How to Stay Focused as a Freelancer

A lot of people have started to see the advantages of being a self-employed freelancer. As long as you have skills that are in demand and marketable, it can be a surprisingly effective way to make a living assuming you aren’t afraid of looking for work with cold pitches. However, even if you aren’t sending out pitches every day to see what sticks, it’s well worth the effort to try and establish yourself as a freelancer because of the freedom it offers.

However, a lot of people don’t realize that with that freedom comes responsibility. Instead of working set hours, you need to decide what hours you want to work by yourself. You need to start thinking about how you can balance your time and stay focused while you perform your work–and it’s a lot harder than most people think.

So in this post, we’ll be offering some ideas on how you can stay focused as a freelancer. These tips will also work if you’re a self-employed individual that is looking to get out of the house and work in a more comfortable or less-distracting environment.

Limit the types of apps and websites you visit

It takes a surprising amount of self-control to actually avoid looking at or social media when you’re working. This is because all it takes is opening another tab and you can suddenly see and hear notifications from things like Facebook and Instagram. These can lead you down a chain of distractions which can make things extremely difficult for you in the long run. This is why we suggest removing these distractions and limiting yourself from accessing them.

This can be incredibly tricky, especially if you don’t want to limit yourself using software locks. We suggest simply training yourself by leaving your phone on silent while you work, cutting out any music with lyrics and also making your work applications fullscreen so you’re less likely to look at chat windows and notifications while working.

Consider using a co-working space instead of a coffee shop

A coffee shop is a very common location to visit if you’re looking to get some work done while also having a drink or two. However, coffee shops (especially in large cities) can get extremely busy and it’s often best that you don’t use these locations because they can get loud and distracting. It’s hard to focus, especially if there are lots of conversations going on around you, and headphones don’t always manage to keep the sound out.

That’s why we would recommend coworking spaces instead. There are many coworking desks available in big cities that allow you to get your work done with minimal distractions. You can even leave your supplies in their secure facilities if you need to step away for some time or if you plan to return in the future. There’s WiFi available, printers and even food and drink in some cases. In short, if a coffee shop is too difficult to work in then consider a co-working space instead.

Take regular breaks to work on your own personal projects

One of the quirks about freelancing is that it’s usually built on skills that you love to use for personal reasons. For instance, a freelance artist probably got into the industry because they love to draw and create things. If this is the case for you, then it helps to take some time off now and then or even just a small break each day to work on your own projects and remind yourself why you love your craft in the first place.

Of course, this only applies to people that are using their skills in a creative freelance endeavour. A freelance bookkeeper won’t have the same needs, but they can still focus on a hobby or skill that they want to develop instead. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated and also allows your mind to take a break from any stressful projects you’re working on.
Freelancing is a fantastic way to travel around the world and work, hence why so many people have decided to pursue it as a career. However, all of the freedom you get from freelancing can ultimately push you to be distracted and less focused on your work. This results in lower revenue, lower income and a surprisingly frustrating experience as a self-employed individual. If you’re serious about becoming a freelancer, then it’s essential that you follow the tips in this article on how to be more focused on your work.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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