It’s easier than it’s ever been to find jobs that match your skills, experience, and desired location, thanks to a growing economy and to specialized job portals like Mynimo. But while online freelancing isn’t a new thing in the Philippines, the job market continues to be dominated by traditional workplaces.
For many freelancers, this also means that they may struggle with the challenges of working in a non-traditional setting. If you’re new to freelancing or feel like you’re stuck in a rut, try the tips below to ramp up your productivity.
1.) Invest in your workspace
While you can probably get by working on your dining table with an older computer and cheaper peripherals, this setup is usually unsustainable and keep you from reaching your true potential. This kind of setup will also often leave you prone to repetitive stress injuries, which can hamper your ability to work in the future.
Having a designated workspace in your home that specially suited for your needs will allow you to work more comfortably for longer periods of time. This can mean getting more contracts and finishing your work earlier.
The key things to invest in are your chair, desk, and monitor or laptop mounts. While they don’t have to be expensive, it’s important that they allow your body to be in a relaxed, neutral position. Your workstation should allow for an ideal typing posture and discourage you from slouching. Check out these ergonomics guidelines from Cornell University for an idea of how to arrange your ideal workstation.
2.) Wake up early
Being able to get out of bed later than everyone else is a huge perk for most freelancers. However, there are a few reasons to consider setting your alarm earlier. First of all, this will allow you to be productive before everyone else, allowing you to do real work before emails and meetings. Second, waking up early allows you to use more natural light, which can provide a boost to your brain function and productivity. Lastly, waking up early correlates with alertness, health, positivity, and other things early-rising entrepreneurs attribute to their success.
Waking up early will also give you more time to do the next freelancer productivity tip.
Freelancers are not exactly the healthiest people. Depression, repetitive stress injuries, and unhealthy diets are incredibly common among freelancers. A lot of this can be attributed to the patterns of isolation and sedentary lifestyles that freelancers easily fall into. While people with regular day jobs also experience these issues, this is often offset by the socialization and the opportunities for physical activity these jobs may present.
While exercising won’t necessarily fix these issues, it can do a lot to offset the worst of it. Regular exercise can elevate your mood, prevent repetitive stress injuries, and keep you healthy. It will also help improve sleep quality, which in turn will help you better concentrate when you wake up.
4.) Dress for success
There is evidence to suggest that the symbolism behind the clothes we wear can unconsciously change our attitudes. This means that certain types of clothes can trigger you to go on “work mode” while others may make you more sloppy and less engaged. If you work from home, it may be worthwhile to put on a different set of clothes for work from the types of clothes you wear for sleeping or relaxing.
5.) Make sure you have plenty of alone time
While there are no statistics available to tell us where most Filipino freelancers work, it’s safe to say most work at home, with the rest opting for coworking spaces and cafes. In all of these cases, it’s hard to guarantee one will have any time alone to think and concentrate on their tasks at hand. This is especially true when working in cafes or coworking spaces, but it can also be true with those working from home.
Younger Filipino freelancers tend to with their parents and other siblings, and this living arrangement makes it hard to guarantee any quiet productive time. The same can be true for freelancers raising young children at home.
While you may just have to grin and bear it sometimes, there may be instances where you may find it wise to set boundaries with the other people you live with. You can also attempt to keep your personal and professional communications separate to make it easier to avoid personal distractions and ensure you have plenty of alone time.
What other productivity tips can you share?