How to Organise Your Time as a Freelancer
Enhancing your time, profits, and reputation
When getting into freelancing for the first time, or even as a more established freelancer, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the job at hand. While it’s important to know what you’re doing regarding your trade, you are also a sole trader and essentially, you run your own business. And with that, comes more responsibility and more skills required to ensure your business survives. Many of these anxieties can be resolved by ensuring you plan ahead and use your time effectively. Here are our tips on how to organise your time as a freelancer!
Know when you are most productive
Now, the simplest thing to do would be to follow a nine-to-five like the majority of the world. However, if you want to ensure you spend less time, but more hours of quality work on a project, why not spend some time listening to your body to find out when you are most productive?
Some people are most productive first thing in the morning, or later in the evening. It’s no secret that the standard nine-to-five is not the optimal schedule for people to be working at their best. It could be that you need to break your day into chunks, and do half of your work first thing in the morning, spend most of the day maximising your personal time – perhaps doing other business-related errands and admin tasks, and then get back into some work early evening.
The most important thing is to make sure you do your best work so you don’t lack confidence, and you keep the work coming in. Stay attuned to when you work most effectively and efficiently, so you can spend more time doing what you love.
Allocate and track time
It sounds simple, but as many discover, it can be hard to do – make sure you are not wasting time procrastinating. The saying ‘don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today really manifests when you are working to tight deadlines – and when your reputation is on the line.
It’s also self-explanatory that doing your work in a relaxed environment without the pressure of having to meet a deadline ensures you do your best work. This also means you can better predict how long a project will take you, it means you can offer better rates to clients and provide a faster service than other freelancers, allowing you to compete easier in the market.
Once you find out that a task actually takes you two hours instead of four, you are left with more time to check, reflect, or even take on other projects. Not least, ensuring you can relax is key to being more productive.
Plan your time
As a freelancer, you get paid when you work but rarely will a freelancer get holiday or sick pay. Now of course you can’t control when you get sick, and clients will understand if you delay a project due to sickness. However, the same might not go for unplanned holidays in the middle of a project.
There are multiple ways to plan your time, for example, having an overall plan for the year. In regards to holidays, you can use this to be upfront with clients, so, each time you get a new project in you can offer them a more accurate timescale, and it means you can work without rushing to meet deadlines due to unforeseen days off. However, it also encourages you to look at when you might need to take a break and ensure you stay well rested. A rested mind is more likely to do better and higher quality work.
Set long-term goals
While it’s satisfying to achieve a sense of completion at the end of each project, make sure you set yourself some longer-term goals. Ambition is a great way to keep yourself motivated, doing your best work, and enhancing your business reputation – alongside having some more deadlines to keep you on your toes!
Perhaps at the beginning of each year, look at your stats – for example, how many projects you complete, what your rates are, or what your clients say about you in feedback. The person you need to impress more than any other is yourself because your confidence is your ambition, it’s how you communicate with clients and it’s how you make you make your money. It’s what encourages you to take on projects that might look a bit intimidating or a bit out of reach.
So, when you plan your project, your month, or your year – also spend a minute thinking about what you want to achieve and where you want to be at the end of it.
Reflect and learn
Another important way to ensure you meet your deadlines and goals is to reflect on your past project, much like working towards future goals, and spend some time looking back at how long things took, how much time you spent procrastinating, or relaxing. If there were any obstacles, what were they and how did you overcome them? All of these are great tasks to ensure you maximise your time and your potential.
Before you go
Now, that you know how to organise your time as a freelancer, be sure to check out How to Negotiate Your Prices as a Freelancer as the next step in your freelance journey. Still, wondering if freelancing is for you? These articles are sure to lead you in the right direction: Top 5 Reasons Why Freelancing is Better Than A Job and Why You Should Start Freelancing.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer