Effectively Managing Your Time As A Freelancer
Freelancing is definitely not a job for the weak. No job security, no set hours, and no set income make freelancing a difficult job.
When you work from home, it can be too easy to let your time get interrupted with distractions and end up trying to catch up late into the evening.
So what's the answer? Time management strategies! Anything that will help you manage your time more effectively will help you become a better, more successful freelancer.
And time is money for freelancers!
Don't fight with the clock and don't make home working an ongoing battle. Instead, read on with Adrienne Erin who talks to us about efficient task and time management that will factor favourably in your life as a freelancer.
Freelancers have to have a specific set of skills, including time management. Everything about freelancing depends on time; and knowing how to use it properly is key to a freelancer’s success.
Psychologist and poet Tom Greening said that, “All time management begins with planning.” As a freelancer you should always make a plan before starting a project so you can schedule out what needs to be done, how long it will take, and the possible roadblocks you may run into.
Plan Out Your Freelance Time
Freelancers need to learn to value their time for more than a few dollars. When freelancers take on new freelance jobs what they are really selling besides their skills is their time. In order to be able to put a value on the time they will be spending, they need to find out how important their time is to them.
Freelancers often get sidetracked with their projects because they want to do the best job possible. Setting both goals and deadlines can prevent a freelancer from spending an abundant amount of time on something that doesn’t require it. Being flexible with freelance jobs is important, but deadlines and goals are also good motivators to get the job done on time.
Because freelancers don’t have set hours they often end up spending much more time on a project than they would if they were in an office job. Ending times are a way to stop from working long hours through the night. Freelancers can get burnt out if they don’t set boundaries to the hours they work on a project.
Create Good Freelance Habits
Habits can be good or bad so it’s important for freelancers to start out creating good habits for themselves. Once a bad habit is learned it will be hard to get out of it. Developing good time management habits ensures that you will have a good foundation to do your work.
All jobs come with some amount of stress and freelance work is no different. It’s a good idea to have some sort of activities planned, aside from freelancing, that can be used to help relieve stress. This will leave your mind cleared and calm and ready for the next task.
One good habit to start is to learn to take breaks. Freelancers often have the bad habit of once ploughing on through a project until it’s finished. This can result in mistakes or missing parts due to tiredness. Taking a short break every few hours, and getting some fresh air is good to help clear the mind and rest the body.
Get Your Freelance Day Organized
Good time management includes tracking exactly where your time is going. Keep a rough schedule of the tasks you do on a daily basis to see where you are spending most of your time. It is also possible to use online tools such as RescueTime which tracks how a user is spending time on their computer. This mobile working tool will ensure you are spending time on the most important things and will shed light on other aspects that may be receiving too much attention.
Grouping tasks can help you spend less time on individual tasks and more time on similar things that can be done together. For example, give yourself a fixed period everyday where you answer emails, rather than as each one comes in. This means you won't get constantly interrupted throughout the day and you can stay focused on your projects for longer.
In order to ensure your time is being used effectively your per hour income should be calculated. Freelancers often think that if they work longer, they will make more, but this can be incorrect. Determining how much you're making an hour can show you how many hours should be put into a project. It can also help you set a budget for a project more effectively.
You have a lot on your plate when you take on a job. Every industry from local SEO agencies to marketing firms employ freelancers. Learning to manage your time effectively is a good way to help you determine how much work you can take on.
It will also help you deliver projects that are on time and up to par for your clients. A little practice with time management and you can take a lot of burden off your shoulders when taking on projects.
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer with several years’ experience working for local SEO agencies, writing for a variety of clients. She has written for Content Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs, and SiteProNews. To see more of her work, follow her on Twitter under the name @adrienneerin.
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