How to keep up productivity when freelancing, with cloud computing


Jonah is a young freelance designer. In true millennial fashion, he’s dipping his toes into the ‘gig economy’ and has several projects on the go for various clients. Jonah doesn’t have an office, and instead chooses to work remotely, whether from his clients’ offices, from a café or from his kitchen table.

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Good time management is essential for success in working this way, but so is technology, specifically cloud computing. It enables freelance workers to access business files and data, share content and collaborate no matter where they are. Cloud computing programmes like Office 365 help people be as productive as possible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint available across iOS, Windows and Android devices, so that nothing slips through the cracks. Many young professionals are taking advantage of cloud computing to get ahead. Here’s how…

Stay organised and prioritise

It’s 5am and Jonah wakes up ready to tackle the day after getting a good night’s sleep. He enjoys using the first hours of the day to focus on his most difficult tasks because they’re often the only “interruption free” time he has. Cloud computing effectively syncs all his calendar reminders, meeting requests and to-do list on his phone, so with a glance he can decide on his priorities for the day.

Set up virtual meetings

As he turns on his Windows 10 laptop, Jonah sees the Sticky Note he pinned to his desktop – reminding him of the important meeting he has with a potential new client. He logs into Skype and conducts the meeting via the cloud using video chat. He also uses Skype in-app integration to allow him to screen share during the meeting so that he can show the potential client his portfolio.

Manage your time

After the meeting, Jonah knows he has an important deadline to meet. He uses the Pomodoro Technique to manage his time effectively by breaking down his work into 25-minute intervals, with a five-minute break between each interval and a 30-minute break every four intervals. He knows that while he works, cloud is working for him – automatically backing up all his work, and receiving the latest security patches to ensure it is safe.

Collaborate from anywhere

The project he is working on is a collaboration with several other designers. Thanks to the power of the cloud, they use the co-authoring feature in Office 365. This allows them to see what one another are typing in real time, and collaborate in one document at the same time, despite being in different locations. That means they save time and minimise the meetings they need to have to ensure they’re on the same page.

Use unproductive time productively

After a productive morning, Jonah heads to an appointment. He knows he will probably be kept waiting a while and decides to use his time wisely by taking his Surface with him. With the cloud powering OneDrive, all his work is synced across devices and stored in the cloud so that he can pick up where he left off.

Make time to unwind

With all his tasks completed for the day, Jonah stops off at the gym on the way home to get some exercise. He is mindful of how important it is to get moving and unwind not only for his health, but also to improve his productivity and concentration. Working on the cloud and using technology ensures that Jonah has the time to do this, and to manage his work/life balance.

The way Jonah works is not unfamiliar for millennials; in fact, it is shaping the new world of work. What is important is a willingness to adopt new technology and understand how to use it effectively to boost collaboration and productivity. Working away from the office or out from the watchful eyes of a boss or client is no longer synonymous with not getting the job done.

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