When you are a freelancer, it is often tricky to find the balance between getting everything done and leaving time to rest and recharge. Luckily, there are simple time-management practices that help optimize the use of work hours without getting overwhelmed. Below you will find a list of our favorites.
Start your day with a plan. Think of how many tasks you can realistically perform and focus on the most important projects. Many people find it helpful to create a to-do list for each day, week, and month. This technique increases your feeling of control and gives greater satisfaction from completing a task. Whether you do it on paper or online, remember to cross out a task once it’s done.
Make sure you leave the time for breaks and free time. If you finish all tasks earlier, don’t hesitate to call it a day and enjoy your evening.
Do not multitask
Do you believe in the power of multitasking to increase your productivity? Then, you will be surprised to find out that regular multitasking makes it harder for people to focus on a single task and makes them less effective at prioritizing, a study at Stanford University discovered.
Moreover, it affects your quality of work and can even negatively impact your ability to think creatively. Finally, multitasking leads to frustration due to incomplete tasks at the end of the day.
Although sometimes it is hard to fully avoid distractions, such as answering an important call or an urgent message, try to perform one task at a time. Our next advice will help you to do that.
No one can stay 100% focused for the entire working day, but it is possible to limit time-wasters. Think of what distracts you from getting a task done most often. It could be social media, online games, checking emails, or even housework. You can start by tracking your activities at work for several days. After that, you will be easily able to spot time-wasting activities and make effort to decrease their amount.
Learn to say “No”
Especially at the beginning of your freelance career, it is tempting to accept all projects. It’s understandable that you don’t want to miss an opportunity to earn more and upset a client. But keep in mind that missed deadlines can harm your reputation and add unnecessary stress. Don’t agree to work on a task until you find some spare time for it in your schedule. If you can’t, just say no.
You can also save time by replacing some time-consuming meetings with an email. Explain, how taking time for the meeting would impact your workload and mention the other tasks on your list.
You don’t have to do everything yourself. For example, sometimes it’s better to hire a developer to take care of your website rather than spend hours learning and making mistakes. It may be scary at first to ask for help, but you will see how much burden it takes off eventually.
You just need to make sure to find the right people with desired skills. ContentGrow, a managed marketplace and workflow app, is here to help. It allows you to directly contact professionals to discuss the project and see if they are the right fit.
Time-management techniques help increase productivity in every area of life, not only work. Complement these strategies with time-management tools to boost your efficiency and make the most of your time.
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