How to Best Manage and Keep Track of Your Time as a Freelance Individual
If you’ve ever seen a photo of a ‘freelancer’ relaxing by the pool with cool drink in hand (preferably a Pina Colada), then you may have wondered, “How do they do that?” Well, the answer is simple and straightforward: they don’t. That’s an illusion, and it rarely happens in reality. But that’s not to say that being a freelance individual doesn’t have its perks. It does – but the perks (such as free time, flexibility, less stress, and being your own boss) come only if you have the right discipline and have found the proper way to maximise your time and schedule. Here’s how to best manage and keep track of your time as a freelance individual.
Set a schedule
Yes, it’s easy to get carried away with lunches with your mates or with errands when you’re a freelancer. You have your own time and schedule, after all. But one of the best ways to manage your time is to set a schedule for yourself. Make a realistic schedule for work – and stick to it. You don’t have to work from 9 to 5 if you don’t want to, but it’s best to dedicate a set time each day for working. You can work from 9 to 5, 1 to 10, or even in the wee hours of the morning. But the point is to establish a schedule and have the discipline to stick with it, no matter what. The up-side is that at the end of the week, you feel more productive and less stressed.
Understand a task or project before you begin
As a freelancer, you may readily take on jobs or projects just because you want to make sure that you have enough earnings. But the fact is, you need to do your best in these projects as well, so you should make sure that when you take on a project, you understand exactly what is expected of you. Speak with your client carefully, and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to voice them out.
Set a realistic, feasible deadline
Another temptation which many freelancers face is setting deadlines which are too early or unrealistic, just to please a client. But this is where you have to be firm – your client may not understand what you need to do to accomplish a project, so explain this to them so they can accept the deadline you propose. You should make sure as well that you keep careful track of your time working – and this can be easily done with some brilliant time-tracking apps available nowadays, such as the one from Alpaka-Punch.com.
At the end of the day, it’s great to be a freelancer and to be self-employed – but you have to do it wisely and learn how to manage your time so you can enjoy all the perks it brings.
Image attributed to kanmanatth/FreeDigitalPhotos.net