Eisenhower 's "Priority Matrix" can help you prioritize. It is a simple method for organizing your assignments efficiently. The matrix consists of four categories: Do, Plan, Delegate and Drop. All assignments with deadlines fall into the 'Do' category, these take priority over other tasks. For the 'Plan' category, you better have your calendar handy to schedule smaller tasks in between. Sometimes you can be so engrossed in an assignment that you forget to eat, for example. So plan to take a break in the afternoon to unwind and eat. It may sound crazy, but sometimes you need that visual. 'Delegate' is for tasks that seem urgent but are really just time-consuming activities, for example, phone calls to clients. These tasks are best shifted to a quieter time. The 'Drop' category contains all the useless activities that distract you from your work and thus should be avoided.
The biggest trap people fall into is misjudging assignments. Building in a buffer before each assignment can be a first step in the right direction. Besides misjudging assignments, it can also happen that you are just not in the right mood for a while. Therefore, take a margin of about 30% of extra time in order to complete the assignment successfully. By applying this margin and by making any daily schedule, you can clearly see what you have already accomplished and can take a well-deserved break or evening off with confidence.
The freedom of freelancing has the downside that days and work hours are more fluid and you have to decide when you will do what. Even though you can work around the clock as a freelancer, it has repercussions in terms of business and in terms of your overall health. Convert these fluid working hours to set times. By doing so, you stimulate the hippocampus in your brain. This is an important brain area located at the bottom/front of the temporal or sleep lobe that provides better memory and productivity.
So the advantage of freelancing is that you can set your own working hours. Do you prefer to work in the morning and take the afternoon off? Or do you prefer to sleep in and work later? The important thing is that you can stick to your schedule. And this also means daring to say "no" once in a while.
Create a desk space and be consistent with your workspace: don't sleep, eat or watch TV there. When you're at your workstation, you know it's go time. Once you have your desk space, also make sure you are comfortable. Put on easy clothes that will get you into the work mindset quickly.
In addition, co-working spaces are also good for your productivity. You can get creative input from strangers, you get a chance to network and you are not disturbed by chatting colleagues. Organizations such as Workero provide coworking desks, private offices and meeting rooms. Workero is a community of companies that share their office space with you. Try this new trend for yourself!
By applying the above tips, you can make some more time for yourself. An important form of me-time is vacation! Take a vacation or a free weekend in a timely manner. It is important that you do not take any work with you. This way you can clear your head and relax completely.
Here is another short list of things you should definitely not forget so you can enjoy your free time to the fullest without stress: