There is a reason you chose to Freelance. Most likely was to be your own boss and work from home. Yes the thought of working in your pj’s is appealing but when it gets down to it, this is how you pay the bills. The best way to succeed in freelancing is to be very careful on how you manage your time; here are a few tips to keep those jobs coming:
First things first:
Before you start your work day or your task, clear your mind and get ready to prioritize. Take a look at your calendar and email for any appointments, calls or meetings you might have set up. Look at the work you want to accomplish from start to finish. Be sure you put your lunch or coffee breaks into your list.
Once you have your list set for the day, be sure to calculate for interruptions such as a last minute meeting, bathroom/coffee breaks and phone calls. Keep in mind that you are trying to complete each task in a high quality manner so be realistic and honest with yourself. Every minute counts.
The only thing you should be logging onto in the morning is your email. If you start your day checking Facebook or Twitter you will most likely spend a good hour doing mindless things. At all costs avoid social media and anything tempting like online shopping or watching movies. Whatever your vice is, avoid it. If it is that important for you to do, make time for it, add it in your schedule and stick to it. Also if you work from home, don’t be afraid to place a “do not disturb” sign up, to keep the kids questions at bay and your spouse’s request at minimum.
Writing everything down will help you judge how much time you need for tasks in your future. Taking notes during phone calls, meetings and other discussions will give you an idea what was discussed during those times. Looking over your notes you may find a common topic and three different delivery methods; from there you can possibly condense by having one conference call rather than those three delivery methods.
Just say no:
Tread lightly in this area; be sure you are in a place to say no. But if you realize you are not able to take on another task, don’t be afraid to say no. More jobs will come if you say no. If you are unable to say no ask for an extension or what the priority level it is. This can help with your time management.
Citation: freelance vs self-employed – which are you?