As a freelancer, you are free to work wherever you want and whenever you want. The downside is that no one reminds you that you need to sit down and do your job for a set amount of hours. That is something that you need to manage by yourself.
If you are a freelance-newbie, you may not know how to manage your time effectively. How many times have you lost track of what you were doing only to find yourself reading random articles on the internet, or worse, on Facebook? Organization is key for any successful business. You cannot double your income, find new clients, or become an expert at what you do, unless you manage your time effectively.
Just as there are thousands of online courses to increase your knowledge, there are hundreds of Apps that you can use to increase your productivity. You can start by blocking distraction, tracking your time, having a list of objectives, or by writing down in the morning what tasks you want to accomplish by the end of the day.
There is a lot that you can do to increase productivity. However, it all depends on what your ultimate goals are. Ask yourself ‘what productivity tools support my objectives?’. You should ask yourself this question because you need tools that go hand in hand with your personality and work needs.
Over the years, I have carried out much research, and I have tested a variety of ‘productivity’ tools. My intention was that of finding the holy grail of productivity, the productivity tool par excellence. All my attempts have brought me to the same realization. You can have all the tools you desire, but if you don’t have clear goals, you will not be able to achieve anything.
Being mindful of the results you want to achieve at work will help you reduce the amount of time you waste in distractions. People mostly focus their attention on apps that allow them to collaborate with others and distribute files with coworkers. However, I believe that productivity apps have a different purpose. Here are a few:
1. Find out what you are spending your time on
First things first: you need to find out what apps/websites are robbing your precious time. You may not even realize it, but very often, we waste a lot of time searching for and looking at irrelevant material online.
RescueTime is a tool that monitors what you do on your laptop. It provides you with a report for each type of activity and indicates how much time you have spent on it. RescueTime classifies activities as productive, neutral, and distracting (you can adjust in what category your activities fall into).
Moreover, RescueTime tells you how long you’ve been productive for and what activities are the most distracting for you. This will help you optimize your working experience. The Pro version of RescueTime will allow you to set blocks and receive alerts when you are wasting too much time.
2. To-do Lists
To-do lists are like a personal assistant. For example, if you’re a freelance writer and you decide you want to write a blog article next Thursday, your to-do list will act as a reminder. However, these software programs do not replace your decisions. You have to make up your mind, sit down, and get the job done. A good to-do list must also:
- simplify data collection
- simplify organization
- be reliable
- be simple to use
- allow you to plan what you need to do next effectively
Some of the best To-do List Apps:
It doesn’t matter whether you use an app, a calendar, or pen and paper: choose whatever suits your personality. Overall, these apps were created to: collect, process, organize, and schedule your tasks in order to improve your work and achieve your final goals.
3. Use Evernote to Remember everything
You can’t be a successful freelancer unless you use Evernote. This app allows you to write notes, track your ideas, add drawings, and audio recordings. But what’s the best feature of this app? You can create notebooks: this will allow you to categorize your ideas and will prevent you from having a messy software containing a bunch of random thoughts.
Evernote is great because instead of just writing down your notes, you can use their templates. There are a significant number of templates such as ‘Get Hired’, ‘Project Goals’, ‘Project Budget’, ‘Meeting Agenda’, and many more.
Although the Apps mentioned above can significantly improve your productivity, keep in mind that no App can force you to work and be productive. For this reason, you need to be committed to your objectives: only you can increase your productivity. Apps can only allow you to track your work and activities in a more efficient and timely manner.