The 21st century key to success is effective management of time. It is obvious to say that time gives no individual a second chance. Lost time is lost forever. There is no retrieval. Effective time management is thus essential for survival and success. This is especially relevant when you are freelancing. Freelancing offers flexible working conditions in terms of both time and space.
But unless this flexibility in time is appropriately managed, the loss incurred will be immense.
The absence of proper time management in freelancing would reduce the productivity of the individual since his work-life balance will be affected. This would have a lethal effect on the individual’s personal life since he won’t draw a clear line of distinction between professional life and personal life. In normal working conditions, the management of the firm we are working in will have a strict disciplined schedule for us to follow. This is unlike the case in freelancing. We will have to self-discipline ourselves without any external pressure.
Thus proper time management in a strategic manner is essential for freelancing. Now we will see some of the tips for better time management for freelancers –
1. Follow a schedule.
The best benefit of working as a freelancer is the ability to choose your hours. It gives you the flexibility to work around key occasions and set your hours. This, however, can lead to procrastination. There are several sources of distraction.
It’s easy to lose concentration and get behind if you don’t keep track of your time. Many freelancers find that having a schedule in place is beneficial. You’ll be more productive and focused on your job if you stick to a timetable as much as possible.
2. Make a to-do list.
Try keeping a time diary. Write down what you do and when you do it for a specified length of time, like a day or a week. After the allowed time has passed, it should be apparent whether you’ve been spending hours on social media or working properly. You can adjust accordingly in any case.
3. Take breaks.
If you don’t take a break now and again, you could end up with serious problems. Pushing oneself too hard can do more harm than good to you and your clients. It is possible to be productive while also taking care of oneself. Work, rest, and leisure must all be balanced in your life. Also, every week, take at least one day off. You will be more focused and productive if you take pauses to re-energize your body and mind.
4. Make priorities.
If you have a significant assignment due in two days, you should concentrate your time on it rather than the one due in a week. To avoid falling behind on your deadlines, prioritize depending on the due date and the amount of time you estimate the work will take. Project management software or even a paper planner may assist you in prioritizing your work so that you keep on track with your deadlines and cater to your clients’ needs.
5. Avoid distractions.
Getting rid of distractions is an essential part of work from home time management. Distractions are to be avoided for productive output and effective time management.
Noise-blocking headphones, shutting your door, or working in a different area of your house to be more productive during your work hours will help avoid distractions.
6. Try to have fixed working hours.
Give yourself set working hours. Because you are a freelancer, you are in command of your schedule. There’s nothing wrong with having shorter work hours each day as long as you’re productive during the hours you set and fulfil your client deadlines. Take advantage of it since it’s one of the major perks of working freelance.
Just make sure you inform your clients about your working hours, so they don’t wonder why you aren’t responding to them during your non-working hours, on a Saturday. Communication is crucial.
7. Change workspaces.
It’s often simple to switching up your work environment to become more productive. Consider signing up for a membership at a local coworking space, going to a café, or working from a friend’s home to get some social interaction. If your house or apartment allows it, shift your workplace once a month to keep things fresh. When it comes to productivity, it certainly can make a tremendous difference!
8. Practice refusing.
The capacity to establish boundaries is the most crucial talent that each working individual possesses, whether for a corporation or themselves.
If you need, desire, or deserve more time or money, don’t be afraid to decline a project you don’t have time for, push back against more work that doesn’t interest you or adds to your portfolio, or negotiate for more time or money.
9. Take off days if needed.
Freelancers frequently forget to take off days, and such days may be all you need to fall in love with your business and become more productive each day.
Manage time properly and be satisfied with your work and time properly. Do it, even if it means taking a full weekend off! If you’re taking a day off, let your clients know ahead of time that you won’t be accessible to contact them that day in case something comes up. Following these tips will help you to manage your time as a freelancer.