4 Time Management Tips and Tools for Freelancers
Proper time management is one of the biggest challenges freelancers face. Getting the most value out of your work time and balancing personal and family time are key considerations.
The following is an overview of several top time-management tips, along with some tools that freelancers can use to stay organized and efficient.
Identify and Eliminate Distractions
The particular things that get in the way of your productivity depend on personal habits. However, common distractions for freelancers include social media, mobile phones, videos, and messaging platforms.
The challenge is that each of these can contribute to acquiring and completing freelance work. Thus, you have to figure out how to leverage them for work while eliminating them as distractions. When completing tasks, turn off your cell phone alerts and leave the phone alone until you finish. Similarly, avoid pulling up a social media website or app while in production mode.
Avoiding these distractions begins with an honest assessment of what gets in your way. Then, determine how you will carve out scheduled work time while eliminating problems.
Track To-Dos and Time Allocations
To manage time, you need an idea of how much you spend on particular work tasks. Keep an organized planner or to-do list for recording projects and activities. As you complete tasks, record the time spent. Time records allow you to compare projects to determine whether you operated efficiently or not. It also enables you to look for jobs that do not provide necessary payoffs for the time spent.
The Time Doctor is a helpful tool for tracking the time you spend on various activities. This tool helps you generate reports on the time spent on tasks. It also helps hold you accountable by checking in when you visit social media sites and other channels to ensure you are doing so as part of a work task.
Take Planned Breaks
If you do not have a plan for breaks, you tend to take them more often and for longer periods than you need. Thus, schedule time for short breaks intermittently within your workday.
A common strategy is to determine how long it takes to complete a task or to complete a segment of a task. If it takes 20 minutes, for instance, you can schedule 20 minutes of work time followed by a five-minute break. The same principle applies if the task or segment of work requires 30 minutes. Every work cycle, therefore, includes dedicated work time and a set period of brief rest.
Say No! to Inefficient Work
It is tempting to say “Yes” to every project that comes before you. However, you could end up putting a lot of time and effort into low-paying jobs. Doing so limits the time you have for acquiring and completing better jobs. It also drains your energy and enthusiasm for freelance work. Thus, say “No!” to projects that do not offer you the returns you need.
These are just four critical tips and tools to assist freelancers in optimizing return on their time investment. Implement these today to be more productive and to increase your satisfaction with freelance work!