As a freelancer, I have found it difficult to stay productive, particularly when you get into the middle of a project and have so much going on, that you are constantly chasing your tail. Or, I might get to the end of a project and am not sure what to do next. Enter The Productive Person…
[Tweet "Let's just say that productivity is a bit of an issue for me, particularly as I work from home."]
Who can relate to this:
I get up in the morning, chuck some clothes on that are lying on the floor, because I don't want to disturb my husband who is NOT a morning person. I tip-toe out of the bedroom, hit the bathroom and throw some water at my face and jump in the shower.
Following that, I switch the jug on and make our morning coffees. I grab my iPad, sit down and read for the next hour, catching up on Twitter, Pinterest and my emails. 7.30am arrives and I open my laptop and look at my calendar, which is nicely laid out with everything I need to do that day... and here is where the fun begins.
Within the first half an hour, I've probably jumped around from task to task, reading emails as they come in, answering Facebook messages and text messages and generally doing everything I can to avoid working. By the time 11am arrives, I need to hustle to get work done before a client call at 1.30pm.
The next day is more of the same... although I like to mix things up a bit by also multi-tasking with doing the washing and cleaning the kitchen - crap distractions that could be left to nighttime!
My Saviour: The Productive Person
I recently joined a pretty awesome self publishing community (you'll hear more about this in a later post) and came across a couple of the course's writers' book - The Productive Person.
I originally purchased the book just to see what it is they had done to be so successful - I wanted to emulate their same success. But as I got to reading the book, light bulbs starting flashing in my head!
I could not believe that I hadn't found this book sooner, it was EXACTLY what I needed to get my freelancing schedule back on track and become the awesome productive person I know I am.
What I really liked though, was the actual schedules they offer. I've been using the Mind & Body Refresh schedule for a few weeks now and my productivity has doubled.
I use the pro version of Todoist to track the things that need to be done on a day to day basis, while my calendar just has the blocks of time to show what I should be doing, such as a morning action block or a mind & body refresh session.
What I LOVE about this book is that it visually shows me how my day will look and I can change things up and add a different schedule to suit. The Afternoons Off schedule is my Friday go-to - it gives me the afternoon off to do things I want, such as head away for the weekend early and beat all the traffic!
[Tweet "What I LOVE about this book is that it visually shows me how my day will look..."]
If you're more of a night owl, you'll love the Night Crank schedule and if you work really well under pressure or just have a huge project on, then the Mash Marathon is your answer.
As well as the schedules, James and Chandler provide you with a number of productivity hacks, that when combined with your chosen schedule, will also not only increase your productivity but will also increase your work/life balance.
Mind & Body Refresh - My Schedule
Here's a sneak peak at what my schedule looks like using the Mind & Body Refresh:
6:30 am - 7:30am Morning Reprogramming Routine
I'm an early riser, so this suits me well. I use a sleep timer to monitor my sleep and wake me within 20 minutes of my alarm when I'm in my lightest sleep phase. I always feel refreshed and ready to go.
As soon as the alarm sounds, I jump out of bed, hit the shower and crank up the tunes! This routine is all about getting yourself in the right mood and feeling good. I follow up with breakfast, usually yogurt and some muesli and a cup of coffee. By the time 7:30am rolls around, I'm ready to go!
7:30am - 10:30am Morning Action Block
I've got 3 hours to do some work. I generally schedule all the important stuff in this block as by the afternoon, I'm a bit sluggish. Anything that requires my brain to work at it's optimum level is scheduled during this time.
This includes client work (social media managing and blog posts) and writing for my own blog.
This blog post was written during on such action block!
10:30am - 1:30pm Mind & Body Refresh Sesh, Lunch
This is one of my fave times of the day. It is all 'me' time. I typically go to the gym and do a quick workout then I'll crank up the tunes and read a book, go for a walk, watch a movie, whatever I feel like!
This session is also a productivity hack, called the 'carrot on a stick' and works perfectly for me.
1:30pm - 4:30pm Afternoon Action Block
Another 3 hours of work. The first hour of this block I'll dedicate to anything that I couldn't finish in the morning action block, as I'm still pretty fresh following my 3 hours of bliss in the Mind & Body Refresh session.
The remaining 2 hours are spent doing things that don't require a lot of brain power, things that are fun, like creating images for blog posts or editing my book.
4:30pm - 9:30pm Free Time!
I love finishing at this time, it gives me a chance to chill and relax before my husband finishes work. I'll get dinner ready, do some reading and just relax with my husband.
Sometimes, if I've got a bit on, I might add a mini Night Crank session in at 9:30pm!
9:30pm - 11:00pm Evening Planning Routine + Sleep
At this time I'll review what I did during the day work wise and then schedule work into my action blocks for the next day.
I write in my gratitude diary as well and get ready for bed. I always feel like I've accomplished things by this time of the night, so go to bed and feeling great!
If you're struggling with keeping yourself on track, I'd suggest you buy The Productive Person. At only $4, it's a no-brainer. It was definitely the best $4 I've spent in a long time - much cheaper than my soy chai latte!
How do you stay productive? Leave your tips below and if you buy the book, let me know!
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