One of the perks of freelancing is that you are able to control your schedule. An unfortunate side effect of this is that it’s possible to fall into poor time management habits. That’s not such a great thing considering that as a freelancer, your time is worth money.
If you want to improve your time management skills, keep reading. We’ll go over 5 time management tips. Then we’ll cover 4 time management mistakes to avoid.
5 Powerful Time Management Tips
Everybody needs down time. They need to rest, socialize, pursue interests, and spend time with family. If you don’t get that time, it will have a negative impact on your productivity.
Are you guilty of spending too much time daydreaming, playing around online, or catching up with friends and family when you know you should be working? It could be that you aren’t getting the most out of your time off. Think of it this way. If you spend more than 10 percent of your day off dealing with work issues, you haven’t had a proper day off.
As a freelancer, you may often find yourself juggling multiple projects. On top of that, you never know when someone might contact you with an urgent need, or simply want to learn more about your business. This means you will need to stay on top of your to-do list and manage often ever changing priorities.
You might consider adapting the four quadrant style of time management to your to-do list. You could use color coding or a numbering system to identify the tasks that have the most urgency, and the ones that could be delegated or simply put off until later.
The appeal of doing what you want when you want is great. However, you should always keep in mind that humans crave predictability. You don’t need to schedule every free moment of your day, but you should keep a rough schedule.
Not only does this meet your mind and body’s biological need to follow a schedule, it will help you to stay on top of time management. In many instances, people lose time simply because they aren’t keeping track.
You can waste more time than you realize checking your phone and your email. Stop the endless, mindless practice of constantly looking for new emails or messages. Instead, schedule two or three times a day where you deal with correspondence. You might even consider using a tool like MailChimp to stay on top of things. If you use Gmail, Google labs offer up plenty of email management options.
Think of all the tasks you do on a daily basis, especially the ones you do multiple times. For example, do spend time sharing videos and posts on various social media platforms? If so, the IFTTT app may be ideal for you. Do you spend lots of time embroiled in the editing to ensure that your content is perfect? Delegate it to writing services and take your time for another rest.
4 Time Management Mistakes to Avoid
You would never go to your dentist’s office and demand that they open on Sunday for you. You also wouldn’t demand that your favorite grocery store clerk makes themselves available to you after closing time. This is because you respect boundaries, and know that their patronage doesn’t make them the boss.
Your job is to provide needed services. You are obligated to have deliverables ready at a certain time. You are not at the beck and call of your clients.
Just because you are the name and face of the company, doesn’t mean that you have to personally deal with everything. It’s perfectly okay to expect other people to do their jobs as well. If you’ve hired people to act as contractors and employees, let them do what they do best. In the meantime, you can focus on the jobs that are mission critical.
For some reason, many people have a strange definition of freelancing. They apparently believe it means ‘able to drop everything at a moments notice to accommodate other people’s needs.’ As a freelancer, it’s extremely important that you nip this in the bud as quickly and firmly as possible. Friends and family members must be taught that your availability is the same as any other working person. When you’re on the job, you simply cannot give rides, socialize, or run errands.
One of the great things about freelancing is that you don’t have a boss constantly checking in. Unfortunately, this can lead to a bit of unevenness in your time management. You may find yourself spending too much time on the more enjoyable tasks, and not enough on the necessary but not so fun jobs.
One of the best aspects of freelancing is that you control your own time. However, that also means that you have to be vigilant about time management. This is how you guarantee that you get the most profit out of each minute.