It’s no secret that one of the best things about being a freelancer is that you can set your own working hours and work when you want to. You are your own boss. But if you can’t manage your time well, this kind of freedom can also be a curse.
Since you are a freelancer, your time is worth money. If you don’t spend enough time on your work, you might have to rush to meet your deadlines. You also won’t have as much time to start new projects. All of this will make you feel more stressed, especially if it affects your ability to make money.
Here are six tips for managing your time that will help you get the most done at work and stay on top of your freelance projects.
1. Stick To A Schedule
Set regular working hours and days. Spend that time strictly working and not playing Fortnite or watching series on Netflix. If you don’t know how much time to spend working each day, the traditional “Monday through Friday, 9 to 5” office hours are a good place to start.
Also, pick a place to work from and go there when it’s time to go to work. The idea is to train your mind to know that when you sit down in a certain spot, it’s time to work and not waste time.
2. Give Yourself Deadlines To Do Things
After you’ve decided how much time you’ll spend on work each day, decide how you’ll use that time. If your clients haven’t given you deadlines, you should give yourself some. Work backwards from the due dates to figure out when you should start working on these deliverables.
Give yourself more time than you think you’ll need to finish your work. Add some buffer time in your schedule. This will help in case something goes wrong and you need time to fix it. Then, make sure you start working on your deliverables when you should and don’t put them off. You can keep track of your tasks with the help of apps and software.For more information, check this website.
3. DON’T Multitask
Multi-tasking is a myth. You think you get more done in a day but that’s not the case. By switching between tasks, you don’t get much done on any of them.
And the work you do for each task might not be very good. This is because you jump from one task to another before your mind has a chance to get ready for it. You can also end up multitasking if you hurry to answer notifications that come in while you’re working on something.
Focus on the task at hand and do your best work for it in the time you have.
4. Get Rid Of All Work Distractions
If you want to get things done, you need to get rid of all the annoying things that keep you from working. Social media is one such thing that makes it hard to work. Don’t let those notifications pull you away from your work.
Do you really need to check your email every 30 minutes? It might be enough to check in the morning and right before you leave for the day. Also, try switching off your internet for a few hours. It will help you pay attention and save power on your phone. And if you lose your self-control, you can use apps that keep you from going to certain sites for a set amount of time.
5. Keep Track Of What You Do With Your Time
Try to keep track of how much time you spend on different things as you go about your day. This will help you figure out how you’re spending your time so you can change things if you need to.
For example, if you spend too much time every day scrolling through social media, you’ll know that you need to cut back.
Or, if you find that a certain task for a client usually takes longer than expected, you can decide if you need to raise your rates to cover the cost of your time.
Taking detailed notes about how you spend your time can be a lot of work, though. In a way, it could also keep you from getting enough work done. This is especially true if you do this every day! Keeping track of how you spend your time might take some work, but it could be worth it in the end.
6. Figure Out When And How To Say “No.”
The last five tips have been about making the most of the time you have to work. But they won’t work well if you have too much work to do in a little time.
If you don’t have enough time to do things, it could be because you said “yes” to everything and filled up your schedule. This is true for both work and other obligations. For example, do you really need to say yes to every evening hangout invite, especially when you have a big deadline coming up?
Or agree to do a job for a friend who is trying to talk you down from your normal rates? It can be difficult to say “no,” but it won’t bring the end of the world. Most of the time, the person asking will go find someone else to ask.
Also, if you have finally learnt how to say no, don’t feel like you need to give a long explanation. Chances are, the person who asked you doesn’t need one, and you’re mostly just going on and on to make yourself feel less guilty.
It will take a lot of work and discipline. Since it takes about two months to form new habits, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not as productive as you’d like to be at first.
Be patient with yourself and remember that you are your own boss and can choose how to spend your time. Don’t spend it on things that won’t help you much or at all in your personal or professional lives.