It’s important that you develop time management strategies, as time is money in the freelancing world. You also need to maintain the right balance between work and personal time.
However, time management doesn’t happen by accident. It takes intentional effort to ensure that you are making the most of every opportunity.
Freelance success takes planning. By managing your time and freelance projects wisely, you can build a successful business while also protecting your free time. The key is to find what works best for you and don’t give up.
1. Learn to use Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a great, customizable tool to help you plan and share your schedule. For training click here.
2. Use a weekly life/work balance worksheet: Include family, recreation, and other responsibilities in your weekly schedule.
3. Choose clients carefully: Don’t sign up for work that won’t be worth your time, interest and efforts.
4. Set your rate high enough: Don’t settle for small jobs if they aren’t worth it.
5. Break down tasks into manageable goals: Break large tasks into lists of small goals. Then enjoy checking them off once completed.
6. Estimate your time generously: When factoring the time needed for each task, be generous. It’s always better to err on the safe side.
7. Limit information intake: Focus your research to meet client needs.
8. Consider the Pomodoro Technique: Use a timer, set it for 25 minutes, then work at a steady pace, until the timer goes off. Then take a break for 5 - 10 minutes. Repeat until the task is completed.
Now that you’ve developed a schedule and strategy, it’s time to put it into action and get work done. Here are some helpful tips to keep you working efficiently:
1. Gain some ground early in the day: Your brain functions at its peak first thing in the morning, so get right to work if possible.
2. Eliminate distractions: Clear off your desk and turn off or silence any unnecessary distractions (like social media and phones).
3. Use digital tools to block out time and beat distractions: There are a variety of apps and tools on the market to block out tempting distractions.
4. Focus on the task at hand: Keep a pen and paper handy for anything that comes to mind while you’re working, but get right back to work.
5. Make the most of small pockets of time: You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.
6. End-of-day reviews: At day’s end, look back and see what you could have done better and tweak your methods for tomorrow’s schedule.
7. Thursday debriefings: Use Thursday as your day to review your progress over the week and identify the projects you need to complete by the weekend.
In order to make a successful career of freelancing, you should strive to make every minute count with time management strategies that allow you to maximize your work efforts while still maintaining a positive work life balance.
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