A Secret of Productivity
Do you wish you were more productive in a day?
Most of us do. Too many of us struggle with distractions, fading willpower, and a lack of focus. This kills our productivity and makes life miserable in general.
And for me, this problem flared up a few months ago. I work from home where I build web apps and websites for my clients (I’m an independent consultant). But some days were hard.
On those days I’d struggle with working at home. I’d focus for a few hours, become tired, and get distracted. And then I’d have to refocus and try again. Maybe it was the screaming kids that I could hear through the office door. Or maybe it was feeling stuck in a home office working there day in day out. Regardless, I knew I could use my time better.
Also. I wasn’t making as much as I wanted. Most months I’d bring in $6,000-$8,000. And though that paid the bills, I knew that I could do better. I knew that I could be more effective with my time. And that was the biggest thing that bothered me. This nagging feeling that I could be more productive but I hadn’t figured out how.
So I hunkered down. I learned how to focus. I found methods that worked for me, and I even found a new client. And when added together I jumped from $7,000-ish per month to $10,400, $11,400, and $10,000 (respectively) for the next three months. And all of that came from having a better focus.
And that was it. All I gained was a clearer focus. In short, I had a vision for where I wanted to go.
Do you ever wish you had more focus? Do you ever wish you could get more done in a day?
I bet you do. So, let me show you what I did. I’ll share two methods that helped me break out of the cycle. Then I’ll share the good and the bad of making $10,000+ for three months in a row.
First off, I’d plan out my whole month and I would schedule what day I’d work for what client. I also scheduled in a few flex days. These were days to work on my business or to catch up on client work if a project went late.
This ONE method was responsible for most of my success. It’s like choosing what I’d do before I did it. And it really helped. I wouldn’t waffle at the start of the day (or I’d waffle much less), and I would know exactly what project I was working on next.
Second, I used the Pomodoro Method with great results. For me, I did 45-minute sessions with 10-15 minute breaks. I also created a daily Pomodoro tracking sheet that helped me track what I did during the day. This helped me stay on task and helped protect me from burnout.
And the time duration doesn’t matter. Some people work in 25-minute sprints. Some 50-minutes. Others do 52 minutes and take a 17-minute break. It doesn’t matter. Just find a sprint duration that works for you. You’ll find that you get an insane amount of work done.
I have a friend named James that started using the Pomodoro method and he told me “I got so much work done. It was crazy.” So, if you do programming (or writing, or any other creative work) like I do, then try it out for a few days. It might take a few days to get used to it but you’ll find that the results are astounding.
So what were the biggest benefits of having a greater focus?
First off, I made more money. 51.43% more to be precise [Averages: (10600-7000)/7000 = .51428].
How would you like to boost your income by 50%?
Then I took that extra income and paid off $5,000 worth of debt. This currently frees up $260 a month of my personal expenses ($3,120 per year), and that has drastically reduced my stress level.
Second, I felt that I was finally taking control of my time. Sure, some days were still hard, but I felt that I had more of a grip on my life. I felt like I had a greater sense of control and focus.
Third, I set a goal and hit that goal. I said “I’m going to make $10,000 each month for three months” and then I hit it. The worth of reaching a goal you set is priceless.
Fourth, my clients were happier because I got more work done. And a happy client often lead to more referrals and more revenue.
But working like this wasn’t all “sunshine and rainbows” (Rocky Balboa). So here are some of the things that weren’t so good.
First, I was more tired. Since I was more focused I got more done. But, I was more tired because I was working more. Still, I think this was a small price to pay for more success.
Second, I wish I had scheduled more flex time. Sometimes clients needed a critical feature done, but my schedule was full. But, if I didn’t schedule my days then I wouldn’t get as much done. It was a two edged sword and I’m still figuring this out.
Third, I underestimated a fixed-price project and ended up working 4 extra unpaid days in month 3 (hence why that month was only $10,000 flat). But, I was learning a new framework (Laravel) that took more time. But I knew that this investment would pay off well in the future. Still, I should have prepared more.
Looking back, I would do it again. It felt good to hit a goal. And I know that if I needed to I could do it again. And that gives me courage to try more risky things. It’s easier to try something scary when I know I can hunker down and add to my savings again.
Also, having some loans paid off is a huge relief for me. I can use that income to ‘snowball’ my other debt which will catapult me into financial freedom and peace of mind.
And it all came down to scheduling my days and using the Pomodoro method. Scheduling helped me with my resolve, and the Pomodoro method especially helped protect me from burnout. And, installing Rescue Time certainly helped.
Finally, I think for the next round I’ll spend more time thinking about where I want to take my business. I’ll spend more time working on my business than working in my business. My hope is that this investment will help me get better projects, and find more fulfillment in my work.
And hopefully you can do the same.
P.S Do you scramble to find more work every month? Are you tired of low-paying work? Well, let’s change that. I often make over $10,000 a month freelancing, and I can show you how I do it.
So, are you ready to invest in yourself?
If so, take a little training that will give you huge results down the road. And I recommend you start with this course. In there you’ll learn how to find more clients, how to raise your rates, and why you need to specialize. In short, you’ll be put on the path to make over $10,000 a month like I do.
And you can do this! You just need a little more training and to improve your skills.
See you on the inside.