As a freelancer, you’ll need to learn how to make the best use of your time.
We've already discussed why it's vital to understand the concept of billable time for your services. The next thing to consider is how you manage your time. The faster and more efficiently you work, the more money you'll make.
However, you should never place speed over quality of work.
Freelance work, like all self-employment, requires discipline. After all, you will not have a boss looking over your shoulder to make sure you get your job done on time.
As a freelancer, you will need to develop time management skills in order to control distractions and be able to concentrate on the work at hand.
First, it is a great idea to create a to-do list with tasks that are quick or urgent, ranked by order of importance. Then create another list for larger jobs that are currently in progress. It's important to then rank your tasks according to how much time it will take to complete them.
Your list of tasks will help you be intentional about your work and help you to visualize what you want to accomplish each day.
Managing distractions is perhaps the biggest challenge as a freelancer, especially if you work online. Social notifications and talkative friends on chat are hard to ignore. You have to set boundaries with friends and family when it comes to your freelance work. As you can imagine, many people find this very hard to do.
If you need help staying focused, there are many apps that could help. These apps place access restrictions on specific websites and social media platforms to help you stay focused.
Another very effective way to help manage your time is a technique known as time blocking. You break up your day into smaller segments where specific tasks are done. Don’t forget to set aside small time-chunks for administrative tasks like email, scheduling, and returning calls.
You can also use a simple calendar tool such as Google Calendar to block your week out in advance or use a calendar app that will track what you’ve accomplished to help you better optimize your schedule.
Ultimately, the key to time management is self-awareness.
Tracking your time gives you the insight into what tasks steal your time and which ones keep you optimized and focused.