What would be your reply if you were asked what is the most pressing issue for a freelancer that cannot be avoided at any cost? Any freelancer worth his salt would come up with ‘time management’ as the reply. Other people are under the illusion that freelancers do not work according to a timetable and thus, time is not something that they need to manage in order to complete their work. Well, the job of a freelancer is such that it entails time management from every angle. Deadlines and quality work are the two things that keep a freelancer in the race, and you cannot expect to meet deadlines and give quality work if you are not good at managing your time. Well, when you are not in an office cubicle and there is no one to supervise you, you have to monitor yourself and make sure that the assignment or project in your hand is completed on time. Time management is essential for a freelancer because:
1. It helps to meet deadlines.
2. You learn to work in a disciplined environment.
3. Your productivity and creativity improve in fine proportion
4. You can find out time for yourself.
5. You can pursue additional courses and learn new skills.
6. You can deal with interruptions and distractions in a better way.
Since, the benefits of time management are too great to be ignored, any and every freelancer would want to follow the important freelancer time management advice that we have given below. So, check out the tips and follow them to experience the goodies that are sure to come your way if you implement them in letter and spirit.
Make A Timetable For Your Work And Follow It Religiously
When you are a freelancer, you don’t work from an office. So, there is no such thing as external regulation and set time limits for work. Working from home can easily tempt you into procrastination and disorder and if you fall for the baits, nothing can be more unfortunate. Habits die hard and when you are the one who is controlling and supervising yourself, you have to be extra careful and strict to yourself. So, work according to a routine even if you find it inconvenient. Slowly, you will adapt to it and your mind and body will also get streamlined to work in a regulated routine environment at home. Always keep in mind that planning and organizations are a must-have for you; otherwise you cannot hope to become successful.
Divide And Prioritize Your Work
Hard work and smart work are not very different from each other but there is of course, a subtle difference between the two. As a freelancer, you must know that and approach your work in an organized/smart manner. There is no point in working tirelessly over a long period of time when you can do it much better but to do that you must break your project into daily targets. Focus on the most important task and complete the one that is easy at the start itself to maintain your tempo and motivate yourself.
Set Personal Deadlines
Time management requires you to be alert and conscious. Being a freelancer, one often becomes lax despite knowing that there are deadlines to be met. Do you know the reason behind this ‘take it easy’ attitude? It is because you don’t encounter the deadline on a daily basis. Therefore, you must set personal deadlines on a daily basis to keep your progress in check.
Keep A Checklist On Your Table
If you want to work efficiently you must make it a habit to write down things or work that come to your mind intermittently while you are at work. Many a time, we don’t resort to this simple but effective time management tool out of laziness or ignorance without realizing what we are losing. When you work from home, countless things come to your mind and they can be related to your project or personal matter. Writing them down helps you to take control of things and thus, a lot of time is saved that is otherwise wasted in remembering works that need to be completed.
Declutter Your Workstation
Effective time management asks you to get in shape and since charity begins at home, you must start from your workstation. Unnecessary papers and files not only waste your time but also bring negative energy. So, clean up your table as well as your computer. You will feel the positive change as soon as the cleanup is complete.
Know Your Most Productive Phases
Time management becomes very easy when you are aware of the time when you are most focused and productive. For some it is the early morning hours and for others it is the late night hours. Whatever it is, know it and keep the most important and hardest work reserved for this hour. This will make your work smooth and easy.
Breaks are also an important part of time management and hence, you must have space for them in your daily timetable. Structure them in such a way that you can stay away from monotony. Timely breaks are important and if you work for 10-12 hours on a daily basis you must get three breaks in between. The duration of the break depends upon you but make sure that you don’t drag it unnecessarily. Remember you are the one who has to ring the alarm bell.
Time is money and everyone knows how important it is to manage money. It is no less than a survival skill in the present times and for freelancers it is all the more important because they have to work doubly hard to make money. Freelancing comes with a world of advantages but only those who know the tricks and tips to time management can utilize them in real sense of the word. What we have advised above are such tips and tricks. So, if you want to enjoy a hassle-free ride in your everyday life as a freelancer, take the advices seriously and implement them with immediate effect. Time wasted is equivalent to money wasted and no one would do it until and unless he/she is a fool. We know you are not one and therefore, it goes without saying that you are going to put them in practice. So, get started. You will make your freelancing mark for sure.