More than 57 million people worked as freelancers in 2019 alone and that number is likely to rise over the next few years. It’s easy to see why. As a freelancer, you’re able to choose your own projects, control your schedule, and maintain a better work/life balance.
That’s not to say freelancing doesn’t have its challenges. It does and the most common problem freelancers have, regardless of industry, is developing effective time management skills.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’re not alone. Here are a few of the most important skills to focus on so you can improve your productivity quickly.
1. Scheduling Your Day
As a freelancer, you’re in complete control of your daily schedule. You’re free to work whenever you want from anywhere with an internet connection.
This complete control often leaves freelancers wanting to pack their days full of work whenever they can. Unfortunately, overloading your schedule is the easiest way to burn out.
Instead, give yourself permission to take breaks throughout the day and prioritize days off each week. Schedule these breaks into your workday and stick to that schedule whenever you can. This way, you’ll give yourself time away from work to decompress.
2. Organizing Task Loads by Project
One of the biggest challenges freelancers face is finding ways to stay organized, especially when they’re working on multiple projects each day. One of the best ways to improve your time management skills while simplifying your large workload is to organize tasks by project rather than looking at everything at once.
These project management tips can help you organize your workload, so you never miss a deadline.
Once you have each project organized, focus on one thing at a time. Once you finish a task, celebrate and cross it off your to-do list for good.
3. Reducing Distractions and Stressors
One of the most effective time management skills you can implement is finding ways to reduce the distractions you deal with each day. Look around your office and think about the things that draw your attention while you’re working.
Things like televisions, pets, mobile devices, and even your web browser can pull your attention away from your work, thereby making you more stressed. Instead of leaving those things in place, remove them from your work area.
By combatting distraction, you’ll be able to get more things done in less time. That, in turn, will help you lower your stress levels each day.
Developing Effective Time Management Skills Takes Time
These are just a few of the most effective time management skills you can cultivate in your work routine. Just remember that it’s okay if you can’t implement them all at once or you have trouble finding ways to make them work.
As long as you’re persistent and keep trying, you’ll be able to find time management methods that work best for you and your schedule.
Looking for more tips to help you become a more productive freelancer? Check out our latest posts.