Fiverr Community Forum

Leading & Managing Your #1 Asset as a Freelancer: Yourself

Hey there colleagues (and buyers!),

Lately, I was pondering this topic and just felt like sparking a discussion on it with the people who will probably relate best, fellow Fiverr Sellers.

In my six years as a freelancer, I can safely say that I’ve managed to learn a thing or two. Important stuff.

Stuff like sales funnels creation, persuasive copywriting, WordPress development. The things that enable you to make a living.

What I seemed to neglect, however, is the impact of holistic management of yourself (or lack thereof) can have on your productivity levels.

During my years as a Fiverr Seller, experience showed me a peculiar trend. On most months, I would make 70%+ of my monthly income in just 3 or 4 days (around 15% of my workdays).

I wondered why was this happening?

On some days, I just felt what some business gurus would call “in the zone”.

My focus is impeccable, my creativity shining through, my brain working at 110%. Any topic I needed to write on, no matter how knowledgeable on it, I felt like I had such a plethora of ideas bursting in my mind so quickly I had to prioritize each paragraph I was writing as I’ve had 5+ thought-out ideas for that paragraph, and I’ve had to choose which one was the most excellent/outstanding before moving on, genuinely feeling each of them were good.

On other days, however, my mind would wander off to YouTube, Twitter, Television… Urging me to passively browse content or simply “zone out” mentally. These days were my least productive days, although I’ve worked for the same amount of time as my productive days.

This led me to wonder… What if I could increase the number of productive days significantly? My calculations showed that having 10 of such “in the zone” days instead of 3-4 would more than double my average income.

This in turn led me on a long path of figuring out what works for me, which makes me tired, what I should avoid… And I must say, I’m still figuring it out.

The things that seem to skyrocket my productivity are completely unrelated to the act of working (for me, writing) itself. They proved to be standard “everyday” habits that I developed over the years without giving them too much thought.

As it turned out, working out (running) for 1h in a local mountain range outside my city seemed to skyrocket my productivity and creativity while lowering my stress levels.

Quitting coffee did the same. So did removing negative people from my life. Not to mention learning to preserve my energy, be more grounded, and not waste time on unnecessary things.

When I think of it, could it be that the real secret to the immense success of successful people (besides of course talent, hard work, intelligence, favorable circumstances) could be simply developing a daily routine that makes every single one of their days “I’m in the zone” days?

Do you have a set routine you follow? Did you find out some of your habits are contributing to your performance greatly and some take away from it equally significantly? Would you share what are those habits?

I look forward to exchanging opinions with you!

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You’ve such a great experience and congratulations for 6th year in “Fiverr”. I’m newbie there and gather experience from persons like you and following the post.

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I am somewhat of a self-improvement fanatic, so these are the things that I have found to increase my productivity the most:

  1. Exercising
  2. Eating healthy
  3. Meditating
  4. Taking cold showers
  5. Taking short breaks throughout the day to refocus
  6. Making a list of all the things you need to do. Dividing it into smaller tasks to make it seem more manageable.
  7. Listening to energetic music.
  8. Most importantly: Make sure you are not addicted to anything. That will severely hinder your focus.
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I agree with you on all points except cold showers :smiley:

Wim Hof method, cold showers, contrast showers. People swear by those.

They kill me, however.

One cold shower and I feel “cold” all day.

I can’t get warm enough for the entire day.

Stuffy nose and heart palpitations aren’t fun, either. Cold showers seem to induce/worsen them.

Maybe I’m too enthusiastic about it and go too hard too soon. But they made me feel tired, unfocused and drained-out.

It’s probably something I’m doing wrong, or it’s just a personal aversion to cold.

Would you care to share 2 cents on your diet? I’m mostly trying to eat Paleo, seems to work best for me.

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It is definitely not for everyone. I don’t do it every day either.

Well, I am not the best person to ask as I was born with the genetic condition PKU, so I have to follow a very special diet that will not apply to the common person. But, I just count calories, making sure to hit my daily target whether I need to bulk, cut, or maintain. I simply eat as healthy as I can, given my restrictions, making sure to avoid adding oils and other highly calorific things to my food.

I also find it beneficial to set a cheat day so you have something to look forward to. I usually plan one every five weeks, where I can eat as unhealthy as I want.

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I found that tracking what tasks I am working on and the amount of time I spend on each one helps me. I use a browser extension that tracks my time and it is integrated with my project management tool - Trello. I can see how much time I spent on things that don’t make me money immediately like
Twitter engagement
Forum responses
YouTube scrolling

And… I can see how much time I spent actively working on projects.

It helps me to visualize how I spend my time, so that I can set goals to spend more time on the things that help me reach my monetary goals. It also helps me test new systems for writing and creating project outlines so I can get my work done faster, without cutting corners or reducing the quality of my work.

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First of all, Hello @richardbloch, it has been awhile since I have seen you here.

Me too!

Caffeine gives me a gut ache!

Me too. I am cutting way back on the Fiverr Forum and avoiding many types of posts as they are the same old same old. Let the blind lead the blind, many newbies do not seem to heed the advice of those in the know anyhow. I also am deleting anyone who posts negative political stuff among my FB friends.

I have lost 50# doing this and then along came COVID! I gained 10 back but I am on the healthy eating bandwagon again.

:flushed:
I like long hot bubble baths!

I will have to look into that.

Again, thanks @richardbloch for stopping by and for having a topic other than the same old same old.

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Such a wonderful and learny discussion going on…Helpful

Great post for newbie, like me. Thanks

I definitely agree! That’s really good advice!

Everyday in the afternoon, I run on the treadmill and workout for around an hour. It helps me regain my energy and stay fit.

I love taking long warm showers😁

I’ve been limiting my Netflix time to the weekends only so that I can work more productively during the weekdays!

I use an app called “TimeTrack for Freelancers”. It’s pretty effective and helps me track how long I’m going to work on each project!

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thanks for sharing important thinngs , thanks to @richardbloch @vibronx @ducktheunicorn

I’ve noticed the same with myself - 2-3 days a week I’ll have a brilliantly clear mind that lets me just fly through my work… The rest won’t be so easy. What helped me tremendously was joining a group of writers who sprint together on a daily basis! It helps me get into the mindset (is not always crystal clear but much better!) Unfortunately something that doesn’t help my creativity (and productivity) is how I haven’t been sleeping all that well - I do sleep a ‘lot’ but can hardly sleep until really late (well, early) at night, so by the time I’m up and ready to work in the morning it’s past lunch! I’m trying to alter this - and will be trying to exercise (we have a garden, so I could easily just jog in there!)
I switched coffee to tea (‘fancy’ tea) which also helps somewhat I believe (it might easily be placebo though!)
All in all there’s still a lot I’ll have to change when it comes to my work (and routine, mostly really) but I’m much better than when I started writing ‘full’ time(ish) in November!

Pleasure to be with you all, @vickiespencer.

It’s been such a hectic year, 2020. I barely managed to get the most basic of my daily obligations done with all the chaos going around in our societies due to the pandemic.

Small life pleasures such as posting on Forum unfortunately became a luxury one can’t afford with all the challenges surrounding daily life.

Luckily, everything is getting back to normal again. I’m deeply grateful for that :pray:

Frankly, I did notice that the quality of discussions on Forum has deteriorated a bit. Hence why I’ve tried to spice things up a bit with a thread we all could relate to and help each other with some tips.

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That’s some next-level time management. Honestly.

I feel as if an APP like that would add to my stress for some reason.

Probably because I like to consider wandering off to YouTube, Twitter or Forums as a way to “recharge my batteries as a writer.” Which is probably the wrong way to look at it - as they are much better ways to recharge batteries, and holding yourself accountable time-wise is one of the most important foundations of future success as a freelancer. I’m sure of that.

So… Would you care to share which browser extension you’re using? (if it’s allowed, pardon me Mods if for some reason sharing APP’s name is against the rules)

I started to use rescuetime from last month. It says I have been around 16 hours on the forum in this month so far :smiley: I will probably continue to use this app.

Screenshot_3

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This sounds like a nice app!! Is this kind of like a screen time app? Like does it tell you how much time you spend on each website?

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Yes, it is. You can categorize the app/websites as productive/destructive etc. I’m using the free version for now.

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Looks great! I’ll download and start using it.

Feels like it’ll add to my time management a great deal.

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Thank you @richardbloch for this great post!

I agree with you 100%.

Aside from talent, opportunity and skills, consistency is I think the least talked about thing when we are looking for the “secret” ingredient to success.

Being on a specific schedule, and applying consistent effort is what’s necessary to start measuring improvement increments, and focusing on the tasks at hand.

My personal regiment follows:

  • I exercise everyday for 45 minutes (treadmill 3x a week, weights 2x week)
  • 15-30 minutes of “me time” (reading a chapter from my book of the month and having a short, honest conversation about my daily goals/tasks/deadlines)
  • Short breaks on the hour
  • A strict 6-hour work day
  • A strict 5-day work week
  • Avoiding junk food (11 months straight now)

I can’t give up coffee, but giving up junk food (my personal stress-release) was what helped me feel more energetic throughout the day.

I am not a robot, so there were cheat meals, days where I cancelled my work-day and indulged/nurtured myself back to mental health.

It’s important to note that while consistency is key, we should also remember that we all have days off/failures/procrastination to fight off.

The trick is to get right back on the horse the day after.

Missed a day running? No biggie, pick it up tomorrow.

Motion before emotion. Go through what you need to do work/exercise/tasks, not because you feel motivated or productive, but because you have to.

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It’s going to sound obvious but I fairly recently found out that resting more and having a more relaxed schedule makes me more productive.

I had this mindset of “let’s finish X projects today and have a day off tomorrow” and it’d lead me to starting strong and then staying out very late because I just couldn’t finish the last one. It’d be 80% done but it’d look wrong and something would be off, and I’d be stuck and frustrated with myself.

But if I stop working as soon as the stalling and slowing down starts instead of pushing through, I’ll just get up in the morning and the project will be complete in 20 minutes max.

It’s not an easy adjustment because I have this nervous tick when it comes to unfinished things hanging over me (and it’s not like fiverr doesn’t encourage that tick) but I’m trying.

Also, taking less projects that I don’t want to do was beneficial. I used to feel bad turning down people just for that reason, now I don’t. For instance, I can make brochures or other multi-page documents. I charge by the page so the price tag ends up being pretty sweet. But I absolutely hate making them. It’s such a boring uninspiring soul sucking experience that it takes away all the energy I could dedicate to other projects.

Overall, less forcing yourself and more motivating yourself to find that organic flow can be good for you, I find. You might find yourself more productive once you get rid of the unnecessary self-induced pressure.

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