Do you aspire to be an independent professional freelancing your skills out how, when, and where you choose? Upwork, one of the largest freelancing marketplaces in the world, provides a platform of over three million jobs per year that are collectively valued at over a billion dollars. From writing and editing to graphic design and web development, Upwork is an invaluable portal to help your independent career flourish. While the Upwork platform simplifies the processes of freelancers being connected to great work opportunities, to make any freelancing career work, the freelancer must be on top of their to-do list game.
Your To-Do List Powers Affect Your Freelance Aspirations
To create an excellent reputation and get the best jobs, punctuality and meeting deadlines is a must. Working independently requires skills like prioritizing and organizing to be efficient and effective. Plus, most freelancers typically have a lot of non-work related distractions that can hold them back from powering through their to-do lists and actually being able to enjoy the resulting freedoms of successfully working out of an office as a freelancer should enable.
How To Power Through Your To-Do-List
- Zeigernik Effect
This is a psychological concept of writing things down, not trying to remember everything at once. Incomplete thoughts bounce around in your head in an attempt to help you remember to get them done. As a result, it’s hard to focus on the task being done in the now. Write down everything on your to-do list so that your brain is free to forget about everything but the task at hand.
- Plan At Night To Do In The Morning
You’re at your most productive during those first few working hours. So, make sure that you aren’t using those high-quality hours to plan out your day. Plan your moves for the next day at night, and then start your day with those objectives and tasks.
- Use Only One To-Do List Tool
You might work for Upwork in addition to a regular job, other freelance gigs, and have multiple personal responsibilities shuffled in the daily to-do list mix. If you’re like most, these to-do list objectives are scattered through emails, paper notes, phone calendars, and an array of other sources. This kills your productivity time and allows a lot to slip through the cracks undone. As an Upwork freelancer, you’ll need to demonstrate dependability and organization to get the highest quality jobs. So, transfer all your to-do lists to one place, such as a to-do list mobile app.
- Add Time Slots
When possible, each task should have a time attribute of when you’ll start working on it, during what hours/days you’ll work on it, and approximately how long each task should take. This helps you actually execute and plan your jobs accordingly so that you don’t bite off more than you can chew with Upwork employers.
- Task Priorities
Assign each task a priority. Most days are not going to go exactly as planned. Having a prioritized agenda helps you to be able to ensure deadlines are met, schedules stay on track during the unexpected, and shift gears immediately when urgency levels change.
- The Pareto Principle
This productivity principle says that only about 20% of your activities generate around 80% of your value, meaning that activities not being done regularly are likely not contributing to your productivity. Delete verses reschedule when you find yourself continually delaying a certain low-value activity. This expands the placement for the high-value activities that do add to your productivity.
- Micro-Focus Tasks When Needed
Take on a different perspective for tasks on your to-do list that overwhelm you. Micro-focus the task into a number of smaller, more manageable, sequential steps. Small wins by ticking through the steps keep your momentum flowing and lessen the stress of the big picture. It also helps you to determine deadlines and resources you’ll need. Periodically zoom back out and look at the big picture to ensure each are still contributing to your overall project and broader goals.
- Batch Process
This is a big time and energy saver. It’s a manufacturing tactic that bundles similar work processes together. You can employ it toward your to-do list similarly. Use a tagging tool to assign a tag to each task, and then you’ll be able to use a keyword search to perform similar and reoccurring tasks in the same sitting. You can also use a tagging tool to create an energy level tag – low, medium, or high – so that you can batch work according to your energy levels and how long a task is scheduled to take to complete.
In conclusion, your to-do list isn’t just a random list. It’s the marker for your productivity, success, and reputation. If you’re questioning how to be a great Upwork freelancer, then start with getting your to-do list in good working order.