According to Zippia, freelance workers can usually maintain their productivity for up to 87% of their workday. Not only that, the help of tools and techniques can further elevate these stats, and help you stay focused.
Do you feel like you’re not reaching that 87% productivity level? Are you struggling to get things done, worried about wasted time, or just want to work better to achieve your daily goals?
It’s time to level up your repertoire of productivity tools and techniques to keep you on track! Check out these 17 best productivity hacks to help you triumph over challenges and get more done in 2023.
17 Productivity Hacks for Peak Efficiency
In a fast-paced world of freelancing, leveling up and maximizing productivity can help you get more things done. Applying effective productivity hacks can help you focus on your work, make sense of the task at hand, and stay ahead of your schedule.
Whether you’re managing multiple clients or just want to boost your productivity, these 17 work hacks are proven to help you reach peak performance. Read on to find actionable ways to increase productivity and come out victorious in your day-to-day endeavors.
1. Start early
Waking up early might just be your ticket to an efficient day. And yes, being an early bird can pay off even if you’re working from home or remotely. But how? Starting early can increase your productivity, as it gives you an uninterrupted timeframe to get things done and manage contingencies as needed.
Research from Harvard Business Review indicates a correlation between early risers and success. These folks often align better with typical work rhythms and boast proactive attitudes. In addition, having an uninterrupted work time can help you ace your group and individual tasks.
Try engaging in morning workouts or welcoming natural light into your space right after waking. It boosts your metabolism and energizes you. Just remember, waking up early is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay! Find the rhythm that fits your style.
2. Take breakfast
Starting the day with a healthy breakfast has been a surefire way to help you boost productivity. And that’s for a very obvious reason: an empty stomach and a glucose-deprived brain don’t work well together.
Most food gets turned into glucose, our brain’s fuel. And when glucose levels dip, so do our concentration and productivity. Ever wondered why it’s hard to focus when you’re famished? That’s the glucose drop talking!
In addition, those who commit to a morning meal often minimize their risks linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. And let’s not forget the heart – skipping breakfast might just up the chances of cardiovascular woes. Jumpstart a productive day by maintaining a healthy morning diet.
3. Set clear goals
Clear and focused goal-setting strategies can help you sort out priorities and stay on track, which can your productivity and efficiency on specific tasks. Sufficient planning using manual methods or productivity tools gives you a structured day.
When making a goal, you should make it SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. With this method, you can make abstract tasks like “improve customer satisfaction” into something tangible, such as “increase customer service call ratings by 10% next quarter.”
If you’re lost on how to start your day, try setting a single goal and breaking it into smaller, easier parts. With this simple hack, you can identify and tackle important tasks, improving your productivity.
4. Create a to-do-list
By using a to-do list, you can see easily see the big picture and prioritize what needs to be done first. Making a to-do list helps you navigate tasks while also taking a deep look at your resources and situation. This simple method improves productivity and time management, letting you focus on one task at a time and move smoothly to the next.
A well-structured to-do list not only boosts productivity but also reduces stress. This will help you navigate ambiguities and Planning realistic daily activities can help you get more productive and stay focused for the rest of the day.
Write down a detailed plan, but remember to keep your lists small and manageable to avoid additional stress. Efficiently categorize your work to minimize context shifting and mental fatigue.
5. Prioritize tasks
Prioritizing tasks is a must for remote workers and freelancers. One approach is the “eat the frog” method, inspired by Mark Twain. According to Asana, the eat the frog method suggested that the biggest or most complex task should be done first thing in the morning. You can then tackle your less-urgent tasks like checking emails.
Avoiding the “sunk cost fallacy” is another thing to remember when sifting your priorities. Don’t continue on a task simply because you’ve invested time in it. If it’s no longer relevant, move on.
This lets you refocus and stay productive, ensuring that you’re working on what truly matters, not just what you’ve started. You’ll need to cut your losses and carry on!
6. Get rid of distractions
Distractions aren’t just time-consuming; they can also degrade the quality of work. It’s easy to get sucked into something else while working, especially when you’re surrounded by people and activities that can cause disturbances in your work.
The most common culprits of work from home distractions are social media notifications, uncomfortable workspace, pets, and interruptions, either by errands or house members. It takes several minutes to get back on track once you’ve been distracted from your work state. Hence, it’s better to minimize these risks instead.
Do you spend too much time scrolling down social media platforms? Consider jotting down your must-do tasks and tackle these first thing in the morning, before engaging with emails. In addition, create a dedicated workspace that makes you comfortable yet focused, whether it’s the right chair or the temperature of the room.
7. Practice single-tasking
Ever find yourself juggling tasks and feeling overwhelmed? That’s the multitasking trap speaking! Shifting focus can drain energy, derail your schedule, and boosts stress levels. For some people, multitasking is a breeze. But for most, emphasizing a focus on individual tasks might be the better productivity hack.
By zooming in on one task, you can rediscover the joy in your work and increase productivity. Forget the frazzle of getting multiple tasks done and embrace the clarity that comes from undivided attention. Another way to optimize single-tasking is to work in short bursts for the same task/project.
8. Use productivity techniques
Productivity techniques are more than just buzzwords; they’re scientifically grounded strategies designed to align with how our brains function. Whether you’re a remote worker handling multiple clients, these methods can help you effortlessly reach your productive streak.
Some popular productivity methods include the Pomodoro Technique, time-blocking, and the Eisenhower Matrix. Tailored to different work styles and preferences, these approaches help professionals across the globe cut to quality without draining effort or energy.
9. Learn to say “no”
Learning to say “no” can be a powerful productivity hack, especially when dealing with multiple clients. It’s not about being rude or unhelpful; it’s about recognizing and prioritizing what truly matters to advance your goals
In addition, you should also learn to say “no” to the pursuit of perfection, digital clutter, and irrelevant meetings, because not doing something is always faster. Do what favors you can, but also learn to prioritize your time, resources, and energy.
10. Take breaks
There are a lot of production hacks to keep you motivated, but nothing will work when you’re physically and mentally exhausted. Taking breaks might seem like a counterproductive move, especially when deadlines are looming. However, a well-placed rest can refresh your mind, improve concentration, and give a quick burst to your creativity.
Stepping away from your work for planned breaks can make you more productive. Breaks offer a chance to recharge, refocus, and even enhance memory recall. So the next time you’re stuck on a task, remember that a well-timed break might be just what your brain needs.
11. Use productivity apps and tools
Staying on top of tasks can be a daily battle for remote workers and freelancers. Workload management tools like Ahsuite, Trello, and Monday.com are designed to help you track projects and communicate with clients.
Remember, great tools can make a lot of difference in both work efficiency and quality. Choose the best one that will enable you to get creative and focus on your goal for each working day.
According to Upwork, finding the right tools depends on what fits your industry and working style. Choosing the best apps for freelancers might feel overwhelming due to the massive selection of products in the market. But by putting your client’s success and work needs at the forefront, you will likely find the app that you’re looking for.
12. Set deadlines
Deadlines are essential in the freelancing world for maintaining a steady work pace and ensuring timely delivery. They act as commitment tools, helping freelancers manage their time effectively and avoid procrastination. When deadlines are clear and realistic, they can boost both productivity and satisfaction in your work.
On the flip side, ineffective deadline setting, such as being too aggressive or vague, can lead to stress and burnout. Avoiding unrealistic or poorly defined deadlines ensures that quality doesn’t suffer in the rush to complete a project.
13. Delegate when possible
Delegating tasks isn’t just about lightening your workload. According to Northwest Executive Education, it’s a vital tool that can save time and contribute to personal and professional growth.
Delegation is more than handing off tasks. It’s about fostering a cooperative and well-organized virtual work environment. By leveraging delegation, remote managers and team members can create a more cohesive and efficient workflow, enhancing productivity across the board.
14. Batch similar tasks
Task batching is a nifty method to boost your efficiency. According to HubStaff, it involves grouping similar tasks so you can tackle them all at once. Whether it’s answering emails in a batch or working on a specific project, this approach saves precious time by minimizing constant shifts in focus.
Add time batching to the mix, and you’ve got a powerhouse strategy for productivity. Time batching is when you allocate uniformly-divided time blocks (e.g. working in 25-minute intervals) to finish similar tasks. By scheduling specific blocks of time for work, you create a rhythm that fits your needs.
15. Practice mindfulness and meditation
Meditation isn’t just for inner peace; it’s a powerful tool for boosting creativity. In an article by Entrepreneur India, science-backed evidence shows that regular practice can spark innovation, a necessity in today’s competitive business landscape.
But it doesn’t stop at creativity. Meditation can foster a more focused and calm mind, enhance self-awareness, and even improve teamwork. Especially for remote professionals, mastering the practice can translate to better communication and mental well-being.
16. Maintain life-work balance
Striking the right work-life balance is more than a personal goal; it’s a productivity booster. Finding that balance means fewer mistakes and a greater enthusiasm for tasks. When work doesn’t feel like a chore, efficiency naturally improves, and performance reaches new heights.
How to achieve this balance? It’s about setting boundaries and embracing flexibility. Schedule regular breaks, prioritize essential tasks, and don’t hesitate to disconnect when needed. This intentional approach not only enhances well-being but fuels productivity too.
17. Celebrate achievements
Patting yourself in the back, especially when working remotely, packs a powerful punch in keeping you energized and motivated. When accomplishments are acknowledged, it helps your vision align with your and your client’s goals.
But the benefits don’t stop at team dynamics. Taking the time to celebrate can also contribute to individual well-being. It’s a stress reliever, a burnout-preventer, and a turnover-reducer.
And there you have it, the 17 proven productivity tips that can help you accomplish your tasks for the day. From embracing single-tasking to utilizing productivity apps, these tips can help remote workers maximize productivity. Adopting even a few of these strategies can lead to improved professional outcomes and a better work-life balance.
Staying productive while handling multiple clients and responsibilities is essential. Ahsuite offers a solution, with a 30-day trial available for those looking to streamline their workflow. This tool can keep you organized and focused on the crucial aspects of your professional life.