Freelancing is a great job to have because it is so flexible. Many freelancers can work from anywhere whether it's a coffee shop, an airplane, or their home office. However, what's hard is staying focused in the moments you do work since so many freelancers work on their computers with access to the Internet!
So, the first tip to staying focused is:
Block Your Favorite Websites
I use StayFocusd, which is a Google Chrome add on that allows you to limit the time you spend on specific websites. For example, I am only allowed to be on Facebook for 5 minutes each day, just long enough for me to check a few updates, and that's it! It helps with time management.
You can also use something aptly named Self Control if you have a Mac. You download the program onto you computer and much like StayFocusd, it will block specific websites for a certain amount of time that you designate.
Many studies have shown that multitasking can actually work against you, since you lose productivity and focus when you're doing too many tasks at once. So, by blocking some of your favorite websites, it allows you to focus on your word document or your editing software or wherever else you work.
Put Your Phone on Do Not Disturb
It can be hard to ignore text messages and social media while you're working. After all, it's fun to see what people are doing on SnapChat, Instagram, and more. In addition to social media, I get a lot of text messages from friends and family throughout the day, especially now that so many of my friends have cute new babies to show off.
As great as it is to connect with friends, the same rule applies to your phone as it does to your favorite websites. When you stop what you're doing to check your phone, it can set you way behind in your work progress.
Instead, put your phone on "Do Not Disturb" while you're working. When you get up to use the restroom or take a break, you can check it then. I think you'll find that you get a lot more done when your phone isn't constantly ringing.
Every now and then, we all need a little bit of help when it comes to motivation. I like to motivate myself with a treat. For example, if I have cookies in the house, I won't let myself have one until a certain number of posts are done.
If I have a lot of work to do, I might reward myself with a manicure or a nice bottle of wine at the end of the day.
The truth is, everyone has trouble staying focused because we live in a world with lots of screens and devices and ways to connect with each other. However, if you can block out some of the distractions by using specific apps and stay disciplined when it comes to using your phone, you can be well on your way to being a highly productive freelancer in the future.