Some people are up and working at the crack of dawn, while some like burning the midnight oil. Which group do you belong to? The good news is, that won’t matter if you’re a freelancer. You can either be a morning lark, or a night owl, or somebody in between, because you can choose the work schedule that works best for you.
One of the many perks of freelancing is being able to work whenever you want. Sure, you still have to stick to project timelines or sometimes keep track of your work hours, but, for the most part, you’re not limited to a 9-to-5 schedule. The trick is finding out what the best, most productive work schedule is for you.
Early riser or nocturnal creature?
Do you like getting up with the sun and starting your work early, or is sunset the start of your day? Maybe you’re one of those people who love seeing the sun rise, but just can’t wake up early enough to do it? Studies have shown that night owls, early birds, and those that fall in the middle all have different brain structures. Chances are, if you’re a night owl and you force yourself to wake up way too early in the morning, you’ll have a difficult time concentrating on projects. Likewise, if you’re an early bird, you’ll find yourself lagging on tasks once the clock starts ticking towards midnight.
As a freelancer, you can be productive by staying true to your body clock. Don’t force what doesn’t feel natural – just work with a schedule that’s comfortable for you. Take note of the time you usually wake up and start from there. If it’s a struggle for you to get up at dawn, start your day at dusk. Instead of sitting like a zombie, totally unproductive for a few hours, you’ll have the energy for a fresh start everyday if you don’t force your night owl self to become a morning lark.
Breaks are good for you.
Are there times when you try your hardest to work nonstop for hours, but you find your mind wandering at certain times? According to studies, that’s because your body’s telling you it needs a break. Your performance declines the longer you work, so let your brain rest from time to time. Take a walk, have some coffee, or do something else for a few minutes, and your energy will be back up and running at peak levels in no time.
Find your peak times.
People have their own personal peak times – the parts of the day when energy is high. Organize your work schedule in such a way that you work on your projects during these most important hours.
Do you find yourself feeling sleepy after lunch? If you have flexible work hours, or have the luxury of working from home, then by all means, take a nap! Staring sleepily at your screen won’t be productive anyway. The only thing you have to make sure of is that it really is just a nap and you’re not going to sleep your entire work day away. Feeling sluggish mid-evening? Schedule a coffee break then. You’ll be more productive afterward, when your brain is on top of its game.
Peak times can also equate to quiet times. Some people feel more productivity in peaceful surroundings, and if you’re one of those people, you should adjust your schedule accordingly. If you have kids or a busy house, you may want to work after everyone has left for the day, or gone to bed. If there are things that leave you feeling frazzled during the day, work around those times. It’s up to you to find those pockets of time within your day when you can work without any distractions.
Work with your lifestyle.
Freelancing gives you the freedom to be able to work with your lifestyle, not around it. You can plot your work day according to how you live, so you can be as productive as you can be.
Once you have your work schedule down pat, you’ll find that you have more time and energy for more jobs. Check out the Freelancer job list and start working!