With the evolution of the working style, triggered by technological developments, the number of people who works as a freelancer is increasing every single day. While becoming your boss and delightful freedom not to accept a job that doesn’t suit you is appealing, sometimes it can be difficult for a freelancer to create the discipline to get the job done. You don’t need to read hundreds of books or watch Ted Talks for hours to learn how to gain some time management skills. With these tips, you will be able to manage your time, create an unbending working discipline, and you will have an efficient time management plan.
Planning Is the Key
In an office, most of the time, a supervisor or a manager tells you what you are going to do and when to do it. However, when you work as a freelancer, you have to plan your day or week, to finish your project before the deadline. Your time management has to be precise. Researches show that quite several freelancers are working without a plan and a schedule. Because of that unprofessional approach, they tend to finish their project scarcely. If you plan your day or week before you start working on a project, you’ll see you spare some time for yourself to relax and refill your energy for the next to come.
Make a To-Do List for the Day
Almost everyone who works tends to fill their monitor or desk with small notes they wrote to remind them what to do for the day. Most of the time, the entries in these notes are so many that it is not possible to complete during the day. While it is wise to keep a to-do list when planning the day, you should keep the number of entries realistic.
It’s not logical to write 10 notes on your list if you know you won’t have time to do all of them. In this case, you will not only be able to do things on time but also your morale will deteriorate. So, rather than writing unnecessary things on your list that you know you won’t be able to complete, keep your aim straight and write fewer but realistic entries that you’re sure you will be able to achieve in the day time.
Stay Away from Distractions
It’s almost a basic instinct to check our social media accounts in regular time. However, doing this while working is a terrible distraction that affects the quality and quantity of our work. So when you start to work, log out from all of your social media accounts and keep your mobile phone where you can’t see the incoming notifications. It may be painful to not to touch your smartphone in the beginning, but you will get used to it.
Social media is not the only distraction that may affect you negatively.
If it’s possible to silence the door ring or hang a sign on your door that tells your visitors or neighbors not to disturb you. If you are using separate e-mail software that checks regularly, change it’s renewing time to 3 or 4 times a day. Checking your e-mails constantly, will not only distract you while working on a project but with an e-mail that reminding you of an incoming electricity bill may lower your motivation.
Just Say No
We know those job offerings are vital for freelancers for them to keep on being their boss. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept anything that knocks on your door. If you make your scheduling correctly, you will know if you can get to job done in time or not. Don’t be afraid to say no to some customers if you are sure that you won’t be able to finish it before the deadline. That won’t affect your prestige negatively in the customers’ eyes; on the contrary, if they know how things work, they will appreciate your discipline. By not accepting all of those offerings, you’ll see that project you are working on is going to be completed in an efficient time.
Use Time Tracking Tools
Most of the freelancer does not keep track of their time while working. At the end of the day, they don’t understand how time has passed and panic because they realize that they won’t catch up on the deadline. If you calculate how much time it takes to complete a project, you can give more realistic deadlines to your customers. To do that, there are hundreds of applications that allows you to track your working time. We know we told you to stay away from your smartphone, but if you use it in a beneficial way that little device rather than distracting you, it will help you to manage your time more efficiently. Also, you can use some Chrome extensions like Toggl to efficient time management.
Don’t Be a Dull Boy
Remember when Jack tried to write his novel by not taking a break? It had nothing to do with the spirits at the hotel when he lost his mind and tried to kill his family. It was all because he forgot to take a day-off. As the classic horror-thriller movie The Shining implies, you need to know when to take a break and rest. You probably won’t lose your mind, but we can assure you, if you don’t create some time for yourself, this will reflect on your work and decrease the quality. Because you probably are working in your house for the rest of the week, we suggest you go for a walk or a place where you can socialize with other people. Long story short, don’t let “all work and no play make you a dull boy.”