How to be productive as a freelance entrepreneur

One of the biggest challenges that freelancers and entrepreneurs find themselves facing is distraction from their work. Without the external pressure of a supervisor or deadline hanging over your head, the ease of slipping into distractions becomes much greater. But while its easier to become distracted when you work for yourself, the lack of a reliable paycheck based on laid-out job duties means that distractions are a much bigger threat to your income than if you were someone else’s employee. If you find it hard to stay focused on the work your small business demands, try looking into these practices to reclaim your productivity.

Find the Passion in Your Work

Passion is a requirement for the entrepreneur or freelancer, and it can come in different forms. The work you do can be fun and exciting, you might take pride in quality of the product or service you offer, or be driven by the satisfaction you provide to your customers and clients. Whatever it may be, keep in mind that you are your own cheerleader as well as your own boss; you have to be able to depend upon yourself to put in the effort needed for your business’ success, no one else will do it for you. A strong passion for the work you’re doing won’t make ringing phones or social event invites disappear, but it will give you the commitment necessary to let trivial things slide so that you can give your business the time and attention it deserves.

Make the Effort to Maintain Human Contact

Most people, even many self-described introverts, will find their productivity (along with their happiness) drop when they spend endless days working alone from home with limited contact with other people. We’re social creatures, and interacting with friends, acquaintances, and co-workers is an important piece of filling that need to connect with other people. In the internet age, a lack of face-to-face human contact can frequently lead to a lot of time on social media, forums, and the like trying to make up for lost socialization, time that is better spent improving your business. With that in mind, it’s important to build and maintain non-work social ties, through spending time with friends, playing sports, or with clubs, churches, and the like. This is also an area that coworking helps immensely with; spending just a day or two a week at a shared office space in the company of other entrepreneurs and freelancers can be of great benefit, even if your conversation has nothing to do with business.

Keep A Schedule and (Honest) Work History

As mentioned earlier, if you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, you are your own boss, so start acting like one! A great way to keep employee-you accountable to employer-you is to make a schedule and work history each day. At the start of the day make a rough outline of what you plan to do hour-by-hour. Then, as each hour passes, take a quick moment to reflect on what you actually did over the past 60 minutes. If you worked on what you planned to, write that down. Started work but then spent 30 minutes one a phone call with a potential new client? Write it down. Goofed off on the internet for the last 50 minutes? Write that down too. Once you get the habit ingrained irrelevant and distracting activities will become much less attractive, because you know that you’ll be writing them down (and holding yourself accountable for them) later.