As freelancers and creative entrepreneurs, we’re always looking for ways to stay productive.
And usually the solution we’re given is “make a list and stick to it”.
I agree with this idea but it is not the only thing.
In today’s post, you’ll be learning my 7 rules for a productive week which have helped me on my own journey.
If you would like to watch the video, check it out below.
Let’s delve right into the post.
7 (Less Common) Rules for a productive week
Rule number one for me is I need to be realistic.
The truth is that your business is not the only area of your life.
It is an important part of your life, but it’s not the only area of your life.
I think it’s okay to be ambitious with your goals but I also believe in weighing it against everything you have to do in your life.
For instance, I have a 6-year old son.
It makes no sense for me to ignore him to pursue my dreams especially at this young age.
I also have a spouse I need to spend time with.
And then I play a big role in my church.
If I’m not realistic, I will burn myself out and that is counter-productive.
#2-Visualize what it would feel like to accomplish a task/tasks
Rule number two for me is for me to think about or visualize the goals actually being accomplished.
I think about how it will feel once I’m done with the task.
So if I have to write articles for my clients, for instance, I always think, “Wow, if I’m able to finish this I can spend this much time with my son”.
And so in doing this, I associate a positive feeling to the task and it motivates me to knock it out.
#3-Work when you’re at your creative best
So my third rule is to work at a time of the day when I most energetic and most creative. For me most of the time, that is right when I wake up.
No matter who you are, there are times of the day when you are most creative. There are times of the day when you are most energetic.
As a writer, I have to work when I’m most creative. My words flow better and it’s easier for me to knock out a 1000-word blog post in an hour.
If I wait until the day progresses beyond a certain point, I get tired, lose energy and lose the drive to write.
So writing earlier on in the day helps me to have a productive week.
#4-Time blocking is a savior
Although I’m not a time-blocking purist, I use certain concepts from time-blocking to help me be more productive.
During this time, I do nothing but work on a determined task. After that, I give myself a break.
The idea of deep work is one that Cal Newport wrote about and I think if you want to super-productive during the week, deep work-periods of intense work-followed by a break will help you immensely.
Check out the book Deep Work here.
#5-The rule on distractions
Like I was saying earlier, right? No matter who you are, there are times of the day when you are most creative.
There are times of the day when you are most energetic.
And I think that is the time when you should tackle your work and get things done.
I apply this same concept to distractions. I feel its’ unrealistic to say you won’t watch a Netflix show or go on YouTube if these things are habits you enjoy.
Hey, we all need a break!
I do think however that you should limit your distractions during your most creative and energetic periods of your day.
And then indulge them during those periods of the day when you would be relaxing anyway.
#6-Focus on what brings in the money
As a freelancer, video creator and podcaster, there are just so many things I could be doing!
But the reality is that not every activity yields income or brings money into your business.
And you did not start a business to go broke so, for me it’s important to focus on those things that bring in the money.
You get to know those things by auditing all your activities and time.
And typically, you will realize that just a small fraction of your activities is actually bringing any money in.
Once you recognize those activities, you want to double down on those so you can continue to make an income.
Those other activities that are not income-generating? You may not have to cut them out completely but I personally spend less time on those.
#7-You are NOT the Energizer Bunny. You need to relax and recharge.
We’re not Energizer bunnies-we cannot be going all day.
At some point, we need to relax, we need to pull back.
When you’re creative entrepreneur, it’s important for you to be able to do that because your work and your income depends on your mind and creativity.
And so when you don’t take time to relax and recharge and, rebuild those creative juices, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure because eventually you’re going to be burned out.
And that can lead to other things including mental health problems.
And so it’s super important that you relax you recharge you find activities that help you recharge that creativity so that you can continue to be productive.
So those are my seven rules for having a productive week.
Which one of them did you like the most?
Let me know in the comments below.