From the outside, freelancing can seem simple; wake up, roll out of bed, open your laptop (after detouring past the coffee pot), and starting your day. The reality of it, though, is very different. I am excited to share with you my top time management tips for productivity!
First of all, you have to remember that discipline and routine are essential to success. It will be the make or break your freelance business. You need to get serious about time management and organization before you find yourself stuck in unproductive, bad habits that are hard to break.
Perhaps decide on some specific hours you want to keep to (this will keep you productive and if not, you may have to put in overtime). If you find that you are more productive in the evenings, make those your productive hours, or if you are an early bird, then get your work done early on. That is the benefit of being a freelancer, you get to work when you choose.
One productivity tip that you will always read is to not work in your bed. And, sometimes, this is true. However, if it works for you and it is comfortable, then by all means do so. I am writing this blog to you right now, from my favorite space — my bed! If you find that you are more productive in another area of your house: then work in that location. That is one of the primary benefits of a freelancer; you get to work where you choose.
Given that you will now be in control of when and how much you work, you must have some good time management skills. Clients will expect you to meet their deadlines, so you need to ensure that you do.
Depending on your work style, you could charge by the project or by the hour, whichever will motivate you the best and works for your client and business. Depending on how you value your time, this will help you to value your product more, and subsequently, revalue your productivity. Even if you decide to charge by the project; decide your hourly rate anyway, just so you are aware of timing.
To make sure that you stay on task, you will likely find a new best friend: lists. Whether you are a paper or an electronic person, lists will save your life. It is also a good idea to break your projects into sub-tasks. Put these lists and calendars somewhere that you see them to keep them on task. My favorite organization platform is ASANA, I use it for everything organization! You will get the biggest satisfaction of ticking off a task! Additionally, setting mini, sub-deadlines is a good way to track your progress. If one list-keeping method does not work for you, then find another one that does. That is the beauty of being a freelancer, you get to be flexible.
To track time, setting timers or word count goals are a great way to stay focused. For example, there is a time management technique that requires you to work solidly for 25 minutes, you then get a 5 minute break, and then you work for 25 minutes. This method keeps you engaged in your task, yet still keeps your brain refreshed.
There is so a multitude of productivity tips. The key, though, is to find the ones that work for you. There is no point in continuing to do something that is producing suboptimal results, change it. One of the biggest benefits of working freelance is that you have the freedom to choose what to do; choose success.