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Apr23

Keep Track of Your Time Better With the Right Tools


Many people dream of becoming their own boss. They want to escape the daily rat race so they can live what they perceive as the dream, all without ever really understanding what that means or the amount of work that opening their own business will really entail. Once they do open their own business or start freelancing, reality sets in, and they see that working for themselves is not always sleeping late and taking off early. In fact, many find that working for themselves is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. It takes a special kind of person to succeed, and part of that success is predicated on proper time usage.

The Time Hurdle

Time is one of the biggest enemies of the freelancer for quite a few reasons. Those who are relatively new to working as their own boss quickly discover that there is not enough time in the day to do everything they need to do. This causes them to work later hours, which eats into their personal time, causing them to go to bed later, wake up later, and repeat the process the next day. It can be frustrating for the freelancer to try to break out of this habit.

Other freelancers do not realize just how much time they will spend at the job, and if they work from home, they are technically always at work, which can be mentally draining. It can also make them mismanage their time. It is vital for any freelancer, no matter how long they’ve been in the business, to manage their time better.

Understanding Time

How much time does it take you to complete a typical job or task for your particular freelance skill set? Graphic designers might take four to six hours to come up with a great logo design for a client. Some might be able to create a logo in half that time. You need to know how long you take for each different type of job, on average, and you have to have an accurate picture of the time you spend. For example, if you claim it takes you four hours for the logo, but you are spending some of that time looking at Facebook or surfing the web, you are not getting an accurate idea of the amount of time it takes!

You need to start using time tracking software that lets you see exactly how and where you are spending your time each day. This makes it easier to understand how much time your jobs should take, and where you can save some time. Many freelancers do not realize just how much time they are wasting through the day on activities that aren’t a part of the job or that aren’t important. Knowing where you are spending your time lets you rework your schedule and eliminate those time wasters.

When you know just where you are spending your hours, becoming more productive and profitable is possible. It also ensures that you are able to bill your clients accurately. If you are overcharging because you can’t keep track of your time properly, they will move on to work with other freelancers. The competition out there is fierce. If you are not charging enough for your services, you will not be able to make ends meet. Tracking your time and knowing your worth are the only ways that you can come out on top.

More Benefits of Time Tracking

Becoming more efficient is the overarching benefit of tracking your time, and in doing so, it offers quite a few other benefits for you. Eliminating wasted time means more hours in the day to take on additional clients and to make more money. You could also take the additional hours in the day, and “bank” them. Working four or four and a half days a week rather than five can give you more free time.

When you track your time, you are also tracking your projects and the status of those projects, which can help to keep organized. You will always know where each project is in the pipeline, and it should be easier to answer questions that your clients might have.

Ways to Become More Efficient

In addition to tracking your time, start utilizing some other methods of keeping track of your time. Instead of multitasking, which was once quite popular, more and more people are finding that it is easier to complete projects by focusing on just one at a time. You can dedicate all of your energy to the project to finish it faster, and to give it the attention it deserves. This does not mean you have to stop looking for clients and gaining jobs, but it means you need to prioritize which projects you are working on. You can keep finding more work, but only complete one project at a time if you have trouble multitasking.

Prioritize your day by separating the things that you need to do that day with things that you could accomplish. Determine how much time each of the tasks will take you. If you have any slow time, you can complete some of the smaller tasks that will take less than fifteen minutes, such as returning emails. Just make sure you remained focused on that particular task, whatever it might be, and be ready to return to your day’s main task or tasks when finished.

Become a Better Freelancer

Time tracking tools and software are great ways for freelancers to get a better handle of their career and to improve their productivity levels. Many other tips for improving time management skills are available as well, and the smart freelancers will look up as many of these tips as possible and see which ones might be able to work well for them. Some will help and others might not be right for your business. Keep the ones that work and discard the ones that do not. Adapting and changing your business for the better is how you will succeed at being your own boss.

Resource: http://internationalfreelancersacademy.com/6-practical-time-management-strategies-for-freelancers-and-solos/

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Yast is a software company that builds easy-to-use, but powerful software. It's easy to make things complex; it’s incredibly hard to make things easy.

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Yast has to be the easiest to use time tracker, period. Keep up the great work! Glenn Murray - Divine Write

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