Freelancers are free from the watchful eyes of a manager or supervisor, who is constantly making sure that the work is done. Instead, freelancers work by their own time frame and schedule, taking advantage of all the freedom it entails. However, this opportunity is not without its disadvantages; one common problem that plagues many freelancers is poor time management. The inability to keep track of projects and deadlines can have a detrimental effect on the freelancer’s business, resulting in lost clients and contracts.
5 Tips to Help Freelancers Manage Their Time
Achieving good time management habits is a skill that requires dedication and practice. However, there are a number of ways by which the freelancer can maximize the hours in the day. The following tips can help freelancers make the most out of their valuable time:
1. Follow Deadlines
One reason why freelancers fail at time management is because they set vague goals or deadlines. They make excuses when they don’t meet goals, pushing them back to a further time. However, this can have a negative effect, hindering the freelancer’s ability to meet client demands. Therefore, freelancers need to set clear deadlines that are realistic and manageable. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to meet the tasks, but not enough to motivate procrastination. By clearly defining deadlines, freelancers can better manage their time.
2. Use Time Tracking Tools
Time tracking tools gives freelancers a number of advantages, including the ability to understand exactly where their time has gone. Many time tracking tools keep online records of time spent in the past, offering freelancers insight on how to improve time management. In addition, freelancers are able to carefully budget their time, monitoring the duration of the project throughout the day. By keeping track of time, freelancers can better manage and allocate their responsibility among various projects.
A busy freelancer has multiple projects and dozens of tasks on his or her plate, constantly juggling between them. Prioritizing is a useful way to increase efficiency and make the most out of the freelancer’s time. While creating a “to-do” list, consider which projects are more important, and which can take a more relaxed schedule. There are a number of factors that play into the priority of a project, ranging from deadline, budget, and the preferences of the client.
4. Remove Distractions
Regardless of whether a freelancer works in a coffee shop or a home office, they are bound to be surrounded by distractions. Noisy conversations, children, phone calls, the Internet – all these distractions tempt the freelancer away from his or her work. However, these distractions can quickly sap time, leaving freelancers wondering where the day went. Therefore, one helpful tip is to manage the interruptions in the environment, and avoid distractions as much as possible.
5. Take Breaks
Poor time management are not necessarily associated with slackers; even workaholics can suffer from the inability to effectively manage their time. Many freelancers work long hours, often overworking themselves to the point of exhaustion. Personal and social life can suffer while the freelancer spends more and more time in the office. Therefore, it is important to take breaks, in order to make long work hours more manageable. Give yourself some freedom, so you can re-approach work with a rekindled spirit.