No one understands the expression ”Time is money” better than a freelancer. As freelancers, we are constantly busy – crafting Emails, trying to find new work, managing existing clients… Don’t let us get started on social media rabbit hole!
Although having more control over your time is one of the perks of being a freelancer, it can easily be your worst nightmare if not managed properly. In this blog post, we share 5 Time management tips for freelancers.
Start of your day with a ”To-Do” list
Having a To-do list is a very effective way to stay focused and productive during the day. Just like every other goal you set for yourself, it is important for your To-Do list to be ”SMART”. Don’t go about adding 10 items on your list when you know you can only do 5. Also, be sure to allocate a time frame to each task so that you can work to speed.
Give your best time to your most important project
Depending on your situation, your “best work time” might be the time when your energy is highest or when you are least likely to be interrupted.
Whenever possible, it is a good idea to work on your most important project before you start working on less important projects. That way, you’ll be more likely to meet the deadline for your most important project.
Get rid of distractions
Your ability to properly manage your time and get things done largely depends focus how focused you are. Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of distractions as an independent worker – endless emails, last minute requests, instant messages, and all types of notifications are competing for your time.
Here are some ways you can get rid of these distractions:
1) Limit the number of times you check your email – perhaps 2 or 3 times daily.
2) Disable notifications: This way, you’re limiting the number of things competing for your attention and you can focus on work that needs to be done.
3) Switch off your phone: If having your phone around you distracts you from working, you might just want to turn it off. Do this wisely, of course. Schedule times of the day that are your “free zones”, when you have no activities on your calendar.
When you become a freelancer, you instantly become a business owner. In order to properly run a business, you need the right tools. Luckily, there apps that save you the time and energy on certain tasks.
For example, you can use Buffer to schedule social media posts, Proposify to develop instant proposals and Invoicely to create professional invoices.
Learn to say No!
You must be careful how much work you take on at any given time. It’s tempting, especially at the beginning of your freelance career, but you can’t say ‘yes’ to every gig that comes your way.
Often times, people think saying no is somehow insulting, but if you don’t learn to, you may just find yourself overwhelmed and regretting your decision. Saying no – when done respectfully, ensures that the right projects are completed on time.
Great time management doesn’t just happen overnight. Like most aspects of your career, it requires a conscious effort to change and improve.
We’d love to hear from you!
What other time management tips work for you? Please let us know in the comments area below.