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How to Increase Productivity When Self Employed

March 25, 2020
From setting yourself strict working hours to using workflow software, these are the best ways to remain productive when self employed.

When you’re self-employed, it can be difficult to remain productive. Not only are you setting your own deadlines, but there are also hundreds of distractions which office workers just wouldn’t have to contend with - especially if you work from home. However, there are a number of different ways to make sure you remain productive when you’re self-employed. From setting yourself strict work hours (which will also help you to maintain a healthy work life balance), to using workflow software - it’s a lot easier to ensure you’re productive at work when you’ve got strict, effective systems in place.

How To Be Productive When You’re Self-Employed

Find Yourself a Dedicated Office Space

Whether you use a room in your house as a home office, or rent a desk at a coworking space, it’s important to find a dedicated workspace to use during your work hours. 

Not only will there be less distractions at a dedicated office, but it’ll also help your brain to associate the space with work, allowing you to get your head down and get your work done.  

Set Yourself Strict Work Hours 

Although one of the best things about being self-employed is flexibility, it’s important to ensure you’re strict with your work hours at the same time, otherwise you’ll end up with a huge workload and not enough time to complete it all!

Rather than starting and finishing your work at random hours each day, strict work hours will help to prevent you from procrastinating, having a mid-week lie in, or scheduling social activities and not leaving yourself enough time for work. 

Additionally, it will also allow you to maintain a healthy work-life balance, helping  you to avoid feeling guilty for not doing enough work and cramming it into your weekends and evenings.

Make Use of Workflow Software

Whether you struggle to keep on top of your workload, or just find it difficult to remain focused on the task at hand, workflow software will help you to remain productive and make it easier for you to get your work done. 

Some of the best workflow platforms include:

  • Trello 
  • Evernote
  • Focus@Will
  • Basecamp

Each of these platforms have something different to offer. From live chat features to easy to use drag and drop functions, there’s a platform for every business type. So whether you’re a sole trader or you’ve got employees, you’re sure to find the perfect workflow software for your business.

Take a Break 

Studies have shown that over 1 million self-employed workers in Britain never take  a break, which can have a huge impact on your productivity. After all, would you really expect one of your employees to remain focussed for 8 hours with no break? You shouldn’t expect yourself to either. 

In fact, not taking a break can have a huge impact on productivity, making it difficult to concentrate and harder to complete tasks. So whether you take four fifteen-minute breaks throughout the day, or take an hour out at lunch, it’s important to ensure you’re taking regular breaks to help you to clear your head and remain productive and on-task all day long. 

Write To Do Lists 

If productivity software isn’t for you, then a to-do list can help you stay on track to get your work done.

Whether you write a big list at the start of each week or break down your work into daily tasks, it’ll help you to focus, stay on track and remain productive whilst you’re at work. Plus, it’s really satisfying to tick off tasks, helping to boost your morale each time you complete one!

To-do list hack: If you prefer to write a list every day, try writing it the day before, just before you leave work. This will allow you to come in each morning with your work set out in front of you, helping you to start each day in the right mindset to get your work done!

Change Your Environment

If you’re struggling to concentrate and stay on-task, then a change in environment could be just what you need. Whether you’ve been working from your sofa, home office or coffee shop, the same surroundings can become tedious - especially if you work on your own. 

So if you find your concentration dwindling and your productivity decreasing, a change in scenery could help you. Whether you work outside (weather permitting!), or hot desk at a coworking space, just switching up your environment could be enough to give you a new lease of life and get your work done. 

So whether you try out workflow software, or rent a desk at a coworking space, there are a number of different ways to stay productive when you’re self-employed - it’s just important to find the solution that’s right for you!

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