When you only have to answer to yourself, it’s easy to slip into an unproductive rut. Some days, Homes Under the Hammer is just too tempting. Others, you just can’t settle until the room has been dusted.
At Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, we’ve spent years chatting to contractors and freelancers and productivity is often an issue that comes up. We’d like to share some of the advice we’ve picked up during that time and share it with you so you can be the most productive you’ve ever been.
Work out when you’re most productive
We’re not all consistently productive at all hours of the day. For instance, some of us are morning people while some of us just aren’t. If you were in a nine-to-five job, you’d have to work all through the day regardless but, since you’re your own boss, you can work out when your best times are and prioritise them.
Use a time tracker like Toggl over a few days to see when your most productive times are. If, for example, you discover you work amazingly from 7am until lunchtime but then don’t really get much done from 2pm onwards, make your working day run between 7am and 2pm and then let yourself finish. When you become self-employed, it can take a while to get out of the nine-to-five mind-set but, once you do, it can be very rewarding.
Give yourself time off
This might sound counterintuitive, but time off can actually make you more productive. Not only does it revitalise and refresh you, but it can also prevent you artificially planning for work you most likely won’t get done.
For instance, say you look ahead in your diary and see that on Wednesday you have a dentist appointment in the morning, some errands to run in the afternoon and then you have to pick the kids up from school as your usual childcare isn’t available. You could, of course, try squeezing your work around those other tasks, but you may just find the constant stop-start means you find it hard to get your head in the game, setting you back and lowering your morale.
Planning to take the day off means you don’t plan on doing any work which means that, on Thursday, you are up to exactly where you’re meant to be and not behind.
Switch off the TV
We speak to so many contractors and freelancers who complain about productivity but then tell us they leave the TV on at home for “background noise”. It takes a will of iron to ignore the telly when it’s on and, as great as Friends repeats on Comedy Central are, you’re just not going to get any work done. So, switch off the TV and enjoy some distraction-free time spent working. You’ll thank us for it.
At Kingsbridge, we can’t help finish work for you, but we can make sure your contractor insurance is organised. Call us on 01242 808740 or check out our website to see how we can help.