Whether you’re a lawyer, a developer, a graphic designer, or any other type of freelance worker, you need to be able to make full and complete use of your time whilst making sure that you still achieve a balance with your home and personal life. That’s the challenge for any freelancer today, and it’s not an impossibility if you know what to do and how to do it. Here, then, are the top three ways to optimise your schedule and work productivity as a freelancer.
Know your limits
As a freelancer, you have a flexible schedule. That’s one of the most obvious perks of this career path. But even though you have a flexible schedule, this doesn’t mean that your clients can bother you at all hours of the night (particularly if they are on the other side of the world) just to get a job done. It’s better to know your limits when it comes to the projects you take on as well. If you feel that you can’t do the job or project within the deadline specified or you can’t do it for lack of experience or skill, then be honest. It’s better to be honest than to have a reputation of promising a job well done when you can’t do it in the end.
Give yourself breaks
Whilst it’s also a good idea to establish a set schedule for your work (such as working every day from 11 to 6pm, for instance, or from the standard 9 to 5), it’s also a good idea to know when to take breaks, especially mental ones. What do we mean by this? It’s simple: if you really feel like you’re not ‘into it’ – if you feel that you are just forcing yourself to do a task for that day, then take a mental break. Know when you simply can’t do it and when your creative juices are just not flowing. You can make use of this time by updating your portfolio, answering queries from prospective clients, reading up on some new updates about your industry, and so on.
Establish a habit or routine
As mentioned, being a freelancer can be challenging sometimes because it’s easy to fall into the trap of being overworked or overwhelmed. Since you have flexibility, you have the temptation of not working for the entire day – but then you end up overworking during the weekend, or not getting any days off at all. It’s best to start a habit or routine with your work. Know what’s best for your productivity, whether you’re a morning person or a night owl. Also, make sure you keep accurate track of your time when you work, and this is where time-tracking apps, such as the one developed by Alpaka-Punch.com, come in handy.