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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Procrastination - the devil’s word. It stalks us while we work, creeping around the office like a thief in the night, waiting to strike when we’re at our most vulnerable. It hides by the water cooler, in the staff room, even in the darkest depths of the stationary cupboard. It’s staring at you right now.
Companies all over the world spend huge amounts of money providing productivity training for staff for this precise reason. No matter how interesting your job, from brewing your own beer to feeding the animals at the zoo, boredom will settle in, and it will eat you.

You won’t admit it, none of us do, but distractions make the world go round. When it comes to spending all day in a middle-aged office, with middle-aged people, typing away at their middle-age problems, distractions are seized upon like a 2-4-1 offer at Dominos.
Highly demanding roles, like working as a contractor in an accountancy firm or corporate executives running a business, productivity is the key to success. Quality and quantity must work in tune to allow a business to expand and generate income.
But what if the only productivity training you have access to is a walk around the house or a brief catch up with Jeremy Kyle? Freelancers and other self-employed people working from the confines of their home notoriously struggle with productivity, surrounded by the very things they use to unwind at the end of a busy day.
Well, it’s time to put a stop to all the channel flicking and Facebook stalking. As you wander into the office for another day of freelance bliss, here’s a few tip on how to combat distractions and focus on the tasks at hand.

Stop Doing So Much

Firstly, stop multi-tasking. Moving from task to task in a short space of time just doesn’t work and you’ll be stuck in the productivity trap. Instead, break down your work into smaller and more manageable jobs, and accomplish them one by one.

Crack the Whip

Let loose the dictator in you and eliminate those infidel distractions! Turn off your phone, turn down the music and open up the windows to get some fresh air in. If you don’t need the internet, disconnect. American users spent a combined total of 53.5 billion minutes on Facebook during May 2011. Enough with the tweeting and the statuses, there’s work to be done.


Make your freelance tasks the top priority. Clients expect timely submission to deadlines, so unless you want to reduce your clientele and greatly reduce the flow of money coming your way, place low priority tasks last.

Limit Exposure

Reduce your e-mail exposure by only checking it 2-3 times a day. Having it constantly open wastes time and you’ll end up replying to low priority clients instead of focusing on high priority money makers. Use your phone to reply to e-mails if it’s important.

Take Breaks

Work within hour intervals. Productivity levels decrease once you’ve spent more than 90 minutes on a single task, so take a break, have a walk around, have a snack, and recharge.

About the Author:

Robert is a business and finance blogger who has a keen interest in freelance careers and working as a self-employed professional. Currently, Robert is writing for contractor accountant specialists Brookson.

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