How to Effectively Manage your Time as a Freelancer

03.09.2015

Time management is an essential skill for any employee, but freelancers depend much more on their effective time-management skills. When working at home, you can find yourself wasting your time, doing little things around the house or simply enjoying the comfort of your place.

This can lead to sleepless nights, realizing that the clock kept ticking the whole day and you couldn’t finish off that project. Learning how to manage your time and work efficiently is incredibly beneficial and will allow you to enjoy the advantages of a freelancer career. Here are a few tips for successful time management.

1. Set up a home office
The first step towards establishing a good working environment that motivates you and keeps you going throughout the day is to clearly define your work space. Having a separate room which you use for work only can do wonders. Alternatively, you can choose a spot wo work from home – be mindful though, the kitchen probably isn’t the perfect place. Try to pinpoint a place where you won’t be disturbed and where distractions are kept at a minimum, a TV is probably not a good idea if you can’t keep yourself from turning it on and wasting your time. Remember; focus on doing your job first and than carelessly enjoy pleasure later. Most people can only fully relax when they know they have done their tasks for the day. This links up nicely with our next tip on managing your time – working out what exactly you want to do with your time. 

2. Plan ahead

Knowing what you have coming up for the week can be the difference between spending your time aimlessly and consistently keeping up with your workload. A simple to do list is the first small step towards establishing that routine. End the day with planning ahead for the next one and keep the things you have to do in sight. Not only will that keep you from forgetting important calls or tasks, crossing something off your list will give you a sense of progress and motivate you to keep going. A to do list is all right, but having a weekly schedule is the next big step you could make. Keeping track of things in general is a perfect way to make sure you are almost never trailing behind unfinished projects that should’ve been done ages ago. When making your weekly list, don’t forget to include all the little time wasters that are necessary for the optimal work flow – checking your emails, answering, making phone calls and keeping up with your marketing strategy.

3. Collaborate

Should you find yourself unable to complete a project by yourself, look up your collaboration possibilities and hire freelancers. Splitting up a project with a fellow colleague or hiring someone to do the easier, but time consuming tasks can be a great way to make sure you keep your deadlines. Collaborating will contribute to your network as well; keeping in touch with colleagues is indeed very valuable. Not only will you stay up to date, you will also know you have someone to count on when the need requires it.  Time management is not an easy thing to master. You should remember, however, that everyone has the same amount of time – Einstein had 24 hours a day, Steve Jobs had them, every accomplished freelancer has them as well. If you become a master of your own time, you will soon find yourself working consistently and staying ahead of things. Never missing out on a deadline and enjoying your free time without care are just a couple of perks that good time management skills will let you enjoy.

Pic: © Robert Kneschke - fotolia.com
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