to finish. When you are new to your freelance work, it is also a good idea to time yourself completing tasks so that you have a fair idea of how long they should take in future, and also so you can set yourself goals to try and complete them faster to see an improvement in your workflow over time.
Disconnect - it is far too easy to switch on Netflix, to look at your phone, to type “Facebook” into the top of your browser or to watch the television. You have to be disciplined, and make sure you don't get distracted. If you can switch off your phone, do so. If you can find a quiet room without any distractions such as a television, that will probably be your best chance of getting work completed, and whatever you do, don't give in to the temptation to procrastinate on the internet. Make sure you allocate downtime and time for yourself, when you can allow yourself to give in to all of these temptations, as it is important to keep a positive and motivated mindset, and working too much will destroy this, but when it comes to your productive time, stick to being productive, and make sure the two don't bleed together.
Treat yourself - after you have completed a project, you will likely get paid, but don't let this be your only reward. If you can motivate yourself with small treats, and discipline yourself not to give in and take them before you have finished a task, then even something as simple as a delicious cookie can have a very positive effect on your workflow. Treating yourself for your hard work in small ways but frequently will help you to keep a positive mindset and to stay focussed during arduous tasks.

 

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