organization productivity programming

Good programming habits

  • volunteer for things you don’t know so you can constantly learn new things
  • ask to pair up because pairing session is a great way to kick off the work on a task; discuss requirements until you understand what is expected, then discuss the solution
  • talk about what you are doing and what you’re not doing
  • write a blog because writing with the intention to teach others (even if it’s just future you) is a great way of learning and growing
  • have a notebook and a system to convince your mind that whatever you put into the notebook will not be lost; create index, review notes and process them
  • have a time slot for important tasks
  • when stuck, take a break
  • don’t chase “silver bullets”


finance organization productivity

How Upwork Determines Your Job Success Score

Upwork determines each freelancer’s Job Success Score based on an average of how work performance is ranked by employers. The Job Success Score is updated every two weeks, but it analyzes your performance over a 24-month period. The goal is to keep your score above 90%; scores that fall below 70% could lead to the possibility of an account suspension.

Several factors help determine your score, including:

  • feedback/complaints from clients
  • responsiveness
  • work completed successfully
  • deadlines
  • long-term relationships with clients
  • disputes
  • jobs that ended without you receiving payment (or with a full refund)

Perfection 100% of the time is impossible, but you should have a history of good performance. The more successful you are, the more you will be recommended for positions. If you have issues meeting deadlines or completing jobs fully, don’t continue that downward trend. Take the time to follow through, and your score will continue to improve. Major negative trends could lead to a review of your account.

Upwork takes freelancer performance very seriously because it reflects the marketplace as a whole. The Job Success Score offers you a way to ensure that you are meeting Upwork’s quality standards with your work. Clients are also monitored, and their history is considered when their input is calculated into your score.

organization productivity

Top Tips in Working as a Freelancer in Upwork

  1. Focus on the client’s SPECIFIC needs. Read each job description carefully, and take a mental note of exactly what the client wants. You need to pay attention to the details of what the client is asking for in their job description, and make your proposal about that. That keeps you from sounding like everyone else, and shows the client you care about helping them win, which is what they really want.
  2. Overcome objections. There are always barriers that can potentially keep clients from hiring you. Some clients may consider you as expensive so in your proposal you should talking about the importance of investing in business. Get them into that mindset of, ‘Okay, this isn’t cheap, but it’s important.’ Also mention the fact that you will edit the work until they’re happy with it. That eliminates the fear of what will happen if your first draft isn’t perfect. You can use this approach to remove any objection. The key is knowing what your ideal client is most concerned about, then using that information to make them feel comfortable. And you can do this right in your proposal.
  3. Start a conversation. Proposals should serve one purpose: To get a response from the client. That’s it. The goal is to get the client interested enough to write back. From there, try and move them to a voice call, either by phone or Skype. Once we’re talking, we can get a better understanding of how we can help them, and if we are even the right person to help them. And then we have a much better chance of closing the deal if it’s a good fit. There’s no replacement for that human connection of just talking with someone.
  4. Under-promise and over-deliver. It can be tempting to promise clients the moon in the hopes of getting their attention. Especially if you’ve sent out a bunch of proposals and haven’t heard anything back. Don’t do it! Stick to realistic timelines, and don’t promise anything you can’t deliver. Good clients are smart. If your proposal sounds ‘too good to be true,’ you’ll come across as desperate. Smart clients will sniff that out and it’s a turnoff to them. It’s better to be more low key in your proposal, and then impress the client by delivering your work better and sooner than they expected. That makes them feel like, ‘wow, this freelancer did a really great job.’
  5. Be consistent. You won’t always get a response to your proposals right away. Clients get busy, and it can take them a few days or even weeks to respond. And not every response will turn into a job. So it’s important to keep sending out those proposals. Pick a number to send out every week, or every day, and stick to it. That way you’ll always have plenty of irons in the fire at any given time. That’s what leads to success on Upwork.
  6. In the absence of any Upwork hours, bank on your corporate or university experience to win clients.
  7. Create a custom and hard to resist Cover Letter that will highlight your skills and why you are fit for the job. Watch out for hidden requirements like catch phrases you need to include on your application.
  8. If you’re not confident with your skills, then learn a new one. There are tons of resources, blogs and webinars online. Or if you are already working as a freelancer, keep updated and enhance your skills. Never stop learning.
  9. Once you get a client, maintain a good track record to gain great feedback that will highlight your profile.
  10. Expand your network to get more referrals. Apart from keeping a good relationship with your old clients, make it a habit to network with your co-freelancers. Both are great sources of client referral.


Productivity tips 2

The first 15 minutes of your workday sets the tone for the rest of your workday. If you are already too busy at the start of your workday, imagine what the rest of your day might be like when challenges arise and other people start seeking you for help. Here are 14 things productive people do in the first 15 minutes of their workday to help them stay productive for the rest of their day.

Productive people know the importance of reporting to work early. Instead of rushing to work anxiously and hoping to be on time, they leave their house early and stroll into the office calmly. They set a relaxing tone right from the start of their workday and give themselves an extra 15 minutes to be ready for work.

Similar to a surgeon performing an operation and a chef working in the kitchen, productive people make sure their tools are in proper position before they begin their work. Every minute counts in the operating theater and kitchen, so too in your workspace! Productive people keep their workspace organized so that they don’t have to spend unnecessary time looking for what they need.

It’s good to review what you have done previously, especially if you’ve just returned from the weekend or holidays. Productive people warms themselves up for work by reminding themselves where they left off previously. Instead of jumping straight into a task, they review past achievement to give themselves some direction on what to do next and a sense of accomplishment.

Productive people have a to-do list. They review their to-do list at the start of their workday so that they can strategize and plan ahead. They remind themselves of important deadlines and meetings so that they can prioritize and schedule their work accordingly.

Productive people know they will be overwhelmed if they plan too much for themselves. To stay focused at work and prevent themselves from multitasking they identify no more than 3 important tasks for the day. Leo Babauta, founder of the productivity blog Zen Habits, also sets himself 3 most important tasks (MITs) each morning to move himself forward.

Productive people gain clarity on what they want to achieve each day by asking themselves good questions. They identify problems clearly and assess if these problems need to be solved. They don’t waste time during their day solving unimportant issues. Asking good questions also motivates during the day. For example, Ron Friedman, an expert on human motivation, suggests to ask this question at the beginning of your workday: “The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved? ”

Productive people like Tumblr founder David Karp don’t check or read their emails in the first 15 minutes of their workday. They know they will get distracted easily. If they anticipate important emails from their superiors and customers, they will scan their inbox for these emails and schedule replies accordingly. They don’t read emails in chronological order and reply to emails immediately.

Productive people know they get the most work done in the morning, so they prioritize what is important and plan their work first. They put their mobile phone on silent and do not have their schedule dictated by incoming messages and notifications.

Similar to athletes who use visualization techniques for training and competition, productive people run through positive images of success and achievement in their mind. They mentally rehearse and practice what they have to do for the day and program their subconscious mind. When it’s time for them to actually perform the task, they find it much easier.

After visualizing the future, productive people take a moment to be present. They know they may get too busy during the day so they take a break even before they start their work. Breathing deeply provides oxygen to your brain. It makes you think clearer and allow you to be calmer. Successful people like Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington take time to mediate in the morning too.

Productive people know they have to sit in front of the computer all day. They know that being inactive for too long would bring them health problems in the long run. To combat this they do some light stretching in the first 15 minutes of the workday and schedule time to stretch throughout the day.

Productive people don’t talk to their colleagues about work issues first thing in the morning. They respect other people’s time and they know their colleagues need time to get ready for work. Unless you want others to find you early in the morning, don’t go into your office and ask others for favors straightaway.

Productive people know the importance of fulfilling their own needs before helping others. They determine their own priorities first and slot in other people’s requests later. They don’t try to be supermen or superwomen and help everyone in need. They respect their 15 minute routine in the morning and will politely reject or delay requests if they are approached by others.

Productive people remind themselves each morning how blessed they are to have a job and be of value to others. They see challenges as opportunities to grow and stretch themselves. They look forward to work each day. When you feel good about your work, it removes any negative feeling or procrastination you may have that prevents you from being productive.



Productivity tips 1

  1. Keep your desk clean
  2. Silence your phone
  3. Mute your email during work hours
  4. Write distractions down for later
  5. Take regular breaks
  6. Save non-important articles for later
  7. Block notifications
  8. Don’t always just work at the office
  9. Sit by a window
  10. Go for walks
  11. Get the right amount of sleep, healthy food and exercise
  12. Create a comfortable temperature for you to work in
  13. Meditate
  14. Buy plants
  15. Listen to music you enjoy
  16. Put up pictures of things that make you happy, whether it be family members, pets or art
  17. Keep meetings short and sweet
  18. Delegate
  19. Track exactly where your time goes
  20. Simplify your inbox
  21. Quit Facebook during work hours
  22. Automate tedious tasks
  23. Batch similar tasks
  24. Try a dictation app
  25. Cut out bad habits
  26. Quit multitasking
  27. Prioritize your tasks everyday
  28. Don’t check your email until you’ve worked for 2 hours
  29. Write your 3 most important tasks on a Post It
  30. Do your most important task first
  31. Smile and be happy
  32. Write tomorrows to-do list tonight
  33. Try to do your most creative tasks first
  34. Break big tasks into bitesize pieces
  35. “Eat the Frog”
  36. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it now
  37. Work out when you work best
  38. Make progress visible and celebrate small wins
  39. “Don’t break the chain”
  40. Bribe yourself with a reward



Get organized

Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day. As you start your work day, write down your three Most Important Tasks (MITs). Write down a handful of other things you’d like to do today as well. Clear your desk, get things in order. At the end of each day, tidy things up, check off your list, maybe even get things ready for tomorrow.

When you get up from your desk, put one thing away. Whenever you get up for a glass of water, to go to the bathroom, to take a break, pick up something off your desk and put it away. If your desk is clear, look for something nearby.

When you’re done eating, wash your bowl. This is self-explanatory. Mindfully wash your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. If there are other dishes in the sink, wash a few of them too.
Wipe down the sink when you use it. Whenever you wash your hands or brush your teeth in the bathroom, wipe down the sink so it’s clean. Do the same in the kitchen sink. Clear away a few things around the sink too if you can.

When you walk through a room, find one thing to put away. If you’re going from your bedroom to the living room, find one thing during that trip to put away. You don’t have to get stuck in putting everything away, just one thing.

When you take off a piece of clothing, put it away. When you shower or change clothes, instead of leaving them on the floor or on a piece of furniture, put the clothes away or in a hamper. Look for a few other clothes to put away too if there are more lying around.

Keep flat surfaces clear. Your tables, counters, desks, floors—keep them clear. If there’s a ton of clutter there now, see the rule below about decluttering on Saturdays. But if it’s doable, just start clearing whatever is on the floor (except furniture and the like). When you walk by the kitchen counter, look for things other than oft-used appliances to put away.

At the end of the work day, file stuff. If you still use papers, file them at the end of the day. If you are all digital, clear your computer desktop and put files where they belong.

Deal with an email instead of putting it off. When you open an email, give it the space to deal with it immediately. Read it, reply, take action, or archive it. Or put it on your to-do list for later if it’s a big task. Don’t just constantly open emails without handling them.

Work to only having three emails in your inbox. Slowly clear away the hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox. Archive or delete them, put a handful in a to-do folder, file others into informational folders, unsubscribe from newsletters.

Put non-essential items you want to buy on a 30-day list. Create a 30-day list, and whenever you want to buy something that’s not absolutely essential (other than groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries), put it on the list with the date you added it. Then don’t allow yourself to buy anything until it’s been on the list for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, see if you still want it before buying.

Put your clothes in a different closet or box, and only take out what you need. Move all your clothes to a closet in an unused room if you have one, or put them in a box or two. Only remove the clothes you really need to wear. After a month of doing this, you’ll see what clothes you can consider donating.

Declutter on Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, spend an hour or two (or half a day) decluttering one area.

One in, two out. When you bring something new in your life (buy something online, get a gift), get rid of two other similar things. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes, donate two other pairs. In this way, you’ll 1) think more about each thing you buy, and 2) slowly have fewer and fewer possessions. Eventually you’ll want to switch to a “one in, one out” rule when you think your possessions are at a good level.

Limit how many things you have. Consider limiting yourself to 30 pieces of clothing, or 30 books, or something like that. Get rid of everything else, don’t allow yourself to go beyond the limit. The individual limit you set is up to you, whatever feels slightly uncomfortable is good.

At the end of each month, clear out computer clutter. Self-explanatory. Back things up!

Every three months, purge. Also self-explanatory. Spend a weekend purging all your unneeded belongings.

Zen Habits