Freelancer life is a great gig if you can make it work. Freelancing allows you to work where you like and pick the hours that suit you. The only problem is, sometimes you need to cram a large amount of work into a small amount of time. This means any time you’ve got needs to be managed well.
Of course, time management is a huge misnomer. No one can control time, they can only control how they use the time that’s available and once you realise you’re the only one who can do that, time management will become a lot easier.
Time Management Tips for Busy Freelancers
As a busy freelancer myself, these are the time management tips I’ve found to work the best.
Set up your workstation
Admittedly, this is more of a time-saving hack than a time management one, but who am I to be picky?
Setting up your work station before you plan to work will save valuable time later on, when you might end up searching for something you need to lose. Wandering around looking for ‘essential’ equipment (like heart-shaped paperclips, or a specific colour of highlighter) are textbook procrastination techniques.
Make sure everything is where you need it and everything is how you need it. If your office furniture isn’t comfy, then don’t use it! It doesn’t matter if comfy furniture is a bigger outlay – if it’ll stop you fidgeting and wandering about, then it’s worth it for the sake of time-saved.
Make a realistic schedule
Have a look at what’s on your agenda for the next few days. Take some time to work out how long each activity should take if you’re working efficiently and write yourself a schedule. The secret of sticking to the schedule is giving yourself a realistic time period to complete tasks and a realistic number of breaks.
It’s alright thinking you’ll get a load of work do if you work eight hours without so much as a toilet break, but in reality, after about four hours, your productivity is likely to plummet. Instead factor in a total of 40 minutes off, spread throughout the day. I like ten minutes in the morning, twenty for lunch and ten in the afternoon, but do whatever’s best for you!
Write down how you spend your time
If all of your time management efforts haven’t worked so far, it’s time to see where you might be going wrong. Keep a diary of a normal day in your life/job to see what takes up too much of your time. This is where you need to be brutally honest about your day – if you spend 45 minutes on Instagram after the first hour you’ve been at work, then write it down.
Once you know where you’re going wrong, you have the power to change it. People are often in denial about how much time they waste in their working day, so what you write down might be a revelation when you read it back at the end of the day!
You might also like these tips on how to stay productive.
Like it? Pin it!