So you’re working hard. That’s great but are you also working smart? Working smartly can increase your inflow, boost your productivity and effectively manage your freelance work. There is something about being your own boss but when you do it efficiently it makes all the difference. Also, getting work done faster can give you time to take on more new projects. Plenty of books, apps, time management tools are made available to get the day running productively. Here we have curated a small list to increase your awesomeness at work:
1. Have a Schedule and Create Deadlines
Freelancing offers you immense flexibility but having a schedule in place will save you from unnecessary hassles and will help you manage your freelance work. One tip is to block your working hours. This would really help your brain to function better. You can have time slots for checking emails, sales, reading, social media, working for clients. All of these essential to growing your business as a freelancer.
To have a schedule it is imperative to have deadlines. In situations where a client doesn’t give you a definitive deadline, I’ll suggest that you assign one for yourself.
How does this work-
When a client doesn’t specify a deadline, send an e-mail to him stating your work progress and categorically mention a date when will you be sending the first draft. This has two major benefits. First, it will keep your client informed about your progress on the task and secondly, it will force you to meet a deadline that did not exist before. Having a deadline binds you to a schedule. This will give you clarity and increase your productivity on that task.
2. Use Shortcuts
They are called shortcuts for a reason. It is the most simple productivity hack to do things faster. You can pin your frequently used icons to your quick launch taskbar. If you visit a particular website multiple times in a day, create a desktop shortcut by dragging any URL from the address bar onto your desktop. You can also create shortcuts of the folders you commonly use. Learn keyboard shortcuts, they will insanely ace your performance. You can also google some commonly use keyboard shortcuts.
3. Prioritise, Prioritise and Prioritise
Know your most important tasks for the day and try to complete them as soon as possible. Since you have multiple projects from different clients it’s imperative to have a chronological order of deadlines. You can use Google Calendar actively to schedule everything. For project management, users can also use tools like Trello, Asana, Jira.
Trello’s boards, lists, and cards enable you to organize and prioritize your projects in fun, flexible and rewarding way. It is a brilliant and most visual too for teams to collaborate on any project. Asana is an interesting tool that tells who is working on what, who is responsible for a particular task and when is it due. Jira helps unleash the potential of every team member through open work.
4. Do you know your Fudge Ratio?
We are never sure about how much time we will take to complete a task. While some of us are guilty of overcommitting and others underestimate themselves. Fudge ratio helps you to make accurate time estimates. Figuring out your fudge ratio means you’ve got to note down estimates for a few tasks, do them, and then compare actual time to estimated time. Understanding your fudge ratio will ensure that you don’t overbook your time. You must always keep 25% to 50% extra time considering anything may go wrong. By this way, you will always meet your deadlines effectively.
You can use Toggl to keep a track of where you’ve spent all your time during the day. Toggl allows you to log how much time you spend on each project and task both online and offline.
5. Cut out distractions
When you are freelancing and working from home, getting distracted could be usual. You often have people talking at home and it is easy to get distracted and get involved in the conversation. Sometimes when you are completely drowned in a task and your phone rings all your focus goes for a toss. So to manage your freelance work, you can plug headphones to minimize background distractions. You must also turn off all your desktop notifications, put your phone on a priority mode which means you will get calls and notification only from a few selected people. You can also download apps like SelfControl, Anti-Social, and RescueTime.
SelfControl lets you block your own access to distracting websites. Just set a time period to block for and websites to your blacklist and click start. Until tie expires you will be unable to access those websites. Anti-social also works similarly. ResuceTime helps you achieve that perfect work-life balance. It helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.
6. Know your rejuvenation tonic
We all get exhausted and drained after long working hours. Figure out a way to re-energize yourself and which helps in managing freelance work. It could be listening to music, taking a hot shower or a power nap, sipping a strong cup of coffee or anything that makes you going. Taking breaks after each task will keep you driven and motivated for the day. Install Sociidot it is popularly known as a life coach in your pocket. It will help you visualize your goals, stay focused on them. It will also motivate you to accomplish them on time. Sociidot serves as a roadmap as you work toward creating a new and better life story.
“Only work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Take out time to socialise. The fact that you are not going to office makes it even more important. Not only will this keep your social skills sharp but would also rejuvenate you to complete your tasks. Some days you can hit a coffee shop and work from there. You can also sign up with myHQ that gives you access to numerous coffee shops and coworking spaces in the city at affordable prices. Find your tribe, meet and hustle with like-minded passionate individuals and back each other’s dream and vision together. Also, don’t underestimate social media for online networking. You can use Linkedin and Facebook for online socialising.
Using one of the various tools for freelancers is always good. These come in a number of formats and uses. May it be for management, curation or to optimise your work, using a suitable freelancer tool helps. Assess your work requirements ahead and invest in one of these online freelancer tools to manage your freelance work efficiently.
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