Freelancers around the globe all face one critical challenge to their success. The ability to manage their time is incredibly important. It can mean the difference between failure and success. Manage your time well and you’ll not only accomplish more, you’ll also make more money. Here’s how.
#1 Get a calendar, and use it. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume you’ll remember the projects you have on hand, what’s due, and when it’s due. This can not only lead to a sense of feeling overwhelmed, you will also likely forget something. There’s nothing worse than having to cram a project in. You’re left feeling like you couldn’t give the project 100% and perhaps have an unhappy client.
The solution is simple. Get a calendar, or calendar software, and use it. Schedule your projects, not only when they’re due but also when you’re going to work on them.
#2 Make room for changes. Some days just don’t go very well. Maybe you’d planned on writing a report and you wake with a migraine. Well if you’ve scheduled that report to be written the day before it’s due, you’re out of luck. However, if you’ve made room in your calendar for bad days, rush jobs and other challenges life throws at you, then you’ll sail through the project without any problem.
#3 Stay focused when you’re working. Freelancers have the ability to work from anywhere they desire. They can work from their couch, the beach, the coffee shop or the park. This freedom also presents challenges. It’s tough to focus.
If you’re great at focusing rather than surfing the web, checking your email or feeding your fish on Facebook, then great. If you struggle with focus, consider using a timer to help you stay focused. Set the timer for how long it should take you to complete a project and work on the project until the timer beeps. If you’ve been focusing solely on your task, then it should be completed or nearly completed.
#4 Calculate your hourly rate. If you’re money motivated, this is a great way to help you stay focused and on task. For example, if you have 50 articles to write and it takes you five days to write them, at a rate of $20/article you’re making $25/hour in an eight hour day. However, if you can write those same articles in two days, you’re making $62.50/hour. The latter is a much more enticing hourly rate.
#5 Set aside time to stretch, play, and otherwise laze about. All work and no play leads to boredom, procrastination, and a complete and total inability to focus. Set aside time to do nothing, at least nothing work related. You’ll be much better able to focus and manage your work time later.
Managing your time as a freelance writer is generally a learned skill. Pay attention to your days, weeks and months. Are you successful? What challenges did you have? How can you eliminate those challenges from happening again? Use these five tips and you’re well on your way to a long and happy freelance career.