Guest Post by Megha Raizada
Many people will agree that there is nothing better than being one’s own boss. That’s probably one of the most important factors why most people quit their jobs and become freelancers. Why wouldn’t we? You have a lot of freedom to work on your own terms. You choose the days you want to work, the place from where you want to work and even the pace at which you want to work. But it also comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties, some of which you otherwise don’t have to face in a typical office environment. While arranging your workspace, finding clients and taking complete responsibility for the projects received are all big challenges a freelancer has to face, the most daunting of them all is time management.
Most times, freelancers find themselves juggling between different projects and several clients all the while searching for new leads. This takes away the freedom from freelancing – the very reason you got into the business. We only have 24 hours in a day and the best one can do is to utilize the limited time efficiently. Here are a few time management tips that will help you manage your work and clients better, at the same time help you bring back the joy of being self-employed:
Choose your clients wisely
Initially, you do face difficulty in finding clients and work, but as you start getting popular, there comes a time when you will have to turn down a few projects. Each project you take will bring with itself a different set of challenges, time constraints, and experiences. You need to choose those projects that correspond with your personal career objectives.
Estimate time requirements of each project
Once you are done shortlisting the projects you want to work on, put a time frame within which you will complete them. Don’t stop there. Break down the work into smaller personal achievable targets with practical deadlines. This will help you stay on track and complete the work easily without wasting your precious time.
Distractions are hard to keep at bay even in a typical office setting, but being a freelancer can really test your ability to not give in to temptations. Not everybody can handle the freedom of being their own boss. So, it is important to set some ground rules for yourself and set up some control mechanism to stop you from deviating from work.
Split your day into work blocks
Even though freelancing gives you the freedom to work according to your own convenience, it is imperative that you decide definitive work hours for yourself. You don’t have to follow the 9-5 rule but whatever time you decide, divide it into different tasks. Prepare a daily to-do list and ensure that you stick to it. This will help you track the time spent on projects and determine whether or not you are in line with the time estimate you had assigned to your client.
Communicate Your Schedule With Your Friends and Family
While it is good that freelancing gives you the freedom to spend time with friends and family, it is important that you set some boundaries. Just because you are at home during the day, doesn’t mean that you can go out for lunch with family every day or your friends can drop by anytime they want. They must be aware of your schedule and respect it by not causing hindrance to your work.
Dedicate some time to your distraction
You might think that this is contradicting to the previous point, but let’s admit it, people working with organizations are also guilty of indulging in their distractions. To make sure you don’t go overboard, it is best that you allocate some time to them. This will help you retain your energy levels and creativity and also take off stress from your schedule.
Being a freelance creative, you go to great lengths to nurture your skills and resources. You sign up for online courses, attend workshops & conferences and even join relevant groups to enhance our knowledge. But still, there’s one resource that we cannot grow and that is time. No matter how early you start your day or how late you wind up work, time is a limited resource and the best you can do is to learn how to make the most of it.
About Megha Raizada
Megha Raizada is a professional writer working with the premium job portal Naukrigulf.com. She has a keen interest in the global job market but also loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires. You can reach her at Twitter and Google+.