Survival Skills for Freelancers Jan 22

Driven to distraction? One tasty tip to help you avoid procrastination
By Sarah Townsend

Working from home sounds great, doesn’t it? With no office politics to worry about or difficult boss to please, you get to do things your way – working when, where and how you want, and saving on commuting and travel into the bargain.

What’s not to love?!

But while there are definite advantages of remote working, there are distinct downsides, too – and dealing with distractions is just one of them.

If you often get to 5pm and find yourself wondering where the day went, this productivity tip will help you stay on track.

Manage your time… with a tomato?!

It’s a lot easier to focus when you feel in control of your time. One popular, tried and tested productivity hack is the Pomodoro Technique. It’s named after the Italian for tomato – remember those tomato-shaped kitchen timers? – though there are many dedicated apps that work just as well (I use one called Focus Keeper).

Start by switching off those annoying pop-up notifications on your phone and computer, set your timer (or app) for 25 minutes and focus completely and utterly on the task at hand. No distractions!

When the timer goes off, take a five-minute break. Step away from your desk, make yourself a drink or do a few simple stretches – whatever helps you relax. Repeat four times – taking a longer break after the fourth timed stint – and you’ll power through your to do list in no time.

(Pro tip: use your breaks to tackle household chores. It’s amazing how much you can achieve in just five minutes when you set your mind to it. I unload or reload my dishwasher or stick on a wash while I wait for the kettle to boil!)

Once the break is up, return to the task refreshed and ready to refocus.

Sarah Townsend

Want more?

You’ll find tons more practical advice and tips in my bestselling guide to self-employment, Survival Skills for Freelancers.

Dealing with everything from setting boundaries and knowing what to charge to eliminating imposter syndrome and tackling loneliness, it’s helped people in 20+ countries grow in confidence, avoid overwhelm and become more successful. It’s on sale on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and audiobook – or you can download a FREE chapter at survivalskillsforfreelancers.com

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