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A Dull, Simple, Easy System For Freelancers To Stay Focused Each Day

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Staying focused as a freelancer is tough. The only constant in your life is change. Even with ongoing clients, you’ll rarely have two identical days. Then you realize perhaps the most daunting thing of all: as a freelancer, you are every role. You’re the CEO, head of sales, head of delivery, head of accounts payable and receivable, and more. With all that, it’s no wonder that having to be a master of all trades is one of the top challenges freelancers face . The solution is not to run through complicated programs or simply ‘hustle’ through it. Instead, freelancers should build a system that is so boring it forces you to be productive without even trying. I mean it. Boring works, if you let it. Here’s the dull, simple, easy system I built for myself as a freelancer. It’s helped me be more productive, focus on key work each day, and improve the profitability of my business significantly. Distractions galore There are a lot of pitfalls to freelancing . But even when you overcome them (or avoid them), the distractions just keep coming. In a given day, you may have to: Take a sales call. Work on a client project. Respond to a client email or help request. Post on social media. Write your own blog. Write a guest blog. Do an interview. Send an invoice. Deal with your banking. Deal with your website crashing. Try some conversion optimization tactics. … and more. The problem is not the number of tasks. It’s that there’s no consistency. Your site doesn’t crash every day (hopefully). You likely won’t have a sales call every day (though it’s amazing if you do). Even if you have calls every day, each call is likely to require different preparation. You will probably have client work to do every day, but each client is slightly different. So the challenge is finding a high level framework that encapsulates all possible tasks, so you can use the same system every day. That’s a tall order. The risks and complicating factors When distractions take hold, two bad things happen to you and your business: You have business risk. You have personal risk. Business risk: poor quality and lack of delivery Simply put: if you’re distracted, you’re getting less done. That could manifest as delivering lower quality work to clients, which could harm your business. Or it could mean you forget to send a sales follow up and lose a deal. It could mean a variety of things, but the net result is a risk to your business’ future success. In one survey about the most common mistakes freelancers make , the top four were: sending late invoices, not signing a contract before starting work, not following up on late invoices, and not withholding money for taxes. All of these are simple administrative things that are easy to forget when you get distracted. Unfortunately, these are also some of the most critical parts of running a business. Outside of the […]

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