From the outside, the life of a freelancer can seem simple; wake up, roll out of bed, open your laptop (after detouring past the coffee pot), and start your day.
The reality of it, though, is very different.
It is all too easy to waste your day on distractions and unimportant tasks.
In this article you will discover the top time management tips for freelancers.
There is a variety of tips included to suit all people.
1. Discipline and Routine
First of all, you have to remember that discipline and routine are essential to your success.
Having a solid work ethic will be the make or break of your freelance business.
You need to get serious about time management and organisation.
Otherwise you will find yourself stuck in unproductive, hard to break, bad habits.
Perhaps decide on some specific hours you want to keep to (this will keep you productive and if not, you will have to put in overtime!).
2. Be Aware of Your Body Clock
If you find that you are more productive in the evenings, make those your productive hours.
If you are an early bird, then get your work done early on.
That is the benefit of being a freelancer, you get to work when you choose.
3. Choose Your Best Working Environment
One productivity tip that you will always read is “do not work in your bed.”
Sometimes, this is true.
However, if it works for you and it is comfortable, then by all means do so.
If you find that you are more productive in another area of your house: then work in that location.
That is one of the primary benefits of freelance; you get to work where you choose.
Maybe you need the atmosphere of working around others?
Find a coffee shop or co-working space in your area.
4. Value and Protect Your Time
Given that you will now be in control of when and how much you work, it is essential that you have some good time management skills.
Clients will expect you to meet their deadlines, so you need to ensure that you do.
Depending on your work style—you could charge by the project or by the hour.
Choose whichever rate and metric will motivate you the best and works for your client and business.
How you value your time will help you determine product pricing.
Even if you decide to charge by the project; derive your hourly rate anyway, just so you are aware of timing.
5. To Do Lists are Your Friend
To make sure that you stay on task, you will likely find a new best friend: lists.
Whether you are a paper or an electronic person, lists will save your life.
It is also a good idea to break big projects into sub-tasks.
Put these lists and calendars somewhere that you see them to keep yourself on task.
You also get the satisfaction of ticking off each complete task!
Additionally, setting mini, sub-deadlines is a good way to track your progress.
If one list-keeping method does not work for you, then find another one that does.
That is the beauty of freelance, you get to be flexible.
6. Use Goals to Remain Productive
In order to track time, setting timers or word count goals are a great way to stay focussed.
For example, there is a time management technique that requires you to work solidly for 25 minutes.
You then get a 5 minute break. and then you work for another 25 minutes.
This method keeps you engaged in your task, yet still keeps your brain refreshed.
Keep Refining Your Routine
In conclusion, there are a multitude of productivity tips.
The key, though, is to find the tricks and tips that work for you.
There is no point continuing to do something that is producing suboptimal results.
If it’s not working, change it.
Have fun with this.
Experiment to find what works for you.
One of the biggest benefits of working freelance is that you have the freedom to choose.