Most freelancers quit their jobs in order to become freelancers due to the appeal of freedom. Many do not realize at the time that they are replacing one boss with many bosses (their clients). Unless freelancers are very careful, it is way too easy to give up those dreams of freedom in exchange for these many bosses. The biggest reason is usually due to the inability of time management.
Here are five time management tips that can help you put that free back into freelancer.
Limit your Information Intake
Information can come in multiple forms. At times it can be frivolous – such as browsing Reddit or Hacker News. Other times it may appear to be important, in the form of a meeting or a conference call. The fact still remains that it is almost always impossible to multitask. Sometimes you will just need to inform your clients that you cannot complete the task that needs to be completed ASAP if you are on a call with them. Not all information is bad, but going on a diet is not a bad idea either; when it is time to focus in order to get things done.
Skype, IM, Email, Twitter. All of these social media applications are killers of your productivity and will cause you to lose your focus as well as time. By limiting your email checking to once maybe twice a day will increase the time that you have to accomplish things that need to get done. This will also let your clients know that not everything in their life is an urgent situation and worthy of an instant response from you.
Working in Short Burst
Work in a span of twenty-five minutes (and do nothing else but work) take a break for five minutes. Stretch out your legs, make your favorite cup of tea, stare out the window, do anything except think about work. This will allow time to detach from your work, and you will be able to turn off or on your working mind.
Practicing the Word “NO”
Essentially people want to be able to please other people. But, we also should not do this by sacrificing our very own happiness in the process. Typically things that may need to be accomplished right away can actually wait a little bit. Many freelancers tend to take time away from their own free time in order to satisfy a client. They sacrifice time with their own family and friends so that others can spend time with their family and friends. So, learn to say NO, people tend to respect those who will not answer “how high” when they are asked to jump.
Treating Freelancing as a Normal Job
This may actually sound just a little bit crazy. But, treat it as a normal regular nine-to-five job. Too, many freelancers will work from home and at all hours of the day as well as well into the night. This actually makes their home life and family suffer more than if they worked out of the home. So set up a work schedule and stick to it. When it is family time make sure to spend that time with your family, not answering emails or writing. This can bring a bit more time management to the table and keep you organized at the same time.