If you’re a freelancer or you’re working from a co-working space then you’ll know, setting your own daily routine can become a monotonous. Perhaps you’re looking to change it up and see what bringing a few new habits into the mix could do for your productivity. We’ve put together 10 top tips for structuring your work day so that you can try out a couple of methods and see whether your productivity levels increase!
1. The first tip is to listen to your own preferences, your body and your life schedule.
If you find it hard to focus in the morning or you have a school run to do which often takes up most of the first half of your day, telling yourself you’re going to get your work done then is only going to leave you frustrated and put off. It doesn’t matter when you choose to get the majority of your work done; morning, afternoon, or evening. Whichever is the most productive period for you then plan that in to your diary and stick with it.
2. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this Forbes article outlines what a whole bunch of successful people do each day.
Perhaps see what works best for you by emulating!
3. For a more structured approach to staying on task, Quartz have an amazing hour-by-hour plan for an ideal work day.
Does planning out each hour work for you or do you need to have no pressure to be able to get your work flowing? Find out what makes you feel most focused.
4. Want a more productive morning? Hundreds of studies have shown that it’s often a brilliant idea to go and do something for yourself first, completely un-work-related, to put you in the right frame of mind.
Try going for a walk, doing an exercise class, meeting a friend for a coffee, doing some yoga at home or cooking a delicious breakfast. If you look after yourself then you’ll feel less hard-done by when it comes to sitting down to get your more taxing work done.
5. Another way to motivate yourself to get stuff done is by visualizing what your tasks are instead of writing them out.
If you need some cues at hand then why not get a white board and sketch out a little diagram so that you know what you have to do that day.
6. Now, we don’t need to tell you this but it never hurts to be reminded that the ultimate daily routine doesn’t just take into account your hours at the office—it also needs to include nutrition, exercise, social time and plenty of rest.
A co-working space can be great at encouraging you to take time out to be social able, to eat and even to go home and rest but for those of you that work from home, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of working the whole day and not even stopping to make yourself some food. If you find yourself getting to the afternoon / evening and realising you haven’t stopped for a break, perhaps it’s time to set reminders for yourself on your phone or laptop. Schedule in time to take breathers, to eat each meal, get your coffee and do whatever else you like doing to remain the happiest version of yourself.
7. If you’re also someone who looks for fulfillment from your work to compliment and assist you with your productivity, try having a single goal each day to drive your motivation.
You might find that a few weekly aims are enough to keep you on track but often just one desired (achievable) outcome for each day can keep you going and give you a sense of ‘I bloody did it!’ each day, and who doesn’t like finishing up for the day on a high?
8. Site Point has some great schedules put together by freelancers that you can check out to get an idea of how other people in your position spend their time.
Check it out and see if there are an similarities between what these freelancers do and what you do!
9. Perhaps you’re quite happy with your existing routine but would like to see what the odd change can do for your productivity? No problem.
One tip is to start small by organising your to-do list differently to see what works for you best. Often the most minute adjustments can really help you feel refreshed and tackle your daily to-dos with a new found sense of productivity.
10. The final piece of advice is: don’t try to change too much overnight—you’re better off making simple changes, one by one, and seeing which stick.
Overloading yourself with a whole new routine will (most likely) only put you off. Be kind to yourself and if something doesn’t work for you then at least you’ve learnt something new about yourself. You’ll also be a step closer to finding your own top tips and tricks to being the most productive version of yourself.