Working for yourself (Freelance) can be very fulfilling... as long as you manage your time effectively. However, with the demands of multiple clients on your plate at times, being organised is the key to keeping your work-life balance.
Here I’d like to share some tips for managing your time -
- Blocking Time
If you aren’t blocking out time, then you’re probably wasting a lot of time without even knowing. By blocking out chunks of time to work on set tasks, you can avoid distractions and stay focused on getting more work finished in less time. Try to schedule meetings together so they don't break up the day. Also try to only do meetings on a couple of days a week. If you’re constantly in meetings throughout the week, when are you supposed to actually get the work done?!
- Make a list and prioritise
The endless to-do list can be overwhelming. Organise tasks by when they are due at the beginning of the week. Set deadlines for various tasks and place the most urgent at the top. Along with time blocking, this allows you to keep ahead of the game by getting the work that needs to be done first out of the way.
- Designated office space
A lot of Freelancers work from home. There are pros and cons to this, but the most important thing to make it work is to have a designated space from where you can work. You need a workspace that is organised and quiet, free from distractions. Even if you live in a small flat/house, try and set aside a quiet corner for your desk (not the kitchen/dining room table!).
Just like a skilled craftsperson is only as good as the tools they work with - the same goes for you too: there are so many free and readily available resources out there now. Taking advantage of all the resources available will help you be a more efficient and organised worker. From project management software to communication apps, if there’s a need, you can bet that someone has come up with a great solution!
- Make self-care a priority
In the world of business, far too many people wear their sleep-deprivation and long working hours like badges of honour. But, not taking care of yourself leads to burn out and being less productive when you are working. Take care of yourself, your body and your mind: get enough sleep, exercise, eat well, and practice whatever relaxation techniques work for you (meditation, yoga, etc.). Set aside some ‘me time’ and time to spend with family and friends. You’ll be a lot happier and healthier than those who slave away at their desks all day!
- Set working hours and stick to them
Be realistic about how many hours you can work each day. Don't work your life away; that’s not why you decided to work for yourself in the first place! Be clear with clients about your office hours and when they can expect a response from you. Don’t start answering emails or responding to messages late at night or at weekends, as they’ll then expect you to be available all hours!
So these are my top tips for enhancing productivity and managing your time wisely. Do you use any of these techniques? Are there others that you prefer? Let me know in the comments below...