Time Management Tips for Freelancers
The ability to manage your time is one of the most important aspects of living life. Everyone has 24 hours in a day and within those hours there are many tasks and obligations. This is where time management comes into play because you have to find ways to appropriately fulfill those tasks and obligations.
For most, the ability to manage your time properly is a skill that has to be learned. You must go through trial and error to find out what works for you. Sometimes you’ll end up not being able to accomplish what you were supposed to, other times you may overextend yourself.
It really takes time to find how you like to work and how fast you work. However, once you find the rhythm you should be able to successfully navigate through work, school, and regular day-to-day activities in an efficient manner that gives you high productivity.
Time management becomes even more important when you are an individual that is self-employed. Working for yourself takes managing time to another level because there is no one to hold you accountable but yourself. Thus you have to master prioritizing the importance of your duties whether they be work or personal.
Time Management is All About Balance and Discipline
The key to time management comes down to two words…balance and discipline. Without balance, your life will be all over the place. You have to be able to know that there are multiple things on your plate and that they each need a certain amount of your attention, funny enough – you will find quite a bit of information about that in the podcasts we reviewed over in the best podcasts for personal trainers piece. Balance is the ability to know this and remains level-headed whilst handling all of it.
Discipline is a bit different than balance but the two must go hand in hand. Discipline is being able to know that there are tasks to be completed and having the self-control to accomplish them. A lot of the struggles that people have stemmed from not being disciplined enough to give the amount of time and effort necessary to finish what is supposed to be done.
As was said earlier, it takes time to develop these skills, however, there is no way you will be able to be successful as a self-employed individual without it.
You Are The Boss
The first thing to remember is that you are your own boss, so you are the only one responsible for the progress that you make or don’t make daily. Also, this means you are in control of your own time. It can be tough for a person to know that there is not an authority above them and still dedicate the time necessary to the business. This is doubly true if you’re suddenly trying to build out new revenue channels. An example would be an esthetician selling products as an addition to her services.
However, your time matters even more now because there is not another person to place blame on. Failure to accept the responsibility that you are the sole individual accountable will result in your time management is poor.
Time Management Assistance from Persona
Persona comes in handy for self-employed workers as the app prides itself on handling the tasks and responsibilities that you do not want to spend your personal time dealing with. Going into the world of examples again, it’s crucial to know how to manage your time as a personal trainer because your time is what you’re selling. The app is completely free and offers assistance with financial tasks such as how to collect payments, invoices, and monitoring your business analytics.
Also, they offer hassle-free scheduling for those that are self-employed with client-based services and your own personal online store that allows your clients to schedule and buy their sessions. Persona is a no-brainer for any self-employed individual as it only makes time management easier for you each day.
Every Moment Counts
The term “free time” is often said to refer to the time that is spent not working or handling any obligation. Yet, there isn’t really such a thing as free time for the self-employed community. Any moment not spent working should be dedicated to resting, anything else can be a hindrance to your business. This is not to say that you cannot or should not have fun, see family and friends, etc.
If you want to go on a vacation it has to be preplanned into your work schedule, if you want to hang out late with family and friends it would behoove you to plan ahead as well. Your business ultimately has to come first because it is how you make a living for yourself.
Managing your time in these moments can be tough because we always want to have fun overworking but this is where balance and discipline have to be prevalent.
Procrastination and Distractions
While we are detailing proper preplanning, it is a must to discuss procrastination and distractions overall. Procrastination usually occurs when you are trying to avoid doing a task because it is either very taxing, very simple, or you are just feeling lazy.
Regardless of the reason, procrastination is a common circumstance that if you give in to it you will inevitably fall behind. In order to combat this, you should try tactics such as scheduling specific time periods to work and rest so that you have some means to hold yourself accountable.
Distractions are a little different than procrastination because they come from an outside source. They come in the form of notifications on your phone, television, and any frivolous thing that is not dealing with work.
Self-employed people have it tougher because unless you have an office that you go into, you are usually in your own home. When you are in your own home it is easy to get distracted with household duties and other issues that do not pertain to business.
It is key to remember that you can always find time to address things such as notifications or household duties but you must mentally challenge yourself to know that once it is work hours it should strictly be for work.
When people talk about multitasking it is usually spoken of as a skill that will be necessary to succeed in any workplace. However, it is important to know that multitasking should be used as a last resort instead of a go-to practice.
Each task deserves its own time and focuses whether it be long or short. If you are self-employed you will end up burying yourself in extra work if you try to handle multiple efforts at one time. Plan appropriately and give yourself the time necessary for its completion.
Remember to be realistic with the time estimates when you are planning ahead. For example, if a certain assignment usually takes you 20 minutes, still plan for it to take 30-40 minutes as you never know if something unforeseen will occur.
As previously mentioned, rest is just as important as getting the actual work done. Now some people take advantage and try to use “rest” as a reason to get out of work, however, a valid amount of rest is needed for productivity.
Resting is beneficial to your business because it is a part of your health. If you aren’t healthy then you will not be as productive as necessary. For example, if you are working late into the night and then waking up early you may leave yourself open to making mistakes as you work through the day or even falling asleep during work hours.
Thus you should incorporate rest for a healthy amount of time into your daily schedule.
Know Your “Why”
We have discovered thus far that being self-employed takes a lot of self-control from within to keep everything going according to plan. One important aspect to always keep in mind is you “why”. If you are able to remember why you are doing whichever profession you’ve chosen for yourself, it’ll put everything else in perspective. As an example, if you’re a personal trainer you should always remember why you ended up starting a personal training business.
Nobody wants to feel like their work is done in vain and some days it will feel like the work is overbearing, but your “why” is what will keep you getting up in the morning, sticking to your schedule, and meeting your deadlines.
In business, especially when self-employed you will have to play the long game. If you have a vision and a plan it is worth it to manage your time to accomplish the goals thoroughly. Start thinking towards the long-term goals as opposed to the short-term goals.
Find Your Personal Flow
Though many things have been discussed throughout this article, one phrase that can wrap up this entire spiel on time management is “find your flow.” Basically, this means finding out what works for you in all aspects of the business.
You want to find out how much rest you need vs how much rest time is available. Find what time of the day is best for you to wake up and get your day started. Choose your downtime throughout the day that allows for you to recharge and refocus.
Once you narrow down those specifics, you will begin to enjoy more time being engulfed in your work because it should feel more comfortable.
Being self-employed comes with a lot of personal responsibility, you are in control and no person can tell you the best way for you to work yourself. Still, you want to take advantage of the advice given in this article to best manage your time successfully.