Five months ago, I started working as a freelancer. I was excited and enthusiastic when I took my first project. At last, I can work on my own time, on my own phase. And boy, I was wrong! I spent most of my week running around the city interviewing clients and presenting half-baked outputs. And the other half, I spent in front of my laptop figuring out how to finish a webpage that was sitting on my desktop for days. At the end of the second month, I was mentally exhausted. I still had a lot on my to-do list and I am already tapped out.
I took a week to breathe and fix my messed up sleep cycle. During those days, I decided I want to approach the freelancing world one baby step at a time. Over the past few months, I have discovered ways to increase my productivity while reducing clutter and stress.
Decluttering the Space and the Brain
First on my list was to get rid of all the papers on my desk. It was hard enough to find my laptop among the mess; it was even harder to track what I was doing. According to a study conducted by Princeton University, physical clutter in our surroundings competes for attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress. So, I bought boxes to organize all the forms, documents and receipts lying around my desk. I started working on my table with only my laptop, pen, paper, and an occasional coffee mug.