Sometimes as a freelancer, it seems like no matter what you do, the time just flies by. While most get into freelancing to have more autonomy and control over their work schedule, it’s difficult to manage your time for a good work-life balance.
When you work freelance full-time, you’ll find that with a lot of freedom comes the challenge of balancing your clients, your actual work, and other personal matters. If you’re struggling to find the time to do it all, here are five tips on how to better manage your time so you can get more done in less time.
1. Practice Time Blocking
When you practice time blocking, you’ll dedicate a set amount of hours for a project or client. Plan your day efficiently by scheduling tasks according to priority and fixed hours. This will prevent you from spending too much time working on a project and will help keep your mind fresh for other tasks.
This kind of workflow will allow you to focus solely on select clients and get things done with fewer distractions. Complement this by having a to-do list with specific (and realistic) goals to ensure that you’ll complete all the things due that day.
2. Take frequent breaks
It’s super easy to lose track of time and work on a single project for hours on end. But this is a sure way to burn yourself out before getting anything done. As a continuation of time blocking, you should include rest periods within projects. For one thing, it keeps your mind fresh and helps prevent any mental blocks. It will also keep the dreaded burnout at bay.
Schedule a break every 15, 30, or 60 minutes depending on your energy and concentration levels.
Make sure that you take an actual break where you leave your desk. Walk around your place (or neighborhood) to take a breath of fresh air, make phone calls, and most importantly, rest your eyes. As a freelancer, you spend tons of hours staring at a screen. You need your eyes to be well-rested to work better.
3. Prioritize your tasks
Meeting your deadlines is vital in the freelance world since clients depend on you to deliver on time. The last thing you want is to be the bottleneck in your clients’ organization.
To ensure that you’re meeting their expectations and delivering quality work, create a list of tasks according to priority, complexity, and due date. Effectively work your way down from high to low priority tasks.
This prevents the build-up of pending tasks that often overwhelm freelancers, making them fall behind on deliverables and ultimately lose clients.
4. Use project management software
Freelancers are in charge of everything for their line of work, including admin duties, and all of these responsibilities can quickly add up, making you feel like there’s no way you can keep track of it all. To stop you from getting too stressed out, you can use digital project management systems like Trello, Monday, or Asana to stay on top of your projects. These are essentially digital versions of a planner, where you can set subtasks and due dates for each task.
If you have other people that work with you, these platforms also make delegating tasks easier while storing all your files in one place. Digital platforms ensure that everyone stays accountable within their specific role without having to double-check about missed deadlines.
But even if you’re just working solo, having a project management tool will help you stay on top of all of your projects, especially as the number of clients and tasks you have starts to grow.
5. Use effective time management apps
Some clients will require that you use time management apps like TimeDoctor or Clockify to keep track of actual work hours. This helps them see how long it takes you to get the job done, and also helps you with invoicing and time management.
Modern time management apps help freelancers keep track of time and set limits on tasks to complete all pending work. Time management apps can also limit distractions, help you organize your calendar, schedule meetings, and give you an idea of your overall productivity.
For example, if you see that one client or a particular task is eating up a disproportionate amount of your time, you can look for automation tools or more efficient methods of achieving the same result. Or you can consider whether your time might be better spent on other, more profitable clients.
Guarantee your time using a project management platform
Freelancers are often faced with the challenge of managing their time. The projects you take on, combined with other obligations, can be overwhelming and leave you feeling stressed out and overwhelmed.
One way freelancers can manage their tasks efficiently is to use project management software like Devlynk.
Devlynk was designed with freelance developers in mind. We’re here to help you manage everything from task management to invoicing—which means more time for actually delivering quality work and keeping clients happy.
Try it today and see how you feel about your productivity after just one week. If you’re not yet a member, sign up now and see what our platform does for you.