Do you think you have what it takes to work for yourself and become a freelancer? You’re not the only one who thinks this and is going down that path. Reports show that 41% of the American workforce freelanced in 2020.
That means competition is fierce in the market. If you want to find success, you’ll need to do more in less time. That means making time management a priority.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to manage your time when you’re a freelancer. Below are seven time management tips that every freelance worker needs to know.
- Create a Schedule
Yes, you have complete control over your time as a freelancer. If someone wants you to work during certain hours, you can always turn down the job. However, that doesn’t mean that having a schedule is something you should avoid.
Most people work better when they have a structured day. Knowing what time is work time is beneficial for getting into the frame of mind for handling a job.
Luckily, you get to pick your work hours as a freelancer. Try to determine what time you do your best work. Block out that time during the day and focus only on freelance work during that time.
In many cases, this is the time you’ll spend doing more creative work. For administrative work, try to block out separate times for those tasks.
- Set Priority Tasks for the Next Day
Every task is a priority if you don’t categorize your tasks to decide what’s important. When this happens, it’s hard to know what to focus on during the day. If you can’t do that, making progress on your projects becomes more challenging.
One way to avoid this issue is to plan your tasks the night before. Come up with three primary tasks that will move the needle the most for your projects. When you start the next day, these are the first things you’ll do.
By doing this, you’ll spend your time on the work that matters most for your freelance business and clients. You won’t spend time working on things that aren’t as important.
- Remove Notifications
Once you have your primary tasks for the day and have time to work on them, you’ll need to make sure you have no distractions. Unfortunately, that’s hard to do in today’s world. Workers today have endless distractions from their phones and email.
You need to make sure that none of those things distract you when trying to get critical work done. Silence your phone and turn off all notifications on your workstation.
These are things you should look at when you aren’t trying to focus. One of the biggest time management skills you can master is the ability to focus without distraction. Removing notifications is one of the best ways to master that skill.
- Learn to Say No
Pleasing people comes with the job as a freelancer. You need people to hire you to handle jobs to make a living. However, that doesn’t mean you need to do everything that comes your way.
This applies to freelance jobs, meetings, new tasks, and anything else that takes up your time. As a freelancer, you only have so many hours in the day. You don’t want to spend it all working.
That’s why you need to only say yes to the things that really matter. You’ll need to think about this yourself to figure this out. Once you do, say no to everything that doesn’t help you move in the right direction as a freelance worker.
- Use Project Management Systems
You’re on your own to keep track of everything as a freelancer. While you may be able to do this manually and with email, that isn’t always the best choice. Going this route is ineffective and will waste too much of your time.
When you get started as a freelancer, pick a project management system to learn. This system will help you keep track of projects, communicate with clients, and track your time.
This means you can have all your project information in one place online instead of having it scattered everywhere. It will let you focus on working instead of trying to figure out what you need to accomplish.
- Take Time Off
It’s easy to overwork yourself as a freelancer. After all, you’ll make more money if you put in more hours and get more clients. However, you only have so much energy to give to others.
If you don’t take time for yourself, you risk burning out. It becomes much more challenging to manage your time and get work done when this happens.
You’ll need to learn how to take care of yourself to avoid burnout. Try to take a few days off every week and make time for the occasional vacation. The less your life revolves around work, the less of a chance that you’ll burn out on working.
- Learn to Delegate
The chances are good that you won’t need help when you first start freelancing. You won’t have many clients, so it won’t be an issue to prioritize your time. When you begin growing and getting more clients, that changes.
If you find yourself spending too much of your day working, it might be time to start looking for help. You don’t have to outsource the creative work yet. However, you can do some outsourcing with your administrative work.
The more work you pass to other people, the more time you have to get new clients and work on projects. All of this will help you better manage your time and become a more successful freelancer.
There Are More Time Management Tips for Freelancers Out There
You can’t afford to waste time when you don’t have a steady job to make an income as a freelancer. Every second counts when you work for yourself. Keep learning the time management tips out there to optimize your days for success.
Do you want to learn more about what it takes to create sustainable freelance careers? Head back to the blog to learn more tips that will help.