Being a freelancer is amazing because you have maximum flexibility when it comes to working, what hours you want to put in, and what gigs you want to accept. The only downside is that being a freelancer requires good time management skills. Freelance time tracking apps can help you get more gigs and organize time to manage them better.
Without managing your time well, you risk not completing tasks you already have which can make you lose out on clients. It also means you don’t have enough time to accept new gigs which decreases your chances of income and revenue.
Use a Time Tracking App
If you are working for many clients or have many tasks that all need to be completed on the same day, it’s best to invest in a tracking app. There are many free options online but you can also get paid versions of time tracking apps if you feel like you want upgraded features.
With time-tracking apps, you can assign time slots to different projects. You can also see how much time you are spending on each project. This allows you to see how productive you are and how efficient you are.
This also helps many freelancers determine if they are charging the right amount of money for their projects based on how much they are spending and the hourly rate they are charging.
Many time tracking apps can also be downloaded as an extension onto your web browser which makes it easier to see how long you are spending on assignments.
Have a Set Schedule
While working from home, maintaining a structured schedule can have numerous benefits. Just like you would if you were heading to an office, try to wake up and start your work at consistent times each day. Additionally, consider planning your breakfast and lunch at regular intervals. By doing so, you can enhance your productivity and establish a sense of routine even in a remote work environment.
Having a set schedule allows you to plan better. Most people like to get their most important tasks done in the morning because they feel more productive. You might want to put your most important tasks on your schedule for the morning with the less important tasks scheduled for the afternoon and evening.
Before setting a schedule, consider two things. What time of the day do you tend to be most productive? How long do you tend to be able to concentrate on one task without getting distracted?
Create your schedule based on your answers to the questions above. There are plenty of apps and online resources you can use if you want software that can create your schedule for you.
Automate Wherever Possible
As a freelancer, there are certain things you can automate such as social media posts or invoices. When possible, you should aim to automate as many things as possible. This saves you a lot of time rather than trying to schedule the same tasks every week.
Along with automating, you can also create templates and reuse them rather than trying to make a new template every time you apply for a new gig or make a contract. When you have templates, you can just customize them briefly for the client and then send them off in a few minutes.
Otherwise, you could spend hours making proposals which really wastes time when trying to find new gigs.
Even though you might feel you are too busy to take breaks, many studies show that taking a few breaks throughout the day actually makes you more productive. Keep in mind that when you work in an office, you often take breaks whether it be going to the break room for a coffee or going to a coworker’s desk to chat for a few minutes.
You need to do the same when you are working from home if you want to get the most out of your working hours.
The breaks don’t have to be long. You can just spend a few minutes stretching, getting a cup of tea, or spending time talking on the phone with a friend for a set time. Just do anything that resets your mind and then gets you back on track for the rest of the day.
You also need to take extended breaks once in a while. Some people go out for lunch once a week or they take a whole weekend off without answering any emails or being on their phone all the time to talk to clients.
Keep in mind you are in charge of your schedule so you can even work ahead when possible and then take a few days off.
Consider Project Management Tools
There are tons of options for online project management tools. Many offer basic versions for free and then you can upgrade to pro versions if you want more features.
Project management tools allow you to keep all your files in one place so you can find them easier as well as edit and share them quickly.
You can also give certain people access to your project management tools so they can see what is done and what you are working on. This is more efficient than a client needing to email you every time they want to check on something. Instead, they can just access the project management board and see everything they need.
You can also sync your project management tools to other things like your time-tracking app and your calendar. This allows for everything to be in one simple place.
The Bottom Line
As a freelancer, you need to learn to manage your time so you can increase your income and accept high-paying gigs. Even if you don’t have natural time management skills, you can still use this guide as well as many apps to help you organize your time and projects.
Always make sure you have a calendar, a time-tracking app, and project management tools at the very least. As you gain more clients, you will see how useful these tools are and how they make you more productive.