How to manage your time as a freelancer

How to manage your time as a freelancer

When you are freelancer, the time you put in a project really determines how much you get paid. Regardless of how productive you are a 9 to 5 kind of job, you are probably bound to a salary, so you are not so dependent on how much you produce because you are getting paid the same at the end of the month. You are self-employed, however, you are reliant on how effective you are to finish a project. If it takes you longer than you expected to finish a project, that's money you've lost. If you get distracted while working on a project and it takes you longer to finish it, then your rate decreases.

That's easier said than done and you might get sucked into social media or your own marketing and that might deter you from being productive. That's why you need to stay focused to maximise your profits.

Wake up early

Although it is no easy task to wake up at 6 in the morning when you don't have to, once you've had a cup of coffee and a hot shower, you'll feel ready to work because if you do wake up that early, you better be productive. Besides, it's much easier to get work done before lunch time. There are hardly any distractions during that time of the day and there's rarely any background noise. Without any interruptions, you'll be able to focus on your tasks without having to stop to answer a phone call or an email and then having to resume your task.

Be organised

Try to create a better workflow by keeping a notebook by your side and writing down anything that takes up too much of your time, which could be email, social media, administrative tasks, invoicing or even the phone. By keeping a record, you are able to improve and create new workflows to be more efficient.

You might find the answer in an app or an accounting software. There's always a way to get things work faster or using an automated service so you can focus most of your time on the billable tasks.

Get assistance

Although it might be hard to pay someone else for what you can do as well as freelancer, this might save you time and allow you to focus on other more creative tasks. You can either get a personal assistance to help you do the admin work or a cleaner who will help you do your chores.

Time management tools

Never forget that time is money and if the project you are doing for you client requires calls, emails and research you should be accounting for the time you spend doing those as well.

To successfully invoice a client, you have to use time tracking tools to monitor where time is being spent. Along with the invoice, you can email an explanation of everything the client is being billed for. This report should detail how your time was spent. If a client complains, just make sure that next time you tell a client upfront what they are getting charged for.

When you track the time you spend on a project, you can more accurately calculate how much time you'll need in future projects. The more accurate your prediction is, the less chances are of you getting underpaid because of a job you underestimated.

Don't get dragged into social networks

There's nothing wore for ADD than social media. You check Twitter for business purposes and somehow something caught your attention on the news story, then you clicked on the link, ended up on Facebook and before you know it, you are watching funny cat videos on YouTube. You check the time and it's been an hour since the last time you were productive. While it's fair play to use social media for business purposes, you have to get a grip and avoid using it for social media. Yes, we all enjoy it when someone likes your photo, but you can save that ego boost for your leisure time.

Avoid your mobile

If you get a business call, of course you are allowed to take it but you might want to avoid looking your phone because with all its apps and fun notifications, it's easy to get dragged into all the distractions your phone provides.