FREELANCE NOTES | VOL. 4 EVERYDAY WORKING TIPS

Si miro hacía atrás, seguramente el yo del presente se avergonzaría de algunos de mis antiguos hábitos laborales. Hay algunas técnicas que he ido perfeccionando  y me doy cuenta de que me ayudan a sacarle más provecho a mi jornada laboral. Son cosas muy fáciles de llevar a cabo, tal vez a mí como freelancer me funcionen y no significa que a ti también, pero siempre viene bien intentar algo nuevo desde el escritorio o adaptarlo a tu rutina./ If I look back, I’d surely be ashamed of some of my old working tips or habits. There are some techniques that I have been perfecting and I realize that they help me get more out of my workday. These are very easy working tips to follow, maybe they work for me as a freelancer and it doesn’t mean that they work for you too, but it’s always good to try something new from the desktop or adapt it to your routine.

✏️ WORKING TIPS FOR PRODUCTIVITY 📝

1. Contestar el mail en el momento correcto ✉️ / Replying to emails at the right time ✉️

Solía empezar mis mañanas contestando todos los mails y dejando mi bandeja de entrada a cero. Pero descubrí que así dejaba mi tiempo a merced del resto de la gente y recibía mensajes constantes durante el resto de la mañana, distrayéndome. Priorizar y ver el mail decidiendo que es lo más importante puede ser una buena opción, y después guardar un momento a mitad de la jornada para contestar el resto de mensajes./ I used to start my mornings replying to all the emails and leaving my inbox to zero. But I found that this left my time at the mercy of other people and received constant messages for the rest of the morning, distracting me. Prioritizing and viewing the mail deciding what is most important can be a good option, and then save a moment in the middle of the day to answer the rest of the messages.

2. Aprovechar las horas más productivas ⏲ / Take advantage of your most productiva hours

Hace algunos meses vi en Youtube un video llamado “Así debes estructurar tu día según la ciencia” sobre productividad y ritmos circadianos. Básicamente habla sobre aprovechar las horas más productivas, que pueden variar dependiendo de cada persona, pero que la ciencia suele marcar como 10 am a 3 pm como el tiempo de mayor capacidad de concentración. Estoy intentando seguir esta regla, aunque a veces los dramas se atraviesan y la vida se hace bolas. Identifica tus horas más productivas e intenta hacer en este tiempo las actividades que requieran un poco más de concentración./ A few months ago I watched a video on YouTube called «This is how you should structure your day according to science» about productivity and circadian rhythms. Basically it talks about taking advantage of the most productive hours, which can vary depending on each person, but science usually marks 10 am to 3 pm as the time of greatest ability to concentrate. I’ve added this to my working tips, although sometimes dramas get in the way and life falls apart. Identify your most productive hours and try to do the activities that require a little more concentration during this time.

✸ 3. La regla de las 3 tareas / The 3 tasks rule

No hacer más de 3 tareas importantes por día. En mis primeros años como freelance intentaba llenar mi agenda con miles de tareas de diferentes categorías, poco después empecé a seguir la regla de intentar no hacer más de 3 tareas importantes en la jornada, para así tener una mayor concentración por bloques./ Probably one of my favorite working tips: don’t do more than 3 important tasks per day. In my first years as a freelancer, I tried to fill my schedule with thousands of tasks from different categories, shortly after I began to follow the rule of trying not to do more than 3 important tasks in the day, in order to have a greater concentration by blocks.

🛌 4. Separar las áreas / Separate the areas 🛋

Esto tal vez esté enfocado mucho más al freelancer, pero hacer una división de los lugares de descanso y de los lugares de trabajo me ha ayudado a no volverme loco. ¿El coffee break? En un lugar diferente al escritorio. ¿Un momento para ver Instagram o leer con un snack? Vamos al sofá o a la mesa del comedor./ This is perhaps on my specific list “working tips for freelancer”, but dividing the places of rest and the places of work has helped me not to go crazy. Coffee break? In a different place, not at the desktop. A moment to check Instagram or read with a snack? I’ll go to the sofa or the dining room table.

📝 5. El truco del Post-It / The Post-It Trick 📝

Probablemente considere a los post-it (después de mi laptop) mi mejor herramienta de trabajo. En serio, si me quieres regalar alguna herramienta útil, puedes llegar con un paquete de post-its y me harás muy feliz. Hace poco aprendí una técnica en Youtube para evitar agobiarse con la lista de tareas. Consiste en dejar un post it a la vista únicamente con la tarea que estemos haciendo en ese momento y así enfocarnos solamente en ella y no en un tornado de pendientes./ I probably consider post-its (after my laptop) my best work tool. Seriously, if you want to give me some useful tool, you can come with a pack of post-its and you’ll make me very happy. I recently found aYoutube video with working tips. It consists of leaving a single with the task that we are doing at that moment and thus focus only on it, without getting overwhelmed with a big to-do list.

¿Has probado alguno de estos tips? Me encantaría saber alguno más para añadir a mi colección de herramientas de trabajo./ Have you tried any of these working tips? I would love to know some more to add to my collection of work tools.

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  • Great tips as always Pablo. I absolutely love your freelancer tips. I rotate between freelancing and regular employment a lot, so I find them super helpful.
    Is there an invoice company you could recommend. Could I email you about some invoice questions I have?

  • Great tips as always Pablo. I absolutely love your freelancer tips. I rotate between freelancing and regular employment a lot, so I find them super helpful.
    Is there an invoice company you could recommend. Could I email you about some invoice questions I have?
    Have a great day!!!

  • Great tips as always Pablo. I absolutely love your freelancer tips. I rotate between freelancing and regular employment a lot, so I find them super helpful.
    Is there an invoice company you could recommend. Could I email you about some invoice questions I have?
    Have a great day!!!

  • Hola Pablo! How’s going the summer in Barcelona?
    Hope that is not as hot & wet as here, i’ts bloody hot and it’s still june,,, well, at least you’ve got the beach close to the city (here too, to be honest, you can reach the beach pretty easily – it’s less than30 km from Rome- but, believe me, your sea is waaaaaay better).
    Anyway this year seems that we can have a pretty (c*vid)free summer, so I’ve got good expectations for the next months despite the heat! Guess it’s almost the same at your place isn’t it?

    But let’s pass the the topic of the day.
    First of all: GREAT ILLUSTRATIONS! Really, the first 2 are masterpieces: on the top of my faves ever!
    You were always been very good at it, but you’re beoming better and better all the time! I really can’t believe it: how much talent you’ve got???
    Then, about the post: as freelance I’ve met the same difficults as you, but, to be honest, I’ve always quickly found a way to manage my time and resources at best.
    Guess is basically a matter of personality: I’m a pretty precise and organized person (even if not ever and in every field), so I naturally tend to create routines and habits that fit everuthing, as it’s possible.
    Of coourse it doesn’t work everytime and sometimes its frustrating not being able to keep up with everything, but I think that really experience plays a huge role in it.
    As you’ve said, you have to find you own best routine (for ex. I’m more productive from late morning, so, I generally spend my mornings working out) and the right tricks that can really help you.
    I’ve had to front the same problem with mails, for ex. and now I check them 2 times a day, in the morning and in the evening and stop.
    And really even the trick of post-its help a lot: I’veeven created a little board just for them and its super helpful to me to not forget anything and keep everything organized!

    Super interesting and useful article, my friend!
    And thanx for your comments on my posts, they’re always brilliant and very inspiring to me!
    Baci! XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

  • I am not surprised that 10:am and 3:PM are the most productive times. That is generally the hours I work both at home and at work. I work of course more than that but these are the core hours. But did not know about the 3 tasks. But I don’t generally do more than this lol. I learned how to be disciplined in school and it really helped.

    PS: I am going to be in Paris from Sep 22nd to the 30th if you happen to be visiting too.

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

  • Hey Pablo,

    I hope all is well across in Bar-ce-lo-naaaa : )
    I absolutely love these freelancing tips. I have never heard of the 3 task rule but I am going to try this. Just the thought of this technique makes my mind feel lighter already. Also the 10am to 3pm productive work schedule sounds like it would be very productive. I just need to update my brain with this info, as I work from 8am to whenever, usually burning myself out, lol. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week : )

    juanitalikes.com

  • These are all very good tips, imo. It may seem odd, but there are similarities between a freelancer and being retired. Although a retired person is not structuring their day to make a living, unless that person is a couch potato, it’s easy to take on too many tasks, start too many new projects, and fail to take a break. For me, my issue is not email, but social media. I’ve had to learn to limit my time there as it can suck down precious time and energy. And due to the fibromyalgia, breaks are crucial. They can be the difference between being functional and well, not.

    Great post Pablo!

  • Pablo, these are such helpful and practical tips and you always create the most pleasing visuals to accompany your posts. I’ve been freelancing for years and I try to follow most of these. Taking advantage of your most productive hours is an important one and I make sure to block out certain times of the day to dedicate towards work that I keep free from distractions. Doing this really helps me to stay focused and usually gets me through my tasks quicker as well. I didn’t used to be so good about separating areas for work and rest but now that my husband has been working from home more regularly, we make an effort to take our meals and breaks away from our work area. Sometimes we take impromptu dance breaks as well which just add a little joy to the day ;p