Today was my second full day of freelancing, and it was noticeably unproductive.
Part of it is that I was up late two nights in a row reading a really compelling book, so I let myself sleep in without aid of an alarm to get myself up. I haven't done that in a long time, and as a result I slept late. I kind of expected that, though.
The other part of it is that when I don't have a time limit on my freelancing, such as a time at which I need to get up and go pick up the kids I nanny for from school, I feel less pressure to get to work quickly and get it done quickly.
Only two days of this and already I know that's what the problem is. It wasn't hard to identify, honestly. It's been a few years since I've worked from home full-time, and I have gotten out of the habit of self-regulating my day.
So how to create than urgency of needing to get something done, even when I do actually have all day?
A to-do list by itself won't help, because I already have one of those. I could, however, try assigning a certain amount of time to each thing, and setting a timer. I have a pretty good timer app on my computer that would work just fine for that purpose. With Windows 8, I could even drag it over onto the side of my screen so that I could see the timer while I worked, and hopefully not get distracted or forget what I was supposed to be doing.
That's a good option, and something I might try. But first, I think I need to try establishing a routine of getting up and going someplace specific to work. I haven't been using my desk lately, so I might try working there and see if it helps. Or I might try actually getting up, getting out the door, and working at a nearby coffee shop. I know there are people who dislike that approach, but I often find that it works well for me to work somewhere different for a change.
In fact, since I have so much work leftover from today that I haven't gotten done yet, I may actually try one of these approaches tomorrow morning, before I pick up the kids from work. Perhaps both a change of scenery and knowing I have a limited amount of time will help me be extra productive tomorrow!