Entrepreneur Tips

The Art of Staying Focused: Tips for the Digital Freelancer Trying to Survive

Sure. Working from home sounds like the perfect lifestyle. Who doesn’t want to stay in their pajamas all day and never have to worry about putting on a tie again? And when you’re a freelancer there are what seem to be an infinite number of temptations that can keep you away from taking care of business. But you’re going to have to learn some self-discipline if you are going to survive in the world of digital marketing.

So what’s the secret to pushing through until the end? As a freelancing Digital Marketing Consultant and business owner, I know firsthand the challenges that come with trying to stay focused and getting a project completed. Luckily, through the years I’ve been able to gather enough experience and tips that I’ll be happily sharing with you on this blog.

Hopefully, they will do you well as you carry along on your adventure into digital marketing.

  1. Remember routine? She still loves you.
  2. Remember that office job you left to become a successful freelancer? And the horror of having to wake up every day at 6:30 in the morning to make it to the office by 7:45?

    Yes, it’s true that one of the “benefits” of freelancing is creating your own work schedule. But without some routine in your life, projects and assignments can start to pile up quickly, which can mean disaster for your reputation and your business. Don’t be a routine-less mess. Give yourself a “proper” work system so that you can stay engaged and focused.

    Also, don’t forget you need to look the role if you’re going to play it. Put on a nice outfit for the day and see if that helps to set you off on the right foot.

  3. Put the iPhone down.
  4. What if I told you I just spent the last 15 minutes scrolling through Twitter? And about 15 minutes before on Snapchat. Oh…and about 10 minutes on Facebook. Doesn’t sound very productive, does it?

    Digital marketing freelancers tend to be up-to-par with all the current tech trends and social media apps, but the only problem with that is these things can quickly become a distraction. Add to that the TV, the Internet, and home chores, and work tasks can quickly take a backseat to “Likes” and filters. It’s essential that when you’re about to work then you legitimately plan for some quiet work time. I’m talking closed doors, phones off (ok they probably won’t but try not to use them unnecessarily), and all distractions removed.

    Of course, this is ideal and sometimes a home setting doesn’t provide you these privileges. Consider a change of setting. Some time at your local coffeehouse can do wonders.

  5. “Action expresses priority.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  6. In order to be a successful digital marketing freelancer, you have to be able to prioritize assignments and tasks. You can do this either the old fashion way with a calendar or planner, or with a computer, smartphone, or tablet, which all work perfectly fine. There’s even online software that you can use to help you prioritize.

    By quickly and efficiently organizing work tasks, you’ll be able to manage your time – and hopefully – complete assignments in a prompt manner. Remember, even as a freelancer, you can still be constrained by the timelines of your clients. Do yourself and your business the favor and stick to them.

  7. “Relax, go to it…”
  8. To the outsider, freelancing seems like the perfect job. I mean…you are your own boss. Who wouldn’t love that?

    But the truth for many freelancers is that the line between work and play often begins to merge into one fuzzy reality in which getting away for a breather just never happens. We’re all humans (right?) and not autonomous robots meant to function 24 hours a day. Sometimes you need to recharge your battery and give yourself a mental reboot.

    Try to plan vacations, and include them in your calendar at the start of the year, so that you can inform clients of when you’ll be taking a break and for how long.

  9. A little face to face time is vital.
  10. it’s important for digital marketing freelancers to recognize that bad routines can develop very easily if you’re not being careful. Strictly speaking to clients through email is a bad habit that you’ll want to break. When the opportunity arises to touch base with them, then try and set up a little bit of face time to get out of that solitary rut.

    Of course, a physical meeting might not be doable, but there’s always Facetime, Google Hangouts, Skype, and a variety of visual and audio applications that perform effectively in these scenarios. It’s beneficial for both you and the client to schedule a call or meeting so that you can talk about the project, how far you’ve progressed, and to also get some feedback.

    Showing the client that you actually care about their input can help you to re-establish that connection and reinforce their interest in utilizing your business and skills.

  11. Be real, real.
  12. If you need any serious motivation to stay focused and get your work done, then just think about losing some of your recurring monthly projects. A long-term freelance project can mean a consistent income for you (and your family), but being a bit too disengaged or setting these assignments on the back burner can ultimately harm your business and your finances.

    Sure this can be a scary thought, but sometimes you need a little fire under your feet to push you on and upwards. Whether web design, content creation, website maintenance, social media marketing, or graphic designing, consistency from month to month is a wonderful thing.  Do you really want to lose that?

  13. 7. [Enter inspirational quote here.]
  14. Yes, you read that right. There’s nothing worse than a cliché to express a truth so let’s just be honest.  Freelancing can be everything you ever wanted and more than you ever expected. It’s an everyday battle that can mean meeting deadlines by working through the night – for the whole week.

    But this is your career. Your life. There’s a reason why you chose this route, and though sometimes it may get hidden in all the muck and dirt that life brings, that creative spark is alive somewhere in all the craziness of work. Don’t forget why you got into the amazing world of digital marketing.

And don’t forget to continue visiting me here at my website for all things digital marketing and entrepreneurship.

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