The freelancing market has provided opportunities that can help us have work-life balance. You can now work from anywhere you want and have more time for the things that matter the most. It might be more time for your family, your passion projects, travels, and more! Name it — the options are endless.
But the options you have are directly proportional to the productivity you can deliver. The problem is, we are faced with too many distractions in this world. Why are we distracted? And how do we limit distractions to get more productivity?
How Our Brains Work
It all starts with how our brain works. Based on research from Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley, our brains focus on “bursts of attention” rather than a continuous flow. Think about it like a video. A video is a set of photographs stitched together to produce a motion picture.
In terms of numbers, our brain scans the most important thing to do for around 4 times per second. Usually, it deems the things that are immediately pleasurable or life-threatening more important over the rest.
So in a span of 45 minute focus times, you are essentially combining 4 times per second in a span of 45 minutes.
This is because of how we protect ourselves from olden times. Back then, there might be a predator or some natural disaster looming around us. One simple mistake might cause you and your family’s lives.
It’s still useful today to avoid accident-prone situations like safely avoiding fast cars on the road or stopping us from touching a blazing-up oven (based on actual experience). But this overly sensitive scanning is not helpful when we want to focus on important tasks.
The question is, how do we limit these distractions from ruining our freelancing careers?
Take the Source Of Distraction Out of Sight
Our willpower is not enough to stop us from getting distracted. When the object of distraction is right in front of us, we can only do so much.
Knowing this, why not just take out the object away from our sight? If you are distracted with your phone, put it in another room.
You can also use the Pomodoro method to trick your brain into doing your tasks well. With this, our brains won’t scan anything else more important than the task we are doing now.
Change the Environment
What if your environment is the cause of distractions? For example, you are working in your living room with the TV at full blast, or maybe you are in a place near a construction site?
You can’t really take them all out. Why not transfer and have a change of environment? There are plenty of places you can find to have that productivity boost. Armed with your highly mobile laptops, you can work in cafes or coworking spaces that are quiet enough for productivity.
Know yourself and your productivity requirements and be creative in finding the best places to work in.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Maybe, you haven’t declared a dedicated workspace for your freelancing career. If you have an extra room or space that’s quiet enough, why not make it your dedicated workspace?
When you see your bedroom, you associate it with sleep. Similarly, you associate your workspace with productivity.
Distracting Parenting Duties
When your distractions are your kids, you don’t actually want them gone in your lives. But they can be really a pain in the ****. Luckily, there are ways to balance your freelancing career while parenting.
Check out this guide for creative tips to handle your naughty kids.
Distractions are certainly a major problem in our freelancing productivity. But with the proper tools and mindset, you can do your tasks well to achieve your goals! Good luck!