First and foremost, design a workspace that is built just for work. Don't work in front of the TV, but give yourself an allocated workspace and make sure it is equipped with all the things you need to complete tasks.
Next, start early. Don't allow yourself to sleep in simply because you are making your own schedule. Turn yourself into a morning person and stick to a set schedule every day. Not only will this ensure you are getting tasks done, but if you want to meet a friend for lunch or dinner, you'll likely already have your work done.
At the beginning of each day, create a list of goals you hope to accomplish. This will give you something to work towards during the day. If you don't have goals to work toward, you probably won't do anything at all.
For each of the tasks on your to-do list, allocate a specific amount of time. If you give yourself an hour for a task, don't allow yourself to take longer than that. Just get it done, scratch it off your list and move on to the next task.
To ensure a productive day, try to avoid the Internet. As hard as that may be, simply checking your social networking sites or reading a few articles can eat up more time than you think. Before you know it, an hour will have passed and you'll be even more behind in your work.
Lastly, take breaks. Keep these short and stick to a time limit, but also give yourself enough time to reset. Take a walk, do some exercise, anything that will help you clear your mind for a few minutes.
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