Productivity Tips from the Upwork Community: How to Thrive as an Upwork Freelancer

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The best thing that remote workers can do if they want to leave traditional employment behind is to join Upwork or another talent-matching platform. A lot of them do. But few freelancers make it through the first few years without burning out unless they know how to balance hustle with self-care. Here are a few productivity tips that are guaranteed to increase the lifespan of your freelance career.

#1 Get Motivated

If you ask successful members of the Upwork Community what helps them thrive, one of the most common answers you’ll find is knowing what they’re working for. The same is true for freelancers for hire from SkillHub and other up-and-coming freelance platforms. The key to staying productive is finding your source of motivation, be it money or love for what you do. So please take a moment to consider what about your work matters the most to you and prioritize it.

#2 Take care of your work-life balance

People who’ve never worked remotely, especially freelancers, believe that freelancing is all about freedom. But those who have know that that’s not always the case. Having Upwork as your job can be liberating and enjoyable. But sometimes, everyone gets a demanding customer triple-texting them in the middle of the night.

To avoid making work your life, set boundaries. Remember that you’re an expert and deserve clients’ respect. So unless the project deadline is looming, don’t be afraid to take a weekend off and stay off Upwork altogether. And try to set at least a semblance of working hours and stick to them so that work doesn’t take up your entire day.

#3 Use Upwork Community discussions to ask questions and find support

Whether you work on Upwork or Zety resume any other online platform for the global talent pool, you have access to members’ forums. No one can understand the struggles of a freelance professional better than the people you’ll find there. So don’t neglect the support and advice the Upwork Community has to offer. Enter discussions and post questions to learn all the tips and tricks to help you thrive.

#4 Don’t neglect your sleep and physical health

This one’s especially relevant for newer members of the freelance community. When an expert is only starting remote work, they want to have everything at once. To achieve their goals as soon as possible, they tend to neglect their work-life balance and basic survival rules.

Haven’t slept more than 5 hours a night for a month? Can’t remember the last time you’ve been in the park or eaten anything other than Chinese takeout? You are headed straight for burnout and need to change your approach to remote work immediately. The non-stop freelance hustle isn’t sustainable in the long run.

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#5 Find the productivity app that works for you

If you struggle with procrastination, research the market of productivity apps and consider making one of them part of your work routine. They’ll help you stay productive during your business hours yet also take care of your rest and work-life balance. Here are some of the best options you should try:

  • Todoist. Great for making to-do lists and actually sticking to them.
  • Be Focused. Perfect for learning how to avoid being distracted while working.
  • A worthy alternative to Todoist.
  • Habitica. The best choice for everyone who wants to improve the quality of their life and develop new, healthier habits.
  • Forest. A lovely app for tuning out distractions, especially for people who enjoy gamified content.

You can also use a few of these apps at the same time. For example, Forest and Todoist are a great combo. One helps you stay focused, while the other makes keeping track of your tasks easier.

#6 Set goals

You probably already know that goal setting is key to productivity if you read or listen to researchers and successful speakers from top agencies. Goal setting is great for motivation and focus. And it’s the best anti-procrastination strategy ever.

But make sure you set the right goals. For example, earning an x amount of money a month may be an okay goal, but it’s not too specific. Treat goal setting like you would with manifestation: be as thorough, optimistic, and detailed as possible. Then you’ll get exactly what you’re hoping for (with enough hard work).

#7 Freelancers deserve vacations too, so take breaks

Finally, don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking that being a freelance talent means working from everywhere all the time. Sure the digital nomad lifestyle is exciting, but it’s not the same as actually taking a vacation. Take a week or more off at least every six months to avoid burning out and staying in love with what you do for decades to come.

In conclusion

As you can see, one of the main strategies for being productive as a freelance worker is to know when to stop working. Taking breaks, prioritizing your work-life balance, and taking care of your physical and mental health creates the right foundation for your success in remote work—productivity apps, goal setting, and the Upwork Community’s support help.

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