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Time Is Gold: Time Management Tips For Freelancers

One of the main reasons why people prefer doing freelance work than doing a nine to five job is the freedom to do their work at their own pace and time. What many don’t realize—especially newbies—is that time management is actually a skill many freelancers struggle with.

Experienced freelancers all know that…

Deadlines are sacred

Thou shall NOT miss a deadline, no matter what happens—even if you’re going through a really bad phase in your life. Remember, it was YOUR choice to do freelance work and clients don’t really care about your personal life. They only care that you can deliver good work ON TIME.

Quality matters

As freelancers, we are in charge of the quality of our own work. We are our own editors, proofreaders, or critics. Before sending off any work, we must ensure that we are submitting top-notch quality work. Every new job, no matter how much you are paid, must be exactly what your client wants. The freelancing world isn’t as big as you think it is; your reputation will be at stake even if you offend one client.

For all freelancers, being able to deliver quality work boils down to simple time management skills, which not many are good at handling. People are different, what works for others may not work for you. However, there are a few guidelines one can do or follow:

Stick to a routine

If you are a morning person and used to getting up, drinking coffee, having breakfast and then begin working, stick to it. Stick to it as if your whole life depended on it. Once you break the routine, it will be easy for you to slack off and worse, give excuses to why you’re lazing about instead of working.

Keep away from distractions

Having music on while working is fine, but never keep the television on while working, this will only distract you no matter how disciplined you think you are. Switch off your cellphone and ignore your landline phone if it rings. Get an answerphone. If you are expecting an important phone call, make sure you don’t use that as an excuse to delay work. It’s also vital to make sure that your family or housemates understand and respect your work. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean that they can disturb you anytime. Time is gold. The sooner you meet your deadlines the better and the more time you can spend with them.

Make a list and check it twice

It’s always good to make a work list of the things you have to do daily. Check that list twice to make sure that you’re actually ticking it away.

Hourly time schedule

Remember those hourly time schedules you had as a student? This was great because you never missed any of your class because you knew exactly where you had to be. Why not make an hourly work-time schedule instead? This will guide you through your work and tell you whether you’re spending too much time on a task or not.

Take breaks

Just like in an office, take your usual breaks, but just like at work, see that you don’t over-do it. If you prefer doing short breaks, make sure it isn’t longer than 30 minutes. However if you prefer longer breaks, ensure that you make up for the time lost.

Don’t be a slave to time

The one great thing about being a freelancer is that you can keep going-on like the energizer rabbit and work well into the night if you want. The problem with this is that you’ll easily burnout. Only do this if you want to get ahead our work because of an impending vacation. The important thing about being a freelancer is having a life too.

Cover image and top image from Shutterstock.

This is a cross-post from Creative Agency Freelancing.

Clarissa Wilson has been a professional writer for more than 5 years now. She started a website—job resume examples—that’s collecting examples of real people resumes to help others climb the professional ladder.

Creative Agency Freelancing was started by Mark Bowley, a freelance graphic designer in the UK who has been working for London design and advertising agencies for over 14 years. Creative Agency Freelancing is designed to provide ideas and tips to help professionals who work freelance at design, advertising and marketing agencies.

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