The Productivity Hacks That Have Improved My Freelance Business


Recently, I decided to admit that I’m a total scatterbrain. I’m disorganized and my mind is all over the place.

This isn’t the image that most of us have in mind when we think of successful entrepreneurs. Color-coded calendars and offices that look like styled stock photos are everywhere. I wish I could be that person, but unfortunately, I’m not.

The combination of being disorganized and easily distracted leads to a lot of half-cooked projects and unmet goals. I have an idea; I start working on it, I forget what I was doing, I have another idea, I start working on that one… you get the picture.

This year, I set a few goals in January that are likely similar to many of yours: write an eBook, launch an online course, make a million dollars, and so on. But when I did my mid-year review, I realized I hadn’t followed through on any of them. I had notebooks full of ideas, outlines, and plans, but I hadn’t shared anything with the world, which meant that all of my efforts were futile.

So, in order to get more done and be a total boss for the rest of 2019, I’ve tried out a few new productivity hacks and tools.

Task management with Todoist

To-do lists are my obsession. I enjoy the feeling of getting organized with a new list, checking off items as I go, and seeing what remains to be done. The issue is that I’m constantly making new lists. 

To-do lists are a form of procrastination for me because I’m writing what needs to be done on yet another sticky note rather than just doing it.

In other words, I was busy being busy.

While this is still a crutch, Todoist has been extremely helpful. Everything has now been transferred into the app and organized into a single master list with deadlines. It keeps me on track and allows me to see how much work I have coming up.

Creating recurring tasks in Todoist is the feature that I use the most. All of my marketing activities are set up as recurring weekly tasks so that I’m reminded to schedule social media, write a weekly blog post, and even share posts in various Facebook groups I’m a member of.

Since assigning these tasks to myself, I can honestly say that I’ve seen an increase in traffic and engagement. Consistency is important, and Todoist has helped me stay consistent week after week.

I created my Ideal Week

I simply worked on various tasks whenever I felt like it for a long time. This usually resulted in me wondering how I’d accomplished so little by the time Friday rolled around.

Now, I’ve scheduled certain activities for specific times and days in my Google calendar. On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, my primary focus is on client work. Thursdays and Fridays are dedicated to marketing, brand development, and product development.

Essentially, this makes planning my week much easier while also allowing me to get into the mindset required for each type of work without switching every hour.

I review my tasks regularly

Every Sunday morning, I process everything I did throughout the week, and then I do a brain dump of what needs to get done – marketing activities, project milestones, client work, meetings, and so on. Everything is documented.

Next, I categorize these items into groups that correspond to my ideal week schedule. My categories are as follows:

  • Client work
  • brand development & marketing
  • product/service development
  • personal development

The tasks are then assigned to Todoist and given a deadline. Next, I estimate how much time it will take and add it to my calendar. All of that work is now scheduled so that it will be completed!

Every morning, I do a mini version of this in which I add one more category – who do I need to contact today? It gets written down, whether it’s a follow-up with a potential client or collaboration partner, informing a client about a piece ready for review, or simply calling my doctor’s office for an appointment. In my world, if it isn’t written down, it probably won’t get done, so this is extremely useful.

Morning writing ritual

Even though I have two full days set aside for marketing and product development, I’ve discovered that developing a morning writing ritual has been the most beneficial thing I’ve done for my business this year.

I make coffee every morning and sit on my balcony with a pen and notebook. I write for 20 minutes at a time and for several hours at a time. Some days I work on blog content, and other days I work on products like an eBook or an online course. Some days it’s complete garbage that I never use, and other days it’s some of my best work.

I’ve been blogging every week since I started this ritual, which has always been hard for me to do while managing editorial calendars for several clients. I also wrote a draft of an eBook in less than a month, a task I always assumed would require renting a cabin in the woods for an entire week with no distractions.

It’s also a pleasant way to start the day while sipping your first cup of joe.

I’m closer to my goals in one month than I was all year after putting all of these things in place. That just goes to show that even the most disorganized scatterbrains can pull it together and be a boss.

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Hey there!

I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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