Freelancing can be fun. Becoming an entrepreneur is even better. As my business grows, I’m being offered different projects with different types of clients. It’s a scary yet exciting time–and because I have to juggle different projects (plus blogging, plus 5 other things I’m working on), I have to up my productivity game.

Typically a night owl, I’m learning my clients are not (because of reasons) so I have to work M-Th to set myself up for my clients. I also have to really learn how to be productive. If you’re in the same boat, here are few things I do:

Write everything down.

No brainer, but I have to make a list of things because if not, I’ll forget and that’s not good. It’s also color-coded in order of importance. I have a slight case of OCD, and that’s for real, not this fly of the night saying to be cute. It really helps me stay organized without going insane (over it. There are other things that will).

Turn off e-mail notifications on your phone/computer and set up times that you’ll check-in.

“But what if I miss something important?” you ask? If it’s super important, they will find a way to get in contact with you. I recently turned off my notification for the weekend and checked in periodically, and you know what? I didn’t have a life or death situation waiting in my inbox. Set aside 3 times a day (for me it’s morning during coffee, after lunch, and after dinner) so that you can respond and be in the loop. I understand not every client may operate that way (I have one now that I have to be in constant contact but I focus only on that client while working on their project), but if you do it, do it.

Power down at least twice a day.

I close all of my Adobe programs after Client 1 and before bed, in which I power down the computer fully. I also put my phone in airplane mode so my alarm clock can sound, but I don’t hear or see any kind of notifications while I slumber. And bonus: I don’t sleep with the phone by my bed. It doesn’t keep me warm at night and your battery can catch on fire.

Wake up at a decent hour to do all the admin stuff and not rush.

I’m learning this more and more I work. I would love to clone myself, but since I can’t, I like that I can get the organizing, invoicing, receipt filing, answering emails, account checking things out of the way so I can get to work on the projects. Most people get in the flow around 10, waking up at 8 (for me) and taking care of things helps. Plus coffee. God bless coffee.

How can taking a break make you productive?

Because your mind gets to rest. Too much overload can slow you down and drain your energy. No Bueno. Take a walk outside, dance break to Beyoncé  (not limited to the “I Woke Up Like Dis” moves in the mirror every morning), check-in with that special person (friend, family member, boo) and breathe. Yoga helps.

Have a time that you wrap up for the day.

Having a time window helps, and if you can swing it, end your workday so that you have time to see other humans or do activities outside your career. Projects happen and you can’t be 100 percent, but it’s nice to be finished and still catch How to Get Away with Murder Thursday nights.

Bonus: I’ve created an “Overflow Day” so I can get caught up on things I’m behind on. This is usually Wednesday night for me.

Have other ways you’re being productive? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time, C