It is always a struggle to stay productive and keep working during the Winter Holidays. The only thing most people have in mind is relaxing, eating and spending time with their loved ones.
When you are a freelancer though, you may not always have the privilege of taking days off of work. Here are some simple yet efficient tips on how to stay productive during the holidays if you are a freelancer.
Have a plan
Before you even start thinking of how much you will have to do in between family visits and trips, take a few minutes to make a plan and write down everything that needs to be done every week.
Write down the days that you will have a lot to do and make sure that these days are more relaxed than others in terms of work. Try to fit everything into your plan and stick to it. If you know what you’re supposed to do every day, it will be easier for you to keep track of everything and be more productive.
Start by working on things that seem more tedious and difficult and leave all the easier tasks for last. This is a very effective way for a freelancer to stay productive, as everything will seem easier once the hard part of work is done.
Take some time off
Even if you think that you will be able to work all the time during the holidays, that is definitely not the case. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Keep in mind that you always work hard and you deserve some time to rest. If you don’t take at least one or two days off to just relax and do nothing, your productivity will drop and you won’t feel motivated to get back to work.
Get up and away from your laptop and do something that’s not work-related. Invite some friends over, go on a romantic weekend with your significant other or just go shopping; anything that will help you get your mind off of your responsibilities is a good choice.
Also, don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask your employer to give you fewer tasks for a couple of days. You will be a lot more productive after you have rested for a bit and your employer will definitely notice that as well.
Do not procrastinate
One of the biggest problems for freelancers during the holidays is procrastination. There are so many distractions around us that it’s sometimes impossible to keep your mind only on your work.
If you feel like you are starting to procrastinate, take a few minutes off and do something else. As soon as you start working on that first task again, you will find it a lot easier to concentrate and work efficiently.
Procrastinating can actually make you feel very stressed, especially if you have particular deadlines in which you need to finish your work. You might be someone who works well under pressure, but most freelancers will let you know that it is not a good idea to do so during the holidays.
The combination of too much work left for the last minute and the stress that situation causes can truly mess your holidays up and leave you feeling exhausted.
Work early in the morning
It is usually difficult to concentrate on work when everyone in the house in running around, singing and generally having a nice time. If that is a problem for you, you might want to make a small change to your working hours.
Try waking up early in the morning to work. Your family is more likely to be asleep at that time and you will be able to work with far fewer distractions.
On the same note, you can try working late at night. That is a little more difficult during the holidays though, as family members tend to stay up until late, but it can still be a pretty good solution for you.
Most people stay productive only 3-4 hours during a day in the office. If you manage to really focus on your tasks for a few hours in the morning, you can output the same amount as them.
Do your work in a coffee shop
If your house is always full of people and you can never find some time to work without distractions, it might be best for you to find a nice, quiet coffee shop to work in.
Treat yourself to a nice cup of coffee or some hot chocolate and you are bound to find the first step to working in peace. It is not rare to find freelance designers, journalists or best paper writers working on their laptops in Starbucks or other chain coffee shops. It is very likely these are fellow freelancers who enjoy the soft music and need a space to work where they can focus.
Try going around the coffee shops in your area before the holiday season and see which one is the most peaceful for you to go and work in. This will save you a lot of time and frustration when you can simply not concentrate at home and it will help increase your productivity.
Make Sure to always have Wi-Fi access
Another thing you need to do to stay productive during the holidays as a freelancer is to never go anywhere without Wi-Fi. It is very important that you don’t lose a sense of time and forget to get your work done during your deadlines.
If you are somewhere without any internet connection, you won’t be able to check and answer your emails. This will also be a big problem if an emergency comes up and you need to work urgently.
If you are traveling by train or airplane, make sure Wi-Fi is an option. Wi-Fi is usually paid in these cases, and therefore you will be even more productive when trying to get your work done within the time that you have left.
Relaxation Brings Productivity
It’s very easy to lose focus during the holidays. If you manage to put things in order before they start, you will definitely be able to work productively, without any problem.
Every freelancer works long hours and they know that it is essential that they get some rest during the holidays. You will only manage to be productive if you put your work aside for a day or two. So, take the time to enjoy the holidays and get some much-needed rest, and don’t forget to stick to your schedule for the rest of the days!