Every hard-working person needs time to get their minds off of work and relax. For people who work standard office hours, these days are usually planned weeks ahead. However, freelancers rely on a flexible schedule to manage their daily tasks, which can often be a two-edged sword. If you are working as a freelancer and think you have too little time to get everything done, this is the article for you. Managing time to get more work done can be easy, especially if you know how to plan. Take a look at the following time-management tips for freelancers.
Make a schedule in advance
It might sound like an obvious thing to say, but every job requires making plans in advance. For freelancers, this is not often an easy thing to do, since their workload (and income) are not regular. For a freelancer to manage time more efficiently, smart scheduling is the key to success. While some of them manually write down different lists and reminders, others rely on software programs for help. Plenty of these programs are made for easy use, and they help with automating workflow and managing time.
By planning your workload daily, you will have an easier time prioritizing. Since some tasks are more important than others, smart time management helps freelancers focus on the bigger picture. As a result, they have an easier time handling their projects and therefore, get paid on time.
Assess the size of your projects
When taking on the project, freelancers often oversee the size of it. Since their income is often irregular, the amount of money they’ll get paid is often the determining factor. In order to manage time most efficiently, it’s important to assess the size of the project and calculate the time it will require. Planning this way not only helps freelancers plan their week but also helps them set the best rates for their clients. When working on hourly rates, they often end up taking more hours to finish the project than anticipated. This is why it’s important to assess the size and the structure of the project early on.
Time-limit your tasks
Not every task requires the same amount of time and effort. When making a time-management plan, freelancers often need to speed up or automate parts of their work. For example, replying to emails and sending invoices are some of the tasks that can be automated. Some software programs for freelancers offer customizable templates and easy-to-use reminders to help them manage their tasks. The more efficient their daily routine is, the more job they can do.
Create a daily routine
Most freelancers have the freedom to work from any environment, as long as it has Wi-Fi and a power outlet. However, this freedom is not always a good thing, especially when it comes to time management. If you can create a home office and set a daily routine, it will help you stay focused while handling different tasks. For example, you could create a time frame for the day and use it for finishing a few tasks. Insert a few short breaks and set the reminders for smaller tasks you can’t forget to do. Creating a daily routine is the best way to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed by too much work.
Schedule days off
Plenty of people think that freelancers have more free time on their hands. However, the most successful ones work 6 or even 7 days a week. In order to maintain a steady income, freelancers often “forget” to take days off. Deciding to take a break from work can become a double benefit. On one hand, this can be the time to relax, recharge and clear your head after a long week. On the other hand, planning your “free” days can be the best way to manage your work hours. By limiting the time frame for finishing tasks, you will avoid procrastination and get a lot more work done.
Software programs help you save time
Whether you are working as a writer, social media expert, or web designer, you can have plenty of benefits from using these programs. We are lucky to live in times when software programs help people handle projects and manage their time with ease. If you do a little bit of research, you’ll find out about all the features that Project Management Software can offer. Scheduling tasks, setting reminders, organizing files, and creating invoices are just to name a few. If you are working as a full-time freelancer, these programs can save you a lot of time and energy.
Besides saving time, software programs also help with automating the workflow. Plenty of different aspects of the business can be done more quickly and more efficiently. By letting the program do all the calculating, freelancers get more time to focus on bigger tasks and projects.
Know your limits
Finding time to manage all the work is not easy, especially for freelancers who work full time. However, knowing how much work one can handle in a certain timeframe can be the key to success. For those who struggle to find clients and earn enough money, taking too much work is a reality. If a freelancer can’t deliver the project on time, it could be because of two reasons. They are either bad time planners, or they took up too much work. So, in order to avoid delays and disagreements with clients, you should learn when to say no and decide on your limits. Knowing how much work you can get done in a week (or month) will be the key to smart planning of your time.
Working as a freelancer has its benefits, but it can also be quite stressful. Time management is a skill that most freelancers take years to fully learn. If you are looking for the best way to stay creative, focused, and get more job done, make sure to follow the simple steps we listed. Once you make a plan, organize your tasks and create a daily schedule, you will have an easier time delivering any project you are working on.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Finddigitalagency.