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Getting things done as a freelancer always seems like an uphill battle. It’s easy enough to get organized, but staying organized and finding a productive routine that actually works, is a whole other story.
I want you to be able to tackle the overwhelm and win! And I know you do too.
So today I’m showing you a step-by-step guide for getting things done every week so you can earn more money in less time.
Schedule your day by the type of task
Instead of focusing on the hundreds of different tasks you have to do each day, try grouping them into the type of task they are and tackling them that way. It’s almost like completing work in batches but instead you’re “batching” your entire day’s schedule.
Think of it as energy management, not time management. When are your most productive times of day? Group all of your brain-drain tasks into that time frame. Anything that takes a large amount of energy needs to be allocated to you’re most awake and feeling energized to complete them.
Then group all of your lower-level energy tasks at the beginning or end of the day when you have less brainpower to deal with them. Then you’ll be able to complete tasks based on your energy and actually learn to get ahead with your work!
Organize tasks by color
Once you’ve grouped all your similar tasks and appointments, assign a color to them. Here’s how I break down the color-coding:
- Orange = anything related to money, paying the bills, sending client invoices, following up on payments, etc
- Pink = social media updates, scheduling, interacting with the community, creating images, updating Pinterest/Instagram
- Blue = coaching calls, meetups, hangouts, interviews, podcasts and mastermind calls
- Green = content (or money making!) tasks like freelance writing assignments, blog content, editorial calendar management, course and workshop creation, and the like
- Purple = personal stuff, projects, art classes and other personal appointments
Organizing tasks by color helps me avoid the age-old freelancing problem of feast and famine. How?
I can view all of my appointments, assignments and deadlines at a glance based on the type of tasks they are (for example, all my freelance writing assignments are in green). Then when I look over my calendar for the next week or month, I can see if I have too much green or not enough.
Here’s an example of my Google Calendar at a week’s glance.
For me, a lot of green on my calendar means a good amount of money that I can earn but a lot of energy that needs to be expended to complete that work. Saying “no” to less work, or “yes” to more work in the future will help level out this roller coaster ride that is self-employment.
Here’s an example of my calendar of assignments in Asana.
Perform regular audits of your business workflow
This is system that has taken me years of being a full-time freelancer to perfect, and I still feel like I’m making small tweaks here and there. Be open to experimenting, testing out different times of the day that you wake up and when you start working on different projects.
Are you a morning person or night owl? Do you need to adjust your schedule based on the weather and seasons (I know I do!). Perform regular audits of your business workflow and test out other ideas, work different times of the day and record your findings.
What works for me may not work for you, but I’ve been testing out morning routines and daily schedules for over 3 years. It will take some time to find out the best schedule but just stay patience and keep at it!
Honor your schedule (but be flexible)
One of the tough things about creating a new schedule is following through. You have to stay disciplined to get up on time, stay focused during your work and take regular breaks.
If there’s just one piece of advice you take away from reading this, it’s that you must honor the schedule you create but know that you must also be flexible (not distracted, lazy or undisciplined, just flexible).
This is something I struggled with after being self-employed for almost 3 years. I found that my systems and processes were doing so well that I had all this extra time. But instead of capitalizing on this extra time, I was simply wasting it.
Learn to honor the schedule and it will pay you back in spades!
Keep what works & ax what doesn’t
Not every productivity tip, or morning routine you try will work. So be prepared to fail a little, to try things that don’t work and give up on ideas you wish would pan out.
It’s okay to keep what works and ax what doesn’t. In fact, it’s the only way you’ll find a routine that actually works! Getting things done the right way is all about finding your optimum schedule and working within your best productivity times.
Take the stress out of getting things done
These are just a few of the ways I take the stress out of getting things done and I hope they help give you some ideas. Be open to testing out these ideas and trying them for yourself. Keep the ones that work and quickly ax the stuff that’s clogging up your creativity.
It’s easy to see exactly why color-coding my day has changed my life and my business in a way I never imagined. All of these ideas will help you start automating your business this week.
And don’t forget to sign up for my free guide! I’ll show you the exact tools I use for getting a massive amount of stuff done every week.
How do you reduce the stress of getting things done every day? Share your best productivity tip!