The Productivity Tactic I Learned From Freelancers


I recently read productivity tips are kind of overrated. The author suggested that productive is deeply personal so while I may be my best at 5am my bestie might be able to crank through her work after I’m in bed for the night.

So I silently committed to refraining from sharing productivity tips but then last week I ended my week feeling the most productive I’ve felt in ages so like parenting I can offer my experience with the heavy caveat that what works for me might not for you.

When I had Lyla I knew I wanted to keep Mother Untitled going and growing so I brought on a freelance content manager to help with our third party contributors. She’s since become a dear friend and also writes here about her experience being a new mother. And she’s taught me a lot about organization. One thing I’ve observed her doing is batch work on her clients. So she pounds through MU to’dos in a chunk of time on select days of the week.

Now I didn’t think much of it until the end of last week when I was contemplating why I had finally gotten through a chunk of work of my own that’s been sitting on my own to do for quite a while. The roadblock for a while had been strategic. Once I’d overcome all the decision making disorder I’d had about this particular underttaking the only thing left was actually starting. So finally I wrote it down.

I talked about small goals for the week with my coach who wrote it down for me in an Actionable email and because I’d said it out loud I figured I had to start. And when I did, it didn’t feel so intimidating and what I had mentally committed to doing over two weeks I actually got done in three hours. Because as I wrote for one section of the assignment, it gave me momentum for the next section. And once I’d done three, there were themes that helped me knock through section four and five quite a bit more efficiently.

Beyond being wildly satisfying I realized the batch work approach that freelancers use for clients can actually work both for MU as well as personal and family admin. Often the roadblocks for me are actually starting, but once I get started shifting gears to another thing consumes energy in shifting gears. Instead it works better for me to stock pile work - i..e writing, email catch up, networking outreach or kids’ calendaring - and work through in a focused effort.

Momentum is a funny thing when you operate in the grey area and personal time for projects beyond parenting can seem random.

Do you have personal productivity tips?