Let’s face it; the life of a freelancer is a demanding one. Most especially if you’re just starting out. By this time, you’d need to take time in doing things that are very crucial in setting up and running your business. You would definitely have to take time to set up your portfolio, cold pitch potential clients, and connect with web developers to help with your website.
To many people, freelancing isn’t just a means of income, it is a way of life. This goes beyond bulks that roll in. The beauty of the freelancing life lies in its power to make you free and deliver you from the torture of the corporate world. And if you’re who someone sucks at everything but calling his own shots, you’re probably going to want to opt in for freelancing, not only as a means of income, but also as a way of freedom.
It’s true that a freelancer does not have to worry about delivering presentations during board meetings, crazy politics of the office environment, harassment and hostile work environment, and other issues such as the fear of getting queried because you’re perpetually late to work due to a regular morning traffic congestion you honestly can do nothing about.
Aside these benefits, freelancing helps you define your own financial life and gives you a control over your financial future. The potentials in freelancing are real, and with the help of the internet, freelancing gives you limitless opportunities.
Because it allows for a high degree of freedom, many people jump into the freelancing world as a way of escape without taking time for appropriate planning and time management. They soon find out that their expectations of freedom is very far from reality because they are used to working on a specific task and submitting it to the appropriate supervisors after completion. They get thrown into imbalance because a freelancer has to worry about being other things aside his main expertise. This means that a freelance writer has to be his own accountant, salesman, secretary, clerk, researcher, janitor, etc.
Appropriate planning and time management needs to be done in order to not get entangled in the demanding world of freelancing. Without proper time management practices in place, chances are you would find yourself in a messy situation sooner than you expect. Let’s look at the four most important time management practices that are very crucial for any freelancing business.
Getting right to what is important when you’ve already figured out the exact thing to do saves a whole lot of time, agreed. But the main issue lies in how to figure out what exactly you should do when you have a whole lot of tasks begging for your attention.
Brainstorming before you start your day will make you understand what it is you need to do and would also make you aware of the possible resources you have in your armory.
To do this, you should dedicate about 10-15 minutes of your day to play out the possible challenges that would surface in your day. Scribble these out on a piece of paper. It would come out rough. At this point, you should let your thought flow seamlessly; you don’t have to worry about any style or order.
After writing them down in no specific order, figure out a way to sort them into categories so you can do them in batches.
Have you ever thought you had so much time to do just a few things just to find out that you become choked when you set yourself to complete that task? It happens a lot. So often do you set yourself to do a set of tasks and get so occupied simultaneously in different tasks in heat of the moment, eventually to find out that you’re are barely able to finish one of the many tasks you aim to complete.
Batching helps you achieve significantly more by helping you to organize tasks and finish them before going on to the next one. The next time you have so much to do, try and sort out your tasks into different categories and finish them up before you jump to the next.
For example, let’s say you want to get potential clients for your freelance writing business, start compiling a list of potential clients and don’t send email pitches to any of them until you’re done compiling your list. Then after this, send your messages and don’t go onto the next task until you’ve sent messages to all of your potential clients.
It not only makes your work easier, it also makes it more effective. Chances are you won’t leave any task if you batch them.
Batching removes spontaneity and helps you to be intentional. It creates time for everything and ensures everything happens in its time.
Do the most important things first
Have you ever found yourself physically and psychologically drained and exhausted when you’re about to jump to the most important task of the day? This often happens because you’ve exhausted most of your energy on less important assignments.
It is important to do the most important task when you are mentally and physically alert. For most people, the early hours of the morning is an ideal time. Spend your most active hours on things that really matter and you’ll see a significant improvement in your productivity.
Keep a Journal
Journals play more important roles than recording your tasks and work activities; they also help in tracking your progress. Keeping a journal helps you follow your activities and review them to see what works and what does not. You’re able to see the irrelevant tasks that suck up the bulk of your time. You’ll also be able to see your distractions and avoid them.
Things can get messy very quickly without appropriate planning and good time management practices. To stay afloat in the gig economy, you have to make sure you’re always ahead of your deadlines.
These time management practices will structure your daily activities. With everything organized and planned, you’re able to conserve your energy and spend them only on things that are important. By helping you to focus more on doing less, these strategies would help you become more productive and efficient in your freelancing experience.