Everybody has issues with time management at some point, whether you’re an office worker or a freelancer. But time management issues are especially true for freelancers or self-employed individuals, simply because your time is your own and your time is more flexible. It can be quite a challenge to balance your work time with your personal time, and if you don’t do it correctly, you may end up feeling exhausted at the end of the week (as well as mentally dissatisfied with your accomplishments). So what should you do to better manage your time? Here’s your ultimate guide to managing and optimising your time as a self-employed person.
Be selective with your clients
Whilst establishing a schedule dedicated to work each day is already a given, you should also make it a point to be more selective with your clients. Yes, you want to earn – but are the earnings you have from a particular client really worth it if that client constantly berates you, gives you impossible deadlines, or provides you with inadequate instructions? Imagine a client giving you incomplete instructions, and you end up re-doing a task or job because of it. That’s time and effort wasted.
If you’re just starting out, perhaps your priority is to take on as many clients as you can, no matter how difficult they are. But if you have already established yourself in your profession, you will find that you can be quite choosy. In fact, you might be turning down projects just because you don’t have enough time – so you can now afford to be selective. Choose your clients wisely.
Be wise with your time
There are several ways through which you can better manage and optimise your time. One is to pick the right jobs or projects; another is to maximise your schedule. What you can do is segregate your time according to the tasks you have to do, separating each task from most important to least urgent. Also, you might want to focus on one single task for one day, another task for another day, and so on. Try not to do two or three different tasks in one single day, as this kind of multi-tasking can only leave you exhausted.
Whilst working, you should avoid distractions as well. Get your smart phone away from you – you don’t want to be checking Facebook whilst working. If necessary, turn off your phone. Turn of the television so you can concentrate.
And if you want to have a better idea of how you are using your time, you can take advantage of time management apps that allow you to set accurate billings per hour as well.
Being self-employed is rewarding – but the trick is finding the right balance with your time and effort, and you’ll be glad you set off on this interesting, life-changing journey.
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