‘Time is money’ That’s true in the case of freelancing as well. In this series of posts about getting started with freelancing, you will get to know all about how to manage your time effectively.
There are 5 essential skills that you need to master to manage your time.
Making a schedule
Even though, as a freelancer, you often have a flexible schedule, using that as an excuse to procrastinate is a mistake. So you should be able to divide your work into schedules and stick to it the most. This is immensely beneficial, especially since your work schedule is in accordance with your client’s work schedule. So if you miss that call, you might lose an opportunity. Even if you are working on a project basis, you should be able to set your own working hours. This helps maintain regularity and makes it easier to enjoy the other part of the day doing what you love.
The bitter truth is that too many apps become productivity killers. If you are engaged in way too many apps, you lose time and focus. It is not quite possible to multitask all the time. So, try to limit checking on your email as much as possible and try to convince your clients that every task cannot be done on an urgent basis. x` that you are working on client material within your schedule and not spending those crucial hours scrolling through social media. Using task timer tools would help you keep track of your tasks and avoid distractions.
Working in short settings
The Pomodoro technique is what you should ideally try to workaround. The idea is that you must work for 25 minutes at a time. You should not be distracted and focus your complete attention on that task for 25 minutes. Once your 25 minutes are up, take a break for about 5 minutes. Stretch a bit, relax your muscles, rest your eyes, look out the window, or even brew some coffee. But do not think of work in these 5 minutes. And follow it again. This technique lets you detach yourself from work and teaches you to control your working mind at your own leisure.
Limit the intake of information
Information comes in many shapes and sizes. It could either be frivolous like a piece of news or a Reddit post. But at times, it could also be in the form of calls or meetings. Absorbing information is not a bad habit at all. But it is good to understand your limits, and as we have also discussed, eliminate distractions. So when you are trying to work and produce and output, it is vital that you focus your energy on doing just that.
Learning to say No.
It is hard and exhausting to please people all the time, especially when they are your clients. You don’t need to sacrifice your family time and especially your weekends picking up or even accepting urgent tasks. If the task does not fall under the working schedule that you created (discussed above), then you are not obligated to accept it. There are many freelancers and consultants who give away their working schedule and take up more work than they can handle. Therefore, sacrificing special moments with friends and family. So learn to say no.
There are many freelancers and consultants who give away their working schedule and take up more work than they can handle. Therefore, sacrificing special moments with friends and family. But you don’t have to do that. Master time management and make the most of it. See you in the next series of posts on how to get started with freelancing.