“Time is money,” as the idiom goes. You’ll understand this better if you have been working as a freelancer for a while.
You should begin to calculate your costs in terms of how much effort it took you to develop the idea for a project and assess your compensation accordingly if you haven’t been doing it before.
As a result, time management is crucial for freelancers. You might as well chuck your money out the window if you waste your valuable working hours doing nothing or concentrating on a project that doesn’t require enough effort.
So, here are a few time management tips explicitly tailored for freelancers.
1. Keep Time Records
For freelancers, particularly content creators, maintaining pre-defined working hours is crucial. It’s easy to be caught into working on a single project all day until it’s completed, even if that means staying up until sunrise the following day.
If you want to get on top of time management for freelancers, utilize a time monitoring application like Keeping.nl, or even use the timer on your phone.
It is essential because such applications allow individuals to determine if they are spending too much time on a project for which they are not even fairly compensated.
Alternatively, if you’re taking excessive time to complete a task, you must alter your schedule accordingly and strive to increase productivity.
2. Set Up A Work Schedule
It is a crucial yet the most straightforward point that both new and experienced freelancers struggle with. Even if you don’t want to work on the weekend, it can be tempting to respond to an email or a message from one of your clients.
So, set a schedule for yourself, whether it’s 9 to 5. like most office workers, or 10 to 3 if that’s when you’re most productive. Because you’re a freelancer, you’re in command, and you can mold your working hours accordingly.
There’s nothing wrong with brief work hours every day as long as you’re productive during the hours you set and meet your customer deadlines. Please take advantage of it because it’s one of the great perks of working from home as a freelancer.
3. Remove Distractions
One of the most annoying aspects of working from home is distractions. Distractions can be really enticing, whether you’re on the beach with your pals and want to go swimming, or you’re at home and want to watch your favorite TV show.
One of the most crucial components of home time management is eliminating distractions. To be more productive during your work hours, consider utilizing noise-canceling headphones, closing your door, or working in a different room.
4. Take Vacation Days
When you’re planning out your time to enjoy the remainder of your life, don’t forget to set out some time for not working. All work and little recreation lead to lower creativity, higher stress, and even cognitive damage.
You’ll have to work longer hours when deadlines loom. Establish a regular schedule to ensure there are adequate hours in the day. You should also schedule a work-free day or two regularly – and take a vacation, even if it requires planning ahead and budgeting.
5. Keep In Mind That You Have Complete Control Over Your Time
Clients can start to rely on you as a super-productive and dependable freelancer in a world where most people don’t follow through if you follow a specific schedule. As long as you keep in mind that you are not an employee, and they are not your employer, you can command over your time while also meeting deadlines.
As a freelancer, it’s your job to precisely accomplish what you say you’ll do, to the best of your ability, to assist your customer in achieving their objectives. So, don’t overlook that fundamental aspect, no matter how much you enjoy the task or the client. From there, you should make all your other decisions based on which clients to turn away and which to keep.
However, if you ever get the feeling that your client is telling you to do more work rather than asking you before, start setting boundaries as soon as possible. It won’t help anyone if you do not set clear boundaries and maintain a professional relationship with your clients.
6. Use Your Productive Hours To Do Serious Work
Prioritization is the most underappreciated time management technique. Because most people’s energy levels are high in the morning, it’s the most excellent time to start with some hard lifting. Start by writing that blog you need to send out or a design project you’ve just begun working on instead of sitting down on your email or in a meeting during your first work hour.
Determine your productive hours so you can block them off on your calendar, turn off all calls and notifications, and make the most of those hours to get more done. Being able to control your energy so that you get the most out of your workday is what time management is all about.
7. Set Aside Low-Energy Hours For Meetings And Inboxes
You will have done most of your responsibilities for the day if you are a morning person. Your evenings will be a little less hectic as a result of this. You still have to clear your inbox, attend meetings, and share your work on social media, among other things.
Evenings are the most incredible time for you to do these lesser productive tasks on your list. If you work better in the morning, don’t be afraid to use those hours to do these minor jobs to devote your evening energy to completing more critical assignments.
As a freelancer, you need to be able to manage your time effectively if you want to have the independence you seek. You won’t achieve the work-life balance that freelancing is meant to provide unless you have an effective process in place and put in the effort.
However, if you manage your time well, you will succeed! You’ll not only feel more productive, but you’ll also get better results for your clients, business, and life in general!