Focusing as a Freelancer: 7 Tips to make the most of your time
Freelancing is some kind of wonderful. It’s also some kind of overwhelming.
If you’ve ever freelanced, or are eyeing to start, chances are you’re looking all over for some guidance and assistance. Freelancing can be absolutely wonderful, but there are days that it can be completely overwhelming.
Many of those overwhelming days come from lack of time management, or using your time senselessly. First things first, it’s not your fault if you lose track of time or have an off day! It’s important to remember that, as your biggest critic is always going to be yourself. When freelancing, you need to be your own boss, employee and yourself. As odd as this may sound, those three things are very different in a freelancer’s life.
Being your boss means prioritizing, time management and securing work. Being your own employee means taking that work and completing it. Being yourself means that you don’t lose your sense of wonder by becoming overwhelmed. Remind yourself when things get rough of the reason you chose to embark on this crazy-wonderful journey of freelancing.
1) Make lists! Bullet point, highlight and prioritize the work that needs to get done. This seems like it should be second nature, but the ever-changing pace of the freelance lifestyle and workload can tend to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t write it down!
2) Calendars are key. Often times we have no one other than ourselves reminding us what needs to get done. Make sure you stay up to date by marking your calendars.
3) Find an area to work without distractions. Most freelancers work from home, and that in itself can be distracting. Whether you clear a work area for yourself at home that feels like “your office,” or head to the library each day from a certain time to a certain time to ensure you have quite space, make sure you’re avoiding things/places that will disrupt your concentration.
4) Take a break! If you were working full-time in an office, chances are you’d stop mid-day for a little lunch or coffee pick me up. Do the same while freelancing! You’re not a robot, though at first it may seem that way. Your body and mind need a moment to re-adjust and deserve the same fuel and respect you’d give to yourself elsewhere.
5) Don’t overpromise yourself. This can be hard, especially when first starting out. You start taking jobs that aren’t beneficial to your career path, or don’t pay what you deserve. You’ll end up burning yourself out and the good work that does come along may suffer if you’re juggling too much.
6) That being said, be open to smaller jobs that can benefit you. Education is key and sometimes the smaller jobs end up being the most impactful. Choose wisely!
7) Network! Check out how to make the most of your networking availabilities by checking out our blog post on ‘Networking in Small Businesses’ here.