Are You a Freelance Developer? Here’s How to Stay Productive…

Set Regular Work Hours

One of the joys of working on a freelance basis is the freedom. People that work 9–5 jobs of their freelancer friends with envy. They imagine their remote working counterparts serenely whirring up their machines at around 10, after a lie-in, or finishing early on a Tuesday to get a few hours gaming in or grab a beer.

Schedule Your Day

Being busy is a sure sign that you are making a success of freelance development. Of course, being pushed for time is also a risk to your business. You may have the skills, determination and attitude needed to make it, but the day will come when there is more to do than can be reasonably held in one person’s head!

Consider the Pomodoro Technique

Get up, log on, and work as hard as you can for as long as you can. Sound familiar? This is the approach most developers have to work. And there is something to be said for it, there must be, or the internet wouldn’t be a thing!

  • Pick a task to work on
  • Set a timer for 25 mins
  • Start working, and don’t stop until…
  • The buzzer sounds, then take a 5 minute break
  • Repeat
  • After four repeats, take a 25–30 min break
  • Repeat as needed!

Plan Regular Digital Detoxes

This is a rather grandiose way of saying, stop looking at screens for a few hours. Too often, we log out of work and log into social media feeds, toxic news stories and clickbait tunnels. For a developer who is already spending a disproportionate amount of time living in a digital reality, switching off is essential- not only for productivity, but for your wellbeing.

Know Your Goals

In a way, this is the most important of all. I am not talking about productivity goals, I am talking about life goals. Maybe you want to retire when you’re 45, buy a campervan and drive across Europe. Maybe you want to send your kid to private school, or are just paying the bills while you develop the next big thing in mobile gaming. Without a true, meaningful purpose you will struggle to stay productive even if you are the most organised person on the planet!

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