Who doesn’t want a shorter workweek? As part-time workers and 4-day work weeks become more and more popular, we’re seeing an exciting shift worldwide.
“Work less, live more”
An anthem a lot of people dream of, but how to actually achieve this?
Working less is not only great for your social life but there are also studies that prove that productivity per hour takes a deep dive when you work long hours.
If you’re overworked, you’re likely fatigued and low on energy. By working on shorter sprints of time, you make sure your brain is fresh and fully focused on the task ahead of you.
And when you’re a freelancer or a business owner, how productive you reflect directly on how much money you make.
The best way to increase your productivity is to work on improving your time management. How many times have you found yourself drifting off and spending a good part of an hour doing meaningless work or scrolling on social media?
Let’s chat a little about some time management techniques that’ll set you up for success when trying to work less!
This may sound a bit weird and it’s not super obvious for everyone, but we all have a time of the day when we’re more productive.
And the first step to better managing your time is to identify when that is and organize your work schedule around this.
Pay attention and maybe even do some tests - does workflow better when you wake up early and get a lot done before others wake up? Or do you like to take mornings slowly and work late when you have more peace and quiet?
Whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening, when you know your most productive time of the day, you can block that for some undistracted deep work.
Have you ever found yourself in back-to-back meetings that take the most part of your day? If so, there may be days when you feel like you barely left the phone and got nothing really done.
Make sure you are not available all the time, and a good way to better control this is to only take calls on specific days of the week. Of course, you can be flexible with this if you ever have to, but it’s definitely a good idea to take better control of your schedule.
Do you have different tasks on the same topic? Figure out the best workflow for your recurring tasks, and group them whenever possible.
For example, if you need to write a blog post and an email that more or less talks about the same topic, do them both together. This means all the information you need will be fresh in your brain, and it’ll save you some time.
It’s so easy to get distracted nowadays. A WhatsApp message, a new comment on your social media, a new notification that just pops up.
Getting in the zone to work deep can take some time, but getting out of it can be a matter of seconds.
So set yourself up for success:
By streamlining your processes you’ll not only get better organized and have a “big picture” visualization of your workflow, but it’ll also make your life way easier when you decide to expand.
If your systems are in place, training new team members or subcontracting work will be way less complicated. Automate as much as you can, and if you have questions from clients or co-workers that regularly come up, you can make a “guide” or even a loom video going through it.
Looking at a never-ending to-do list, or that one project that’ll probably take you loads of time to complete may feel overwhelming. So you’ll probably keep coming up with excuses and putting it off for as long as you can.
If that’s the case, it may be a good idea to only work on it for a set period of time in a day. That’ll make it way less daunting, and you’ll also make sure it gets 30 min or 1 hour of your undivided attention.
There are some amazing tools out there to help you better manage your time. In fact, there are so many that it may be hard to choose.
Here are some of my favorite tools to keep work organized and make sure I’m on top of everything.
Google Drive is the number one tool we use in our business. It’s super easy to organize things in folders and have multiple people accessing them.
It’s also amazing for client work, as you and your client can easily share assets.
Slack is a chat platform and it’s a great communication tool for your team. You can create different workspaces and channels within the workspace - super handy to keep the chat organized and easily find information if you need to.
Alternatives: Discord or Microsoft Teams
ClickUp is a project management system and it’s great to keep everything organized and don’t miss any deadlines.
Alternatives: Monday, Asana, or Trello
Evernote is a simple digital note-taking app and it’s great for general to-do lists, or to note that random idea that doesn’t really fit anywhere yet.
Alternatives: Microsoft OneNote
Clockify is a time tracking app, where you can organize by client and project. It’s great if you work hourly, or simply want to track how long each task takes you.
As a freelancer, you may often associate time with money. The more you work, the more you make. This can be true a lot of the time, especially if you work hourly and don’t have a recurring revenue strategy in place.
But it doesn’t have to be the case. It is actually not sustainable to do that, and if you want to grow, you need to focus on freeing up your time.
That may mean growing your team, hiring a virtual assistant, or outsourcing part of your work.
Or maybe you simply want to have a shorter work-week, but keep the revenue you have at the moment.
So how to earn more as a freelancer? By offering high-end services. And a great way to double or even triple your prices is to offer VIP days.
The whole concept of VIP days is reversed from what we’d usually think. You’ll be charging more by delivering your services faster.
Time is precious, and if you can streamline your processes properly, you can offer services that can be done in one day.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a simple service you’ll be able to offer overnight. It takes time, experience, and planning. Here are some examples of services you can look into delivering in one day:
All of them can be set up in a day, as long as you know your tool of choice very well and have everything you need. The actual build will be in a day, but you still need to communicate with your client and organize everything beforehand.
If you’re not there yet, you can still offer this for admin work. Your client can give you a list of things that need to be done and you can go through them on a workday.
People pay more to get things done fast, so VIP days are a genius service to offer.
It’s totally possible to make more money while working less, but it does take some organization.
Hope this article helps you with your work-life balance! And if your dream is an 8-hour work week, we have the perfect learning path for you! Check out more information on our FREE Catalogue.