You can work where you want and when you want for the most part, and this freedom is what draws many people to this type of career whether they are writers, artists, or any other type of freelancer. However, this same freedom comes with the price of added responsibility. You have to arrange your workspace, manage your time, and take full responsibility for your clients. These are all things that people who work in a typical office environment do not ever need to consider, as their management and the company owners take care of much of it for them.
Time and the Freelancer.
One of the biggest problems that most freelancers will face is in the realm of time; they never seem to have enough of it. They always need to do just a little more research, and they need to spend just a little more time making sure that a project is in shape. They need more time to work on their social media and their blog, and to make a video for their business. They need more time, but it can be almost impossible to find.
Time is precious and time mismanagement is unfortunately common among freelancers. Even though the time might seem to be elusive, it does not mean it is not there. By tracking your time as well as how you are spending it, you will often find some hours in the week you did not even realize were there.
Freelancers, especially in the beginning, feel as though time is on their side, and they do not manage it properly. They spend time doing the wrong things or doing things the wrong way. Letâ€™s examine some of the time management issues and some tips to get things on track.
Friends and Family
You always want to have time for your friends and your family, but you do need to have boundaries when it comes to your business. Just because you might be at home during the day does not mean you are free. It does not mean you can go out to lunch every day, and it does not mean that you can entertain people who want to drop by. In fact, when you are a freelancer, you will often find that you are working more than you were at your old job simply because it is a necessity to make ends meet. Make sure your acquaintances understand your schedule and respect it.
Once you start using time tracking software to find those extra hours, you can reorganize your schedule, which should help you with your overall time management. You may eventually be able to find a bit more time to relax when you have better control of your time as well.
How Much Time for Lunch?
If you are working from home, how much time are you spending on lunch? You can track this with a time tracker easily, but you have to be honest about how you are spending your lunches. If you allot an hour for lunch each day, do you really need that much time? Saving half an hour a day by cutting your lunchtime will help you save two and a half hours a week. You also have to think about how much time you are spending at lunch. Many who work from home let ten or fifteen minutes past their lunchtime creep by before they get back to work. This is simply more mismanaged and wasted time that would not fly at a regular office.
Start Tracking Your Time for Projects
Use a quality time tracker to keep track of how much time you spend on your freelancing tasks through the day. Make sure you are keeping track of any break times and your lunch time as well.
As you track your time, you will also find it easier to determine what types of fees you need to charge in order to make a living wage. You will also be able to schedule your time based on how long it should take you to complete different types of projects. Even though your projects might all be different, you will have a better idea of what to charge for each one based on the average. For example, graphic designers who specialize in logos might find that it takes them four hours, on average, to create a logo. They could charge a flat fee of $200 for logos because they meet their hourly income goal of $50. This is just one example of how time tracking can help to schedule and organize work.
Develop a Workable Freelancing Schedule
It might be a good idea, especially in the beginning stages of a freelancing career, to schedule slightly more time than you feel you need, just in case something goes amiss.
Another thing that beginners should do is try to schedule just one or two jobs at a time. If you have too many jobs at once, it can be difficult to schedule them properly, and one or all of them will suffer for it. Though you want to make sure you have a full schedule to keep busy and to keep money coming in, you also have to think about your reputation. Having several projects that do not go over well can shake the confidence of your clients, and they may not want to work with you any longer, which hurts your chance of making it as a freelancer.
Time trackers work to help you learn where you are wasting time so you can add it back to your business, and they help you understand where you are spending your time on each project. Every freelancer, no matter what field he or she might be in, should make it a point to use time tracking software. It can make managing the time aspect of the business much easier, which is the area where so many freelancers, even those who have been in the business for years, struggle.