7 Tips on Increasing Online Productivity

January 27, 2011 on General

Running an online business is an unforgiving task. It takes real discipline for one to succeed. Since you’re pretty much on your own: you set your own hours, create your own rules and at work at your own speed.

In this article we’re going to take a look at 7 tips that can really help you increase your online productivity.

Be Organized

Being organized can always save you some time which is worth big money. Having a good, well-arranged space of work can boost your productivity. A well-written to-do list is good as well because, it’s very good to set some goals that must be achieved during a day, week or even a year! After the completion of that to-do list you could reward yourself, in order to be really pleased for the hard work you’ve done. Along with a nice working place and a to-do list, planning your day, not just working hours is a good method to keep all the things up. Sometimes having an office is a great advantage for your work (good to have one when you’re not living along, but with children, wife, parents), even if you have to pay for it. If you think that you are in need of one, you can find other persons to share the office with, so the price will be less.

Use Tools

Using tools is probably one of the most important details in increasing your online productivity. There are many applications you can use to manage your time like: RescueTime and Kukuklok. But along with time-management applications, there a lot of browser addons, invoicing applications, web tools and different generators that can help you save a lot of time. Even if some of those tools are charging for using them monthly or only a one-time payment, the time you are going to save with this kick-ass applications is going to be worth the amount paid.

Know your Limits

A lot of freelancers are constantly searching for more clients, all under the guise that more business will inevitably lead to more income, more freedom, and more success. By following this method, you are probably going to fail. As this though will bring you a lot of disadvantages, like providing low-quality work and even loosing the most of your clients. You should now your limits and not overload your self with work. Working the whole day and then working on nights also, will is the most important notice that you are following that thought. You should stop that, immediately. Use some time-management applications listed above and create a (not-impossible) to-do list to start working normally, and get pleasure out of the job.

Do the Dreaded Tasks First

There are many opinions from freelancers saying that they they would do the most hard job firstly, in the morning, on a “fresh mind”, and then proceed to the easy job. It’s a good position for your work-flow, and productivity. However, this is just a relative opinion. The best decision for your work flow depends on you, however it is very good to do the hard, and “joyless” job in your “productivity cycle” time. Some people only do their very best work after midnight. Some freelancers to a great job in the morning or after lunch. Find your productivity cycle time, and do the hard job in that interval of time, if possible.

Simplify Stuff, when Possible

Simplifying actions that take some time, and disturb you from your work could be a great productivity improving tip. A nice example would be clients invoicing. You could use some great applications like FreshBooks to invoice your clients and save some time! Protecting yourself from unnecessary calls with a caller ID could also help you save some time. If using a PC, the hibernation method will help you not getting your computer restarted, in this way being concentrated just over your work. Some other tips like ordering food online, not going shopping and also preparing your meals in bulk would help you save some extra time also! Always try to simplify things, but be sure that you will not loose from quality of it.

Stop Being Informed every hour

Most of the world lives on information overload. We must eliminate mindless Internet surfing. Stop reading five different newspapers a day and checking your RSS feeds and e-mail account(s) multiple times a day. Otherwise, you’ll never get anything done. The key is to limit yourself only to information that you can immediately take action on. A well-written to-do list would help you to avoid such time-loosing situations.

Take a Rest

Taking a rest is an important “productivity-increasing” tip which surely has an influence on your freelance job. Rewarding yourself with a month of “take off” after a finishing a big project, that took you a lot of time and many not-sleeping nights is great. After a while of time without work, you’re going to have a “fresh mind” and some great ideas for sure. However, before taking a vacation, you should be sure, that in the respective interval of time, your freelance business will not fail. All of your clients will be using your services after you “come back” and you will not loose the connections you’ve already made.

It’s your Turn

What about you? Do you have some tips that you think improves your efficiency online? Have you noticed a pattern when you start (or stop) doing something that has led to better performance in your online ventures? What about an experimental practice that surprisingly works? Inquiring freelancers are always standing by for good information. Please feel free to comment below:

This has been a guest post by Stelian Subotin. Stelian is a enthusiast and design fan from Republic of Moldova. Right now he is working on his new design-related blog called Rocket Graphics. Visit RocketGraphs or follow his twitter account @rocketgraphs.