Do you feel like you’re always busy? Let us help you with these 6 time management tips so you can spend more time with your family and do things that you love.
We all know that one of the best benefits of being a freelancer is having the freedom of time. However, this freedom can either be your friend and your enemy.
Unless we’re careful, it’s easy to fall victim on either over-working on multiple projects or relaxing too much and letting money fly out of the window.
Being a freelancer means time is money. When you can effectively manage your time, you’d find yourself able to finish high-quality projects quickly. You might be able to handle more projects while still having adequate rest. More projects lead to more income which is what we really want, right?
But how should we actually do it?
Here are some effective time management tips for freelancers in search of that work-life balance.
Make Reasonable To-do Lists
Creating to-do lists make you more organized and provide you an outline on what is needed to be done for the day. However, you still have to make sure that the list you’ve created can fit in your daily schedule.
One great way to create your to-do list is to arrange your tasks according to its priority. You can also use to-do list apps that are available for free across the internet. Having one would make you see at a glance what needed to be done ASAP and which tasks can be ignored for now.
Tailor your Time Management To Your Work
With the rise of technology and the internet, people from different fields now have the option to shift to becoming a freelancer. Some of us are consultants, virtual assistants, bookkeepers, writers, or web designers.
Our freelance career could guide us on how we can effectively manage our time. Some consultants and visual assistants deal with different people in a day, on either phone calls or email. Properly scheduling the calls through filling gaps would help in managing your time effectively.
Some jobs such as researcher and web designers are paid to focus on their projects, so dealing with multiple clients at a time isn’t recommended. Having multiple clients may keep them lose their focus on the project at hand.
Fix Your Workspace
To be able to work efficiently, make sure that you are in an environment convenient for work. Sure, the bed looks attractive to be in while you do your job, but it would just make you too relaxed and may not be able to get the mood to work.
Try picking a room with less distraction. Consider a quiet room without a television, with comfortable tables and chairs but still having a reliable internet connection. Make sure you get natural lighting, as well as dedicated lighting at night too.
You could also build a spot for relaxation when you are tired and need a quick break. You’d be surprised by how much more enthusiastic you are in working when you have a decent place to be productive, which could then help you finish things in a short amount of time.
Track Your Time
Being a freelancer gives us so much time in our hands. And yet, we wonder how all the time seems to pass by so quickly with us not accomplishing anything for the day. Luckily, there is already a lot of time tracking apps we can use to aid us in determining our productivity and time management.
It is best to track most if not all of the tasks you do on a daily basis – even the ones that don’t bring in income. Doing so will help you identify how much time you spend per task. Figure out which task unnecessarily takes you a long time to finish, find the best solution to lessen the time spent on it, then put into practice.
Tracking your time also helps in estimating the tasks you can finish in a day, which can assist you in accurately building your to-do list. Make sure to be generous when setting time for a certain task as they could often take longer than expected.
Working without distractions would help you be in the zone. While you’re in that zone, you’ll find yourself working effortlessly, the ideas just continuously flowing from your mind and into your hands.
Make sure that when you’re working, all modes of entertainment are closed and away from you. This includes television, your phone, gaming consoles and the like. Unplug all your social media, or put them in silent mode for the meantime.
If you need to use your computer and phone while working, and know that you can’t trust yourself when it comes to being distracted, it’s best to use some tools that lock unneeded applications whenever you work.
Properly Communicate with Clients
When you’ve just started as a freelancer, you might find yourself always agreeing to the terms of your client without thinking about it thoroughly.
Yes, Putting your best foot forward and getting as many projects or clients as you can could help you in earning more income. However, you might find yourself struggling to meet deadlines and being burnt out in the end. Make sure you check your schedule first and see if you can be able to finish the task on time.
Know what you are capable of, and if you already have an estimate on how long you can finish the project, you can always inform the client about it. In the end, settling on a date that is beneficial to both parties would always be the best option.
Time management as a freelancer can be a huge hassle. Not only do you have to practice self-discipline, but you also have to make sure that you work in an organized or systematic manner.
But since we have control of all the time in our hands, and time is basically our gold, we should always consider how we spend it.
In the end, time management still mainly depends on you. Some people could handle multitasking. Others can still provide high-quality outputs even in a short amount of time. A group can work while listening to music, while others want it completely quiet.
Try to experiment and find what works best for you. Find when you are most productive, and you’ll eventually be able to use your time efficiently.