Freelance work from home? Trust me, It may sound like an easy way to make money but, it’s not all fun and games!
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First of all, you have to be committed to working on your own, managing your schedule, creating the perfect freelance portfolio, and so much more.
If you have been considering taking up freelance work from home as a career or just a side gig, then. This article will provide you with helpful information and tips; how to best manage time when freelancing so that it doesn’t get too overwhelming!
- How Do Freelancers Manage Their Time?
- Normal Working Hours
- The Easiest Time Management Method
- Outsourcing Freelance Work From Home
- Provide Progress Updates For Clients
- Take Time Off Work Freelancer
- Time Management Tools For Freelancers
- What Are My 10 Time Management Strategies
How Do Freelancers Manage Their Time?
Where does the time go?
This is an interesting question that effortlessly jumps to my mind after a hard day’s work.
It’s all about the time. Time, time, thyme! I love thyme in my cooking, especially Jamaican stewed chicken. Delicious!! 👌🏽 – Oh, sorry, I digress.
Let me hypnotise yooou, my fellow freelanceeer…. Haha
Let’s meet halfway and agree that time is rather a concept or a notion. Why? Because time relies on a bunch of other factors such as; quality, circumstances, location, conditions, distractions etc; So, as a freelancer, how can you best manage these factors. Let’s get stuck in.
When you begin your freelance journey, you will notice how different time feels when you’re working from home. Truthfully, time management can be something that a lot of freelancers have to deal with.
It’s important, however, to make sure you are using your time wisely and not procrastinating.
It can be easy for freelancers who work from home to get distracted by other things, but they should keep themselves on track with their workload.
While freelance work from home is convenient, you may have to put in more time than any previous full-time job. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” I hear you holler! Working remotely can be complicated – and so is life challenges. So, here are some strategies you can use to combat the inevitable challenge of work from home living.
Normal Working Hours
I love working long arduous hours and taking no breaks. I wouldn’t have it any other way! (NOT)
What are your working hours? Do you even have any?
As a freelancer, I have the freedom to work whenever I want. But I also set working hours which is good practice and really motivates me to stay on task. Setting working hours is a great tool that helps me balance my personal life with my client work.
Currently, my official working hours are eight in the morning to seven at night. Sundays are usually off-limits for me except for any emergencies. But, as a freelance web designer, I have the flexibility to change my schedule whenever I want.
The Easiest Time Management Method
Get up, 2. Brush teeth, 3. Coffee
To-do Lists That Work
Make a list. I know it’s simple, but effective. Creating a to-do list is a good way of staying organised.
Each evening, try making a list of everything that you need to complete the next day. Or, make an everyday list while you consume your early morning coffee. Often having things set out the evening beforehand can help you to get a head start on your day.
Try breaking your tasks down into subtasks. And, if essential, establish a time frame on when you want them to be finished. Trust me! The complete satisfaction you feel from ticking a finished task off is unmatched.
Give yourself little rewards for each task you tick off. I’ll take a coffee break or a stroll around the block. Set rewards that will motivate and encourage your productivity. For me, it’s a slice of chocolate cake, sometimes with a dollop of custard. I know it’s not healthy but so Yummmmy! 😋
Outsourcing Freelance Work From Home
Feeling stressed! you’re not alone!
As you take on more projects than you have time for, the quality of your work may suffer, which can also result in important daily tasks not being dealt with.
One way to help you manage your workload is by outsourcing work. Or by teaming up with someone within your field who can provide support.
If you choose to outsource work, this can be done in a variety of ways. You could either use freelance websites to hire someone or consider hiring a virtual assistant who can help you with specific tasks.
Whichever way you choose. Outsourcing work can be a great way to maintain the quality of your own work while also freeing up time for other important aspects of your life.
Just remember to make sure you know what type of person and skill set they have before bringing someone on board.
Importance of Agenda in a meeting
What! Do I really need an agenda? Yep, when you decide it’s time to outsource and have a small team, having some kind of structure to your meetings can keep things running smoothly and save time.
By all means, you can go ahead and just have a zoom meeting and wing it. But, having an agenda during meetings will help ensure you don’t waste time. It will help you avoid unrelated conversations like what’s for dinner tonight or what happened in the latest episode of your favourite tv show.
I found that 45 minutes was more than enough time to keep things moving forward swiftly. With an agenda in place, everyone’s already on the same page before we start talking so we can jump right into the tasks at hand.
Provide Progress Updates For Clients
Sorry! not quite time to kick your feet up and relax
Another way to guarantee that you stay disciplined and save time is to provide development updates for your clients. These updates can help keep you accountable to your clients and committed to getting the work done.
- Try giving your clients concrete due dates for smaller parts of their projects. This will certainly see to it that you are not procrastinating for one week, and after that, burning the midnight oil in the next. 🥱
- As well as keeping your clients updated on what you have accomplished make sure to also inform them of any challenges or problems that may arise. This will save a lot of headaches, believe me. The bottom line is this: do not work without a plan. It will save you immense amounts of time in the long run.
Take Time Off Work Freelancer
Really, take time off? How’s that gonna help me stay on track?
I’ve got way too much to do! Sounds familiar, right!
I think we’ve all been guilty at one point or another of not taking a break. It’s so easy to do your work and push through when the deadline is looming. You know what I’m talking about; when you’ve been working for too long and all of a sudden, it’s 3:00 am.
You may not realize until it’s too late that all of this extra time working keeps from quality time with family and friends. And more importantly, looking after YOU. So don’t be afraid to take some downtime for yourself.
I often find myself doing my best work in those late-night sessions, so I am definitely guilty of this one, but the brain needs a break. Believe me. You will have more energy. You will feel more focused to get back into your work once you do take that much-needed break.
Stepping away from your work is crucial for creativity and will give you a fresh perspective. So really, take some time off! It will be worth it in the end when you have more energy and can get your work done without being tired or frustrated.
Time Management Tools For Freelancers
You may not be able to control time, but you can manage it.
I find it’s good to plan ahead so that you know what your deadlines are – that way, you’ll be able to organise your time accordingly to make sure you can complete your work on schedule. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to achieve this and make myself a more efficient person.
Below I have listed some of the tools I use for time management that I find incredibly useful, especially for projects that span more than four weeks.
Trello For Project Management
Trello is a great project management tool that I use for organising and managing my freelance work. It’s great for setting deadlines and checking off tasks that are completed. Not only that, but you can also manage multiple projects at once with cards, making it easier to see which task needs your attention next. Save time by having a Trello board system in place.
I use Trello boards for:
- Onboarding Clients
- Organising Social Media
- Editorial Calendar
The best thing about Trello is that all of your boards are saved to the cloud, so you can access them from different devices and then share them with other team members.
Trello is one of the best tools for handling freelance work from home because, it gives me a bird’s eye view of what I need to do next, which is invaluable when juggling many projects at once. It also means that I don’t miss deadlines or forget anything.
Hours Time Tracking
Toggl is a great tool that was developed to keep track of the hours and time spent on tasks. The reason why I even mention this app and recommend it for freelance work. You will find it will help you manage your projects more efficiently, which in turn increases your time, and time is money, right? 💰 chi ching!
I typically use toggl in two ways:
- for measuring the amount of time spent on a project
- secondly, for setting rates.
- It’s also good to track how productive you are, so if you’re spending too long on something you can then look at ways to improve.
The calendar is your best friend when it comes to taking control of that precious resource, your time! So why not use one?
My son, who is a personal trainer, swears by Google Calendar. He says it’s the most efficient way to keep track of his day so he can schedule clients and workouts efficiently.
I now use Google Calendar to structure my day and have built up a pretty good routine. It took some time to set it up but it was definitely worth it. I particularly like using the colour codes for each task and for separating work from personal life.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always have my s…. together. Almost everyone hits a point where they can’t seem to handle everything and have their routines tossed out the window. Life happens right? But, it’s nice to have everything all written down because then when things go back to normal, it makes getting back into that routine easier.
- Establish deadlines in your calendar to keep track of important tasks and events. Make sure they’re realistic! You don’t want to set too many.
- Don’t forget you have a life. Use your calendar for your personal life too. If you’re struggling during off-work hours to manage your time, feel free to also use your calendar. Write in your schedule when you want to work on certain home projects, like washing your car or meeting up with friends, going for a walk etc.
But, remember, one person cannot do everything at once, so don’t feel guilty if you do go off track.
Notebook Organization Ideas
I love using notebooks. They help me stay focused and on track, especially when I get a new idea like the one I got the other day for my next blog post.
I use my notebooks to jot down any thoughts that might come in handy later. They’re great for brainstorming sessions or keeping track of all those brilliant ideas you get when you least expect them. I quickly jot down any new ideas and inspirations to explore at another time so that they don’t slip away or get forgotten about! Sometimes these little nuggets of brilliance can come out of left field. That’s why I keep one on my bedside table, at my desk and one in my handbag.
Ahh, I feel so much better now! – Throughout the day, I used my notebook to write down all my thoughts and pressing tasks. It feels good not having them all in my mind…take a break from your frustrations for today by dumping them all out with pen to paper–then make a plan!
You might’ve heard of a Gantt chart before. It’s an effective way to organize and schedule your tasks, especially when you have some big projects on the go! They also help make it easier for you to estimate how long a project will take – which is handy if you’re trying to set deadlines so everything gets done in time.
I find Gantt charts to be a powerful tool that can take your projects from unmanageable, complex beasts to well-kept little kittens – purr. 🐈
Teamgantt charts are a great way to see what you’re up against. Perfect for visualizing your schedule and deadlines. It’s like having a roadmap of all your tasks. You can see how much time is left for each one at a glance. Using a Gantt chart will give you an idea of what needs more attention or if anything should be sped up! Especially useful when you are juggling multiple clients at once.
What Are My 10 Time Management Strategies
Here is a little bonus for you. 10 time management tips that will help you to stay on track and handle a few distractions. Feel free to download a copy.
- Designate a work area. Carving out space exclusively for your work will certainly assist you in keeping your mind on your work. It can be a spare room, or like me, a corner in your living room.
- Get Comfy Ergonomics: Take note that your desk and chair are comfortable. Especially if you’re working for lengthy hours at home. Organize your work area for optimal efficiency. Read my article 11 Hot Tips to Organize Your Home Office
- Set clear, achievable goals. Consider what you want to accomplish over the long term, and then divide those projects into manageable chunks.
- Arrange your day. Determine your top priorities and the hours when you’re most at your best. Dedicate most of your time to the tasks that produce a real benefit.
- Write your checklist. Go old school with paper and pen or use a free app to make a to-do list. Block out realistic time for each task.
- Establish limits. Let others in your home understand the hours when you’re available and when you are required to work without interruptions. Shut your door and put up your do not disturb sign for tasks that need focus.
- Limit Social media. Facebook and streaming video clips on Instagram may consume much of your day unless you get rid of such temptations. Use methods that work for you, such as switching off notifications or setting time frames on the websites where you have a tendency to stick around too long.
- Small breaks. You’ll complete a lot more if you permit yourself to have some downtime. Try to stop work every 45 min to loosen up. A short break can help to relieve any fatigue.
- Get Moving. Working out decreases anxiety and also recovers your energy. Make use of your break times to stretch or jump rope. Go for a stroll or do yoga exercise throughout your lunch hour.
- Consume healthy balanced meals. Cooking time can be a disturbance so try to plan your daily food selection beforehand with nutritious meals and treats. It’s easier to decline convenience food when you really feel complete.
It’s time to clock out! ⏰ 👍🏽
A Freelancer’s brain is often in two places at once, and many of us have trouble balancing all that we want with what needs to get done. With so much on our plates, it’s hard to know where or how best to start tackling everything. Practice these tips to get a handle on everything you want to complete.
Everything I have mentioned in this blog has helped me maintain my sanity and keep up with freelance work from home. Life as a freelance web designer can be tough, but there are so many Advantages Of Working As A Freelancer Online. So, hopefully, this lifestyle will serve you well too. A well-managed life is within your reach!
What time management tip would you add to this checklist?
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below.. I appreciate you stopping by!