8 Tips for Freelancers To Boost Time Management

Updated: April 10, 2024
time management matrix

Making a living as a freelancer has its fair share of difficulties. Since your working time is defined only by you, it is sometimes not easy to determine what working pattern or how you’re going to manage your time best to be productive. For this reason, you might find yourself working around the clock, including Sunday evenings and late nights. So, when you are a freelance worker, it is not the projects on your plate but rather proper time management that turns out to be your main challenge. That is why, in this article, we decided to focus our attention to some of the proven practices and time management tips for freelancers that will help you stay productive and manage your time more wisely.

What Is Time Management?

In a nutshell, this term refers to the process of organizing/planning how to effectively distribute your time between several tasks. If you treat freelancing as a job on a regular basis, you should take it seriously. Depending on how you manage your time, it could be your friend or enemy. This is because, unlike other variables, it’s the only one that you have full control. You can either use specific software to make your freelancer’s life a bit more organized, or at least follow the advice that we’ve listed below on how to manage your time effectively.

how to live as a freelancer

Time Management Advice for Freelancers

  1. Learn to say no
    Many freelance workers have set themselves up for exhaustion by taking on too much work, especially, if they do freelancing for a living. However, even if you use freelance for extra income, it will not be superfluous to learn to balance the amount of projects you can deal with at once. You will not have to deal with too many projects if you know the word “no.” Simply do not overwhelm yourself too much.
  2. Organize your work environment
    It can get boring to work out of your office. As a result, you might find yourself slowing down or zoning out by the end of the week. So change your environment more often to minimize the impact of your work environment. Visit a library or your favorite cafe at least one day a week to give your mind a kind of a refresher.
  3. Minimize distractions from email and social networks
    Many of us are available 24/7 on our email immediately responding to messages and checking for new mail. Additionally, social media distractors are drawing us back to scrolling through their feeds dozens of times per day! As a result, we end up pausing our important work to peek into Facebook or Instagram. Luckily, there are smart browser extensions that can help you stay away from social media websites for specific hours.
  4. Try working in short bursts
    If you work for 4+ hours in a row, you probably often feel drained and exhausted. This is where Pomodoro technique can help. It states that a workday should be broken into 25 min intervals followed by a 5 min break.
  5. Use time tracker for freelancers
    Time tracking is an overlooked yet critical part of time management. Track your time based on the task you are working on. Use time tracking applications like Toggl to know how long it takes you to perform certain tasks and plan more effectively in the future.
  6. Create a fixed schedule
    A traditional office timing allows you to keep your work process in check. With the absence of in-office work schedule, many freelance workers end up with a messy schedule turning their personal time into working time. So our recommendation is to set a rough schedule. You could slot your working time into two 3-hour slots, or go with the classic 10-to-18 work timing. Even as a freelancer, you need a fixed schedule.
  7. Use high-energy hours for deep work
    Prioritization is one of the best time management approaches. Managing your energy will allow you to get the most out of your workday. For most individuals, the first part of the day is the perfect time to perform some heavy lifting as their energy levels are the highest. Determine your productive hours and use this time to get all the things done.
  8. Use specialized software for freelancers
    Did you know that the average rate among IT freelancers in 2019 is $15/hour? Tools like Vollna provide the ability to save 2-3 hours every day browsing through projects on freelance platforms, which means making $30-45 a day simply by using time more effectively. They are crucial to make sure your week goes productive.
how much a freelancer can earn per month

Key Takeaways

Keeping your workload adequate and knowing when to say no is crucial if you want to deliver high quality work to your employer. We hope that the advice above will help you work at your full potential, cross off tasks faster, and manage your time more effectively.