In freelance work, a high number of projects, and therefore augmented income, can be directly linked to increased productivity. Smart work on your part means finishing tasks with the minimum amount of time required, allowing you to take on more and more projects.
How can you increase your productivity and maximize performance? Scientists and researchers the world over have studied and confirmed these applied science hacks:
- The Ultradian Rhythm. This theory postulates that our brains can focus on a single thing for a maximum of 90 minutes. This means that we have to take short breaks throughout the day in order to maximize your efforts. Take 5-11 minutes off for a break after 20-30 working minutes, and manage your time with methods that work best for you, such as the Pomodoro technique.
- Sleep more and wake up early. Tuck in early and get the most out of your sleep. In a health study conducted by Harvard, they found out that reduced or inefficient sleep is the key factor to lowered productivity rates. Workers who lack sleep are also prone to increased errors and lower levels of efficiency. Not getting enough sleep slows down the brain and inhibits thought processes. Experienced freelancers also note that instead of making their day longer by extending work hours, they start the day early and take advantage of the quiet surroundings in order to focus and concentrate on their work.
- The 7-minute exercise. According to the University of Essex, studies that covered the influence of exercise found out that “acute changes in the mood are generally maintained for 2-4 hours post exercise”. To help freelancers balance their free time with leisure breaks and exercise, the New York Times has come up with the Scientific 7-Minute Exercise routine.
- Play your favorite tracks. In a University of Ottawa study, they mapped out the effects of music on overall performance. Participants who listened to music while working were in a better mood and finished their tasks in the minimum amount of time. Not only that, but they could take on more creative work.
- Let deadlines work for you. According to Dan Ariely and his associates, having deadlines doesn’t necessarily mean rushing; rather, view deadlines as a way for you to set milestones, check progress, and exercise self-discipline.
- Touch typing is the key. Those drills you did in school where you had to memorize each key and strokes for each corresponding finger? They will definitely help make you more productive. According to A Year of Productivity, touch typing can double your words per minute typed and decrease the time required to finish your work if you spend your day on the computer.
- Kawaii = productivity. Yep, researchers already know that much of your time you Google cute, furry, big-eyed creatures; they also empathize with you when you check out images of little bundles of joy. In a study by the University of Hiroshima published online, the ‘aww’ factor that you feel when you see those cute animals translates to a lasered focus and increased concentration, making you more attentive and careful when doing tasks.