3 Productivity Killers for Consultants

m_45555One of the top benefits of being a consultant or freelancer is having control over your time. However, unless you know how to manage your time, success can be elusive. Here are five pitfalls to avoid when self-motivation and personal accountability are critical:

1. Procrastination

Putting off assignments until the last minute is never a good idea, no matter what your position. But when you don’t have a manager keeping you accountable, it is easy to become a victim to procrastination. You may believe that you create your best work under pressure, but chances are you are sacrificing quality. Set aside enough time to complete a project well and you will avoid making mistakes–and missing a deadline.

Tip: If you put off projects on a consistent basis, the Avoiding Procrastination 101 app on Google Play may be the answer. It helps you identify the root of your procrastinating behavior and provides suggestions to help you turn it around.

2. Social media

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll just take a quick peek at your Facebook timeline and then get started on the day’s tasks. The concept of time disappears once you are logged into, any social media site. If you really want to take a quick break online, set a timer or other reminder for five minutes, so you don’t waste valuable time.

Tip: Strict Workflow for Chrome enforces a 25 min/5 min workflow. Every 25 minutes is followed by a 5-minute break. Start the timer with just one click.

3. Disorganization

How many minutes have you wasted looking for an important document on your messy desk? An uncluttered workspace doesn’t just look nice–it saves time. Plus, you’re much more likely to be productive when everything you need is accessible, but not in a jumbled pile in front of you. It doesn’t need to be spotless, but distracting paperwork should be neatly filed away so you can focus on your current assignment.

Tip: Things is an iStore app that breaks down tasks into achievable, bite-sized bits. You also get a printable daily checklist to help you get your schedule under control.

As a consultant or freelancer, you have more independence than most people. The trick is to take the responsibility of this freedom seriously. After all, the more productive you are, the more successful your business will be.