As a freelancer time is one of your most valuable assets. With proper planning, prioritization and scheduling you can maximize your potential 10x as a freelancer. Read on to find out the 9 underused time management strategies for serious freelancers.
1. Maintain a calender.
Have a to-do list and maintain a calendar. Carefully allocate certain periods to specific tasks and avoid multi-tasking. Make sure you aren’t expecting more in less time and leave some free time in case some urgent work pop-ups. By maintaining a calendar you are prioritizing your whole day work.
2. Make a plan and stick to it.
Always plan your day beforehand. Stick to the plan and do not change it. Be realistic and do not over commit. If you get some new projects which might disturb your already planned scheduled say “No”. Avoid agreeing to jobs if you don’t have time to do it.
Your goal should be creating happy clients and delivering quality results.
3. Do not entertain demanding clients.
If you find that clients are being too demanding and changing their requirements too frequently its time to stop them. Let them know politely that their constant demands are being unfruitful. Schedule for responding to clients. Let them know when you are available and are ready to entertain their needs.
4. Turn off social media.
Don’t let social media and e-mails ruin your pre-planned schedule. Do not check your social media accounts and inbox after every 10 minutes. If possible do not keep any tabs open in your browser except the one you really need. Have fixed timings to check e-mails and social media accounts.
For example: You can check your e-mails 4 times a day and social media accounts 3 times. Also let your clients know about these timings so that they can try to catch you for a live chat.
5. Be quick by using shortcuts.
If your work involves using the browsers or any other computer application learn the shortcuts. Shortcuts will help you to work like a ninja thus saving your precious time. Using shortcuts is one of the most underused time management strategies by which you can speed up your work flow.
6. Be organized.
Be organized – physically and digitally. Keep your working desk tidy. Give away with the things which aren’t really needed at your desk or working table. Managing your e-mail folders and files folders properly is the way to be organized digitally. Make sure you backup all the information in a removable drive.
7. Its okay to say no.
If you are too busy working on a project stop taking up newer projects. It is always better to avoid taking too many jobs at once. If you are working on multiple projects at a time there are chances you might under-perform.
If you have already committed to finish a task for a client and for some reasons you think you are not going to meet the deadline, let them know that you will require more time. Be smart while scheduling. Back out as early as possible if you aren’t able to deliver the expected results.
8. Jump between projects.
To prevent yourself from getting tired or completely burned out jump between projects. If you choose to do the same work the whole day chances are you are stressing too much. In order to keep your productivity high, switch between projects when you feel you’re fed up.
9. Take regular breaks.
Even if your workload is heavy, time some time out to de-screen yourself. Taking regular breaks will keep you more energetic and will also increase your productivity.
Over to you!
Do you have some more strategies to add to the list? Which specific strategy do you use to keep yourself super productive? Let us know in the comments below.