Hey, we’ve all been there, having way too much to do and not being able to really remember all of it. And by the time you remember something important, the opportunity may have passed you by.
This happens to a lot of beginner freelancers and it is somewhat understandable. If you have no strict working hours, it is easy to get distracted by a myriad of different things and if you’ve taken on too many tasks, the situation is only going to be more critical.
The creators of a helpful tool, Blink the Bee, have some great tips for novice freelancers (applicable to seasoned veterans as well) on how to manage time better.
Make To-Do Lists
Even though it might look silly to you, actually writing something done can not only help you remember it better, but it can also give it more ‘weight’ in your mind.
Every day, before you get down to work, sit at your desk (with a beverage of choice) and go through your tasks, picking those you will do today.
You can keep a list on a piece of paper, in a notebook, or on a huge whiteboard on your wall, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you remember where it is and what is on it.
You can even use a digital assistant on your phone or computer if you feel like it will help you remember the list better.
Set Aside Some Me Time
It can be quite alluring to take on any and every task which comes your way. However, as you will soon realize if you go down this path, you will exhaust yourself and potentially even dampen your passion for the job.
Make some time for your passions, hobbies and just leisure. Learn how to compartmentalize your mind by telling yourself that you will not work during this free time and that you will not think about work either.
Designate a Workplace
Working from home might sound like a dream, but if you don’t separate the work time from your free time, you may be caught in an over-working or under-working loop, neither of which is good.
Picking out a place which will be used strictly for working, with as few distractions as possible, is a great way to separate these two in your mind.
Learn How You Work
A lot of people become freelancers because they have a hard time adapting to the rigid constraints of 9-to-5 office life. If that is what drew you to freelancing, you should know how you work best.
Do you like to work in short bursts with plenty of breaks and different activities in between? Or are you more of a butterfly, doing bits and pieces of different tasks?
Figure out which mode works best for you and plan your work day and especially your work load around it. It will make your day much more relaxed and your work so much better.
Invest in Some Software
If you are working as an artist, make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and programs which you need to use. Don’t let your work suffer due to the inadequate tools.
The same advice can be adapted to literally every freelancing job. Your tools will influence the quality and the speed of your work, so don’t be too cheap to properly invest in your career.
Another great piece of software which is useful to have is an invoicing software which can help you manage that other part of your job even if you are not too adept at it.
This is a great starting place for anyone tackling a new job or a new activity, so feel free to apply it to any aspect of your life, it will give it a semblance of order.