How to Be a More Productive Freelancer In 20 Minutes

Don't buy into the myth of feline paralysis.

Cats jump onto your lap. Some of them are really good at mewing softly and purring and making you think that this is all about love and that you're supposed to sit there and pet them or some stupid shit like that. Don't do it. You are little more than a blood-filled hot water bottle to that creature, and your legs work, so stand up and let that little furball find another sucker.

Break up with all of your friends and other loved ones.

Aidan Morgan

Friends and family steal the energy that you could be using for more important things like doing stuff for people you have weaker bonds with. Loved ones just want you to do things like have drawn out meals and go on time-consuming trips and help with time-wasters like kids and building garages. Remember that time is money. Fly solo, and keep your eye on your bank account.

Make a business out of really simple little kid crafts.

by Kevin Harbor [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr (desaturated)

by Kevin Harbor [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0], via Flickr (desaturated)

That dream you're pursuing? Drop it. It's an inefficient means to success.

Try something simpler. Remember that thing called a God's Eye you made when you were a kid that was yarn wrapped around two popsicle sticks glued together? You can whip out more than 10 of these in about an hour. You don't even have to run out for supplies. If you've got chopsticks and shoelaces, twine, or even tape, you're set. Invent some kind of spiritual empowerment backstory, sell them for $5 apiece, and you'll be making $50 an hour without any trouble.

Eat more fiber.

by Rachel [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr (desaturated)

by Rachel [CC BY-NC 2.0], via Flickr (desaturated)

Because if you poop more, you will literally be more productive. I can't believe I even had to write this one down for you.

Stop reading about how to be more productive.

  1. Log out of your social media accounts, turn off the tv, and shut down any other distractions you can control.
  2. Do one thing for 20 minutes straight. (Here's an online egg timer you can use if you need to hide your phone from yourself to stay on task: e.ggtimer.com.)
  3. Do another thing for 20 minutes straight.
  4. Do a third thing for 20 minutes straight.
  5. Take a break with your favourite distractions for 20 minutes.
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 4.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 a few times.

Do these steps every day for however many days a week you need to produce as much of whatever it is you produce to make enough money to provide best for your comforts while also allowing for stretches of stuff unrelated to making money.

In other words, ignore my first four suggestions for productivity. Give in to the myth of feline paralysis, because cats are awesome cuddlers. Hold your friends and family closer now than you did last week, and help them build that damn garage, because every single one of them (and you) will die sooner than seems reasonable and good. Shoot for making more meaningful things in the world than briefly fascinating gewgaws, even if something more meaningful is a less efficient means to success. And don't eat "fiber", because that makes eating delicious muffins sound like a horrible chore. Just eat delicious muffins that also happen to be good for you and enjoy the hell out of them without yammering on about keeping your colon happy.

And do get shit done in 20-minute increments, because 20 minutes always feels doable, and you'll rarely feel bored or directionless. Honest.


I'm writing a post a day in November for BlogHer's NaBloPoMo.