Here are five of the most crucial time management strategies every freelancers and solopreneurs should adapt to better manage their time.
Everyone is trying to better manage their time but freelancers have to be at the top of their game in it. Time is money but more so for a freelancer because if he can manage time more efficiently, he or she can work for more clients at better rates.
Freelancers work for more than one client at a time, more than one project per client at a time and in the midst of it, are looking for new clients.
Freelancer needs a balance between personal and professional life and able to enjoy other aspects of life like planning a vacation or spend time with family. Not to forget freelancers also need time for accounting, taxation, banking and other such non paying activities.
So here are some time management strategies every freelancers or solopreneurs should adapt to:
Freelancer is a solo entrepreneur but that doesn’t mean everything needs to be done by the individual himself. If you can do it doesn’t mean you should be doing it. There is always an option to outsource.
Find someone that can help you and can do better than you. Even if you are the best person for doing something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be doing it and let others learn from you and do it.
Teaching someone to do it the way you want is fine but they should be able to save you time. If you are outsourcing some part of the job, make sure you aren’t outsourcing to guys who need too much of your time on an ongoing basis.
2. Limit Social Media
If anyone analyses his day, social media will be one of the biggest time killers for anybody. If you can limit your social media activities, you can save a lot of time and use it in a much better way. By Social media, I don’t want to restrict to only Facebook but also checking Whatsapp for new messages all the time.
Often social media lead to a lot of interesting links that we tend to read and that can mean a lot of information intake unnecessary. Whatsapp groups can have lots of videos and images and I have global settings in Whatsapp to not download any media from anybody by default. It helps me not view them at all.
3. Say No to Clients
When you first start freelancing, you will focus more on getting more clients but over time, you have to be choosy because every client isn’t equal. Some clients need you more consulting time than actual work that needs to be done and often such clients are the ones that one should be avoiding. If you are one who has a tough time saying no, here is how to say NO.
A client taken on board can mean you are to say no to future clients and so it is important that you choose your clients wisely.
The best way to reduce the clients is to have your rates higher than others and this way you only take up clients who are serious and are ready to hire an expert. If you don’t charge high enough, you can have issues paying your bills though you may be working all the time.
4. The Right Estimation
If you are estimating the time needed to complete the task, make sure you estimate it with generosity and not based on how fast client needs them. Often freelancers like to estimate the time depending on how much client has the time for the project and it can mean you are taking up too much work to have any free time for the unforeseen.
Once you have done the right estimation, plan your days and weeks to complete it in time to save a lot of time discussing and arguing with clients about why you have missed the deadline.
5. One Task at a Time
Freelancers often multitask but if you want to better manage your time, make sure you do one task at a time. It helps to manage tasks better and complete them within the estimated time but the most important of all, you complete things with fewer bugs so it may need not a rework and ultimately save you more time.
I often work for more than one client at a time but I never overlap work of clients or if I am working on more than one project of the same client, I divide the time such that I am working for the right project when I am in front of the computer.
The switch of the project means I leave the computer, take a 5 min break and then start working on the next project or task. It helps to let your mind know what you are working on. I apply the same even when I am writing for my blogs.
Make sure when you are doing what you should be doing, you are in the right mindset to get things done the right way.
Further Reading …