Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Time Management Tips For Freelancers

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Freelancing in many ways is like living the dream. You are free to do what you choose, whenever you wish. Curating and creating your own schedule and life. No commutes, multiple snooze buttons (if you’re that way inclined), and of course - you are your boss.

There is alot of joy to be had from working at home, but somethings reality bites pretty hard. Becoming a bit of a shut-in is easy. Talking only to your reflection or perhaps a pet. When the flourish of the few weeks or months comes to an end, it’s time to put some structure back in place. In general, we do better when we have timelines and some routine. We know what we are doing and when. There is nothing to say that once this is done, you can’t alter it again, but a starting place is better.

Normal Business Hours

Shock horror! The fact of the matter is that whatever country you are residing in will have a typical working day. Clients, other freelancers, and your friends will all have a typical daily routine. And, while you can ditch it all and head to the beach, to maximize your opportunities, you might want to consider having a pretty regular set of hours a few days a week.

Once you start freelancing it can be a real struggle to separate your working hours from your weekends. And, before long you might find that you are using up all your would be free time tackling projects that you probably would have completed during the week. The solution to this is super simple. Just take weekends off. Friday, at some point, you should check your emails for the last time, turn off the notifications on your phone and emails, and relax. Plan something that doesn’t involve your computer or mobile phone. Watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk. Taking a few days off is actually essential for your mental and physical well being - so use it.

If you don't want the weekend off, then carve out some other days in the week that make sense for you.

Get Up and Out

It can be all too easy to become a bit of a shut-in. Not really needing to get dressed often, drifting from one set of loungewear to another. Try to avoid going days and days without speaking to anyone. Book yourself in for someclasses. It might be yoga, or you might opt for learning a skill that will lend itself to your business - like another language perhaps.

Without a real routine, you can very quickly get nothing at all done during the day. That hour that you thought you spent thinking up content or a new angle might’ve really been spent watching that new series on Netflix. Breakfast slides into lunch, lunch skids into dinner and before you know it you’ve watched 8 episodes and got zero work done.

Pick Wisely

When it comes to clients, pick them wisely. When you are first starting out, you might worry that you will never get enough clients, but with some hard work and perhaps a pinch of luck you will find yourself being able to pick and choose the work that you decide to take on. And, there will come a time where you have to say no. It probably isn’t because you can’t do the work, but you owe it to yourself and your client to be able to put the proper amount of hours into it. Taking on smaller projects is more than likely fine, but larger projects can sometimes be a bit of a juggle.

The art of saying no isn't something that comes naturally to us, and that is even more true for freelancers. But, nevertheless, it should be something that you should practice.

Clean and Tidy

Your desk, your living space, and your home, in general, have a tendency to become messy and a little disorganized. Spend some time each week cleaning and tidying. It will make it much easier to keep on top of smaller things like dishes and laundry. Use a high quality fragrancefree laundry detergent, some bicarb and vinegar cleaning solutions and other natural products to avoid having any overly chemically smell in and around your work area.

If you do like to have scents, then try and opt for ones know to boost productivity like peppermint or jasmine.


When you take on big projects, it might not always be something that you can tackle yourself. Sometimes it is worth hiring a freelancer to help you with certain things. If you know you need help with admin, research, organization or social media management then perhaps a wizard-like virtual assistant is for you.

Structured Working Time

Implement working in timeslots. The Pomodoro technique is one of the most used ones, it allows you to set select working minutes and a set break in between each segment. This will enable you to work very efficiently in focus time block periods. It is generally recommended that bursts of 15 or 25 minutes work very well, with a break of 5 minutes in between each segment until you reach your 30 minutes more substantial break.

Stop Multitasking

It takes up to 20 minutes to refocus when you hop between tasks. Which means if you are trying to tackle a lot of different projects or aspects of work in the same hour, you’re actually not giving any of it your full attention. Each morning you should write list either on your phone or on a note pad of the tasks that you wish to complete during your working periods. Of course, there will be times that you don’t finish everything on the list, but don’t be too hard on yourself.

Freelancing can be, in most cases an exciting and fruitful time where you get to explore a lot of different working methods and skills - and in the end, you will find a weekly routine that works for you

1 comment:

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