How Should Freelancers Manage Their Time?
Freelancing as a career is celebrated for being the most efficient way of taking control of your own career and professional destiny. You have the freedom of place and the time for the most part, and this freedom is what attracts people of different trades to this type of career whether they are writers, artists, or any other profession. But in spite of all these efforts, there’s one resource that will always remain limited: our time.
Time is precious and time mismanagement is unfortunately common among freelancers. Freelancers, especially in the beginning, feel as though time is on their side, and they do not manage it properly.
Yes, one of the most trying issues for a majority of freelancers is that of limited time; They never seem to have enough of it. They always need more time, which sometimes can all but be impossible to find.
Here are some time management strategies that freelancers should have in their arsenal and some tips to get things on track.
Create a Base of Regular Clients
During initial days of freelancing, you will spend most of your time findingclients. It is not an easy task to make a person trust you with his hard earned money. This is the time when freelancers are either awashin clients and projects or itching their palms with nothing to do.
But once you establish your credibility, it’s easier to create a steady roster of clients while beingable to take on random projects as they arise.
Some clients are fussier than others, always proving to be a constant pain, nevertheless, as a freelancer who is still trying to establish himself; you have little option but to handle them in such a way that not much time is wasted unnecessarily. All these estimates have to be done prior to taking up new work.
Give Realistic Deadlines
If you want to enjoy a long run ina freelancing job, it is important to be picky about the projects you choose. Projects with unrealistic deadlines should be avoided and neither you should be over enthusiastic while giving a final deadline for the project delivery. It will surely take some time and projects experience to have better estimate of time. To help yourself, you can employ time tracker softwarethat will track how much time you spend on your freelancing tasks throughout the day.
Tracking your time will also help you in estimating how much fees need to be charged on order to make a living wage.
The better you are with estimating your time, the more you’ll be able to follow through on your commitments. Remember the golden rule of freelancing business; Under-promiseand over-deliver.
Develop a Good Freelancing Schedule
The biggest reason behind people taking up freelancing is to have greater control over their work and personal lives.
Although you must think that a chock-a-block schedule that keeps one busy and also keeps the dollar rolling in is a sign of a freelancer’s success, truth is something different. With number of jobs, you also have to ensure consistency and maintain uncompromised quality in the delivered work. Taking up more jobs than what you can deliver will create moments of anxiety which leads to greater errors and bad reputation. Remember, without a good reputation, freelancers cannot even think of a comfortable earning.
Thus, set the total hours you are able to work every weekand decide which days and times during the week you’re able to work.
Divide your Time
Instead of switching from one project to another too many times a day or a week you should properly divide the time where you can focus out on particular project. Multitasking is a good thing apparently, but it rarely gives the same quality as one can give while focusing on one task at a time. Freelancing is not same as a 9 to 5 job, and that’s the benefit of it, but even with more than a few clients and messy work schedule you can make your workdays more routine, saving a lot of time and energy.
Keep a Tab on the Payment and ROI
Most freelancers rarely keep any formal records of the income they earn from freelancing. This is big mistake as you won’t be ever be able to judge the ROI that you are getting for the efforts and time put in. Thus it is advised that right from the time when you start a freelancing job, you should create a budgetfor yourself. It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet, or something more in depth.
Creating a formal record of the income will not only keep things less confusing but also help you make the most of your time as a freelancer. Keep track of payments you have coming in, payments you expect to come in, and the expenses you pay.For freelancers, time really does equal money. Thus, if you want tobetter manage your time;it is pretty obvious that you also have to better at managingthemoney.
Thus, the more specific and better laid out your goals, the better you’ll find you’ve completed a lot of little things as a freelancer that needed to bedone, and you may have more time, mental space and inspiration to tackle some biggerissues.