The world of freelancing is rapidly expanding, with an estimated 1.1 billion freelance workers globally as of 2021. That constitutes 35 percent of the world’s workforce. In just five years from now, full-time remote work will experience a 65 percent growth.
Working as a freelancer can have many rewards. Besides unbeatable flexibility, you get to earn a decent income in your freelance business. The average freelancer earns $67,164 per year, which is more than the national average wage.
Top freelancers make use of time management tips to get more work done every day. The freedom that comes with freelancing can make managing time a little challenging, especially for newbies.
In this guide, we highlight six freelancing tips to help you take control of your time and deliver more without hassle.
Let’s delve right in.
- Schedule Each Deadline
Freelance platforms like https://www.taxfyle.com/freelance-cpa-jobs enable you to meet clients who may offer large projects instead of short, one-off tasks. Every project will have a deadline. It’s up to you as a freelancer to know what needs to be done and at what time.
Before you accept a large project, it’s smart to come up with a to-do list that breaks down the project into smaller tasks. Divide these tasks across each day to see how long the project will take. Leave some room for other projects from the client that may come up.
The goal here is to see whether the deadline given by the client is practical. If it becomes clear that their deadline is impractical, you can suggest resetting the timeline.
As soon as you take up the project, it becomes easier to track your progress and finish the work on time.
- Make Use Time-Blocking
Another top tip on how to manage time is to practice time-blocking. This time management method involves dividing your day into blocks of time, with each block devoted to accomplishing a specific task, and only that task. It’s the opposite of keeping an open-ended list of things to do when able.
Time-blocking enables you to start every day with a concrete schedule that directs you on what you’re going to work on and when. The most successful freelancers use this technique to balance their freelance clients and their needs.
At the end of your workday, you can look at the tasks for the following day and make a detailed schedule to get them done.
Time-blocking helps take the guesswork out of your workdays. Instead of stopping between tasks to figure out your next priority, you only need to follow your plan. It also helps you see what you’ll get done during your workday if you stick to the schedule, which is helpful when you have weekly or monthly goals.
- Set S.M.A.R.T Goals
S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. Every time you accept a project, you need to set S.M.A.R.T goals to help you stay on track.
Always be sure to have a specific metric for accomplishment so you can know when you’ve achieved your goals. You’re free to set either short-term or long-term goals. The key thing is to stay focused on your ultimate goal.
- Avoid Distractions
The biggest ally you have when you want to master time management is focus. You want to constantly channel your attention toward the tasks you have. This is the only way to complete your work more quickly and deliver better quality.
Note that you’ll need a strategy to avoid potential distractions. For instance, you can decide to avoid working in the same room as your TV if you feel that you’ll be tempted to turn it on. Another strategy would be to turn your mobile phone data off to prevent distractions from group chats.
Identify your most likely distractions and come up with ways to get rid of them.
- Shun Multitasking
Regardless of what you’ve heard before, multitasking isn’t something your brain can do capably. It’s easy to think that you’re getting several things done at once, but in reality, you’re making your brain switch back and forth between different subjects.
Multitasking adversely affects your efficiency. In the end, you take up more time to handle the tasks than you’d have taken had you focused on one thing at a time.
The best antidote to multi-tasking is time-blocking.
- Take Advantage of Technology
You depend on technology to get lots of things done every day; why not do the same when it comes to managing your time. There are lots of time management tools out there that can help you break down your projects and allocate time for tasks effectively.
Different freelancers have different preferences, so you may want to experiment with a few project management tools to see which one fits your needs and workflow best.
Make a time-tracking tool part of your other project management tools. With such a tool, you get to see where exactly you’re spending time. That includes non-billable tasks, such as emails and invoicing.
Once you have a clear idea of where your time is going, you can determine which tasks you can automate and start to save more time.
Use the Right Time Management Tips to Accomplish More as a Freelancer
A career as a freelancer gives you lots of freedom, but only if you know how to plan and control your time well. Without the right processes in place, you’ll struggle to achieve a healthy work-life balance. The sooner you start to apply the time management tips we’ve recommended here, the faster your freelancing career will begin to flourish.
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