The growing gig economy is leaving stressed freelancers in its wake. 62 percent of freelancers report to feeling stress, compared to 55 percent of office workers. Increasingly exasperating clients, approaching deadlines, endless meetings, and inefficient time tracking are a few of the triggers of continuous anxiety. Paired with global uncertainty and civil unrest, many freelancers are now dealing with situational anxiety. In these times, it can be emotionally demanding to remain focused and stay motivated. Considering that many freelancers are working with virtual teams and in secluded workspaces, creating a window of time to unwind and recharge has never been more important.
Here are some of the best tools that freelancers can use to creatively reduce stress and maximize productivity throughout their freelancing career.
Regular 9-to-5 workers, business executives, and high-performing career experts have made it clear that meditation is crucial to productivity. After meditating, nearly 60 percent of individuals prone to anxiety managed to reduce their anxiety levels. Freelancers can benefit from developing a habit of meditating regularly.
Oak Meditation is a free iOS application that reminds you to take regular breaks throughout your workday to meditate. During those breaks, you can step away from your busy work to recharge. Remember, a period of intense focus must be complemented by a short refresh period, and meditation is one of the best ways to ease stress.
Asana Rebel is a yoga app that is available on iOS and Android with a limited free plan and paid plans starting at $9.99/month.
Yoga practices can help reduce stress and anxiety significantly. This tool has a repertoire of various yoga sessions, giving you the opportunity to move those muscles without spending a lot of money hiring a yoga coach. You can enjoy short session of various types of yoga in the comfort of your workspace.
In all honesty, it is more difficult to stay motivated, disciplined, and focused when you are working from your personal space compared to a co-working space. Freelancers know this, and many have opted in for memberships in shared workplaces, bringing them in open connection with other freelancers.
WorkFrom is a tool that creates a Virtual Cafe shared space where you can connect with other freelancers and share what you are working on. In cities where it is safe, the service also connects you with IRL shared workplaces around your city, including coffee shops and office spaces where you can find the motivation you need to focus on your tasks as well as network with other people.
WorkFrom is available for iOS and Android for free.
Although it has a bit of a learning curve, Notion brings everything you need to get started on your project in an excellently organized manner. You can manage personal tasks, work, clients, and all others in the same space.
It is an effective collaboration workspace for freelancers to get more work done both individually and as a team. Its ability to synchronize with various apps makes it possible to send your tasks into Notion from anywhere on the web. You can embed that articles in your Notion as a part of your reading list to revisit later and create to-dos and check them off as they get completed.
Notion is available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Web with a limited free plan and paid plans starting at $4/month
Toggl helps freelancers reduce stress from colliding schedules. It is essentially a time tracking tool to help you keep track of your most important tasks. You can tell how much time you’re spending on each customer or task. The time log feature helps you detect where you’re spending most of your time, track event productivity, and use the provided data to make better use of your time.
Other than just tracking time, the calendar syncing feature helps make sure that appointments do not overlap. It notifies you when a booked appointment is approaching while tracking all the time you spend on ongoing tasks.
Toggl is available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Web version for free but also offers paid plans with more features starting at $10/month.
Procrastination is a time thief. There is so much you could achieve as a freelancer if only procrastination could be overcome. Freedom is an app that allows you to focus on getting real work done by shutting out all distractions on your digital devices.
The way it works is simple: once it is turned on, social networks and most distracting websites are disabled. You will not be able to visit those websites or use certain software and applications on your disabled services while you work. You may attempt to turn Freedom off when the urge to get distracted becomes high, but you won’t get off track as easily as you hope. Once it is turned on, you have to restart your device to restore access to those apps and pages. Why not go on to finish your tasks before restarting?
Freedom is a bit on the pricier side and is available for Mac, Windows, and iOS at a pricing of $29.99/month.
Stress and poor productivity are inextricably linked. Using the right selection of tools can help freelancers reduce stress and boost productivity. Pay attention to your wellness while you work and concentrate on finding the place where you will be most productive. Mindfulness tools can also help you stay focused and reduce stress.
Remember, while productivity is not about having a library of fancy tools to lean on, these resources can help mitigate stress and procrastination while maximizing your ability to get things done.