If you’re something like me, you have a hard time taking time off. And I’m not talking about going somewhere on holiday, but about taking care of yourself on a daily basis. You love your work so much that sometimes when you’re in the flow, you can completely forget that you also like going for a walk, meeting actual people that don’t “live” on your screen, or just enjoying a good book!
When you’re running your own business, there’s always something to do. You may feel tempted to work at night, during the weekends and, when everybody else is having fun outside, you’re most happy to “finish that little something you’re working on right now.” You love being productive and may think that everything else isn’t as necessary as your work. Having fun may even feel like a big waste of time! And you feel that if you keep working, eventually you’ll feel better and you’ll be able to take some free time for yourself.
Listen, I hear you. That’s me! The problem with these “little somethings” that have to get done is that they never do. And they’re never little. They’re huge because they’re part of your plan to get better at what you do. But getting better never really stops, does it?
Useful Tips to Put Yourself First and Boost Your Productivity
When used wisely, there is a secret productivity booster that will cost you no money and will help you move forward to reach your goals while keeping your sanity: Taking breaks. Yep. If you’re honest, you know you aren’t being productive 100% of the time you’re sitting in front of your computer. You can’t be. Your mind needs a break, and so do you!
So let’s have a look at a couple of strategies for you to keep your productivity as high as it gets while also enjoying life and keeping your sanity! And get ready to feel like a student again:
Write down your schedule and stick to it.
Remember when you were at school and your day was ruled by your school timetable? When the English class was over, you never stayed there instead of switching to Maths just because you still had something to finish, right? You had to hand over your English paper in that hour, so you focused on finishing it within the given timeline.
Well, that’s what you need right now! Create the weekly schedule that best suits you and stick to it. Don’t stuff each hour with too many tasks. Instead, leave some free slots, just in case some tasks don’t let you move forward as fast as you thought.
Make room to work out.
Every school timetable has a sports slot, so make sure you add some physical activity to yours! Again, it has to be an activity that suits you, whether it is Zumba, spinning, running, or just going out for a walk… Just get moving!
Working out with an accountability buddy that drags you out from home can help. However, if you can’t find the time to get to the fitness club, don’t want to pay for a membership you know you won’t make use of, or can’t stop finding excuses not to train outside – too cold, too hot, too rainy, too sunny… -, just search for an app that gets you working out! I made up all those excuses first, so don’t try to convince me otherwise! 😜
Keep a separate home office.
Yep. Back to school again: You had classes in the designated classroom, right? Imagine trying to do some classwork in the backyard with all other students playing around? So you don’t want that either for your business. Please, try to find a place you can call “office” and where you can focus 100% once you start working. Being able to work focused on one task for a limited amount of time usually works better than trying to work the whole day attending to a zillion things!
Leave out any distractions so that you can be more productive and enjoy your free time once you’re done! Make sure you check out this blog post on batching and productivity.
I’d dare to say that every single school includes breaks in their timetable. And they are there for a reason. You need to rest your mind and move your body to be able to keep focus! As I’m guessing your friends won’t be waiting around for you to get out of your home office and play, why don’t you join a running group, visit a meet-up with mind-alike solopreneurs, or just go for a walk? Doing some yoga exercises also helps to regain focus. 🧘🏻♀️
Plan your yearly leave.
You did know that I was going to talk about school holidays, right? Of course you did! Look, planning when you are going on holiday is essential to actually GO on holiday. And you need to recharge your energy to come back ready to give it all again!
If you aren’t so sure whether you can leave for a couple of weeks and just do nothing but have fun, check out this article on how to take a vacation as a freelancer without remorse.
Write down your homework.
Last thing to do before wrapping up for the day: Sit down and plan your next day. Reorganize your priorities if necessary. I don’t know about you, but setting my priorities for the next day always makes me feel better! If you need any help with setting priorities, check out this post on how to manage everything.
Keep your sanity when freelancing from home
So let’s recap all these steps we’ve just seen to boost your productivity and keep your sanity as a freelancer working from home:
- Write down your schedule and stick to it.
- Make room to work out.
- Keep a separate home office.
- Take breaks.
- Plan your yearly leave.
- Write down your homework.
Do you know what else is really good for children to focus at school? A healthy lunch box, a bottle of water, and lots of sleep! So you know the drill… Eat healthy food, drink enough water, and get enough sleep!
These tips won’t just help you concentrate and be more efficient, but also keep your work-life balance. When you’re working, you’re working. And once the class is over, you can go out and play with your mates!
These posts may interest you: