Productivity hacks every freelancer needs to know


Posted by wpengine in Business

Nobody said being a freelancer was easy. If you feel like there’s not enough time in the day be an accomplished accountant, creative, salesperson, and marketing magician all rolled into one, you’re not alone. So before you move another muscle, here are 5 productivity hacks you need to know.

Get rid of distractions

Social media and YouTube are never more than a click away, and as tempting as it is to watch that video you've been tagged in, time is money.

Thankfully there are plenty of apps out there to help you get rid of distractions for good... Or at least while you're working.

FocusMe lets you block access to websites and applications for a set amount of time. It's impossible to bypass, and comes with other productivity features like break reminders and a schedule, so you can plan your sessions in advance.

For hardcore smartphone users, AntiSocial lets you block access to apps and even compare your usage with other people in your demographic. And it’s free.

Use the magic email

If potential clients disappear off the face of the earth, there exists a seemingly magic combination of words you can use to get a response.

Composed by web developer Kurt Elster, the magic email has built a reputation for getting a response and reviving leads.

It goes like this: ‘Since I have not heard from you on this, I have to assume your priorities have changed.’

That’s it. You can paraphrase this sentence as you like, but the idea is that the email puts the ball in their court. Erasing any emotional undertones and making you look like the professional.

You can read more about what makes the magic email work here.

Make a point of chasing references

Glowing references are your golden nuggets. Don’t let them get away. Collect enough of them and you might never have to pay to market yourself again.

Once you’ve built up a respectable bank of reviews, you can use them to bolster your brand. There are many ways you can do this:

  • Online profiles, like Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Website or blog
  • CV or portfolio
  • Marketing materials
  • Bids or tender documents

Of course, it works both ways and you should be willing to return the favour if you had a good experience. And it’s always best to get permission before publishing other people’s words.

Spend less time on the boring stuff

Necessary as they are, invoicing and tax and other admin duties take up valuable time. Thankfully there are easy ways to get the job done faster, so you can focus on the work that really matters.

QuickBooks – One of the most well-known invoicing and accounting apps, QuickBooks helps you manage sales and expenses and keep track of your transactions. View, update, and automate sending your invoices from a single dashboard. It’s not free, but it’s a lot cheaper than an accountant.

Shoeboxed – Do away with piles of receipts, business cards, and expense reports. Shoeboxed lets you scan and organise your paperwork into easy to digest data. Giving you remote access to all your receipts and making tax-related duties pain-free.

Toggl – Win back your time and boost productivity. Toggl is a super simple time-tracking app that helps you visualise where your time is being spent. It’s as easy as naming your task and pushing start. Over time you’ll have a clear idea where you can make changes to save you time and money.

Impress clients in face to face meetings

Instead of inviting clients to a public place to discuss projects or present work, make use of spaces that will give people positive associations with your brand.

Modern co-working spaces like workinc provide an environment that’s fresh, relaxed, and full of the latest tech, so you look and feel the part when presenting or sharing ideas. You can hire desks or private meeting rooms by the day, with no long contracts or commitments to worry about.

Plus you’ll meet like-minded people and expand your network. With perks like unlimited Wi-Fi and 24/7 access so you can clock in and out whenever you like.