There’s nothing quite like being a freelancer. You don’t have to put up with demanding bosses, working a dead-end job and having to deal with the attitude of your co-workers. Suffice to say, it’s a liberating experience. But you might quickly find out that being a freelancer isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to take care of everything like setting deadlines, communicating with clients, and most of all, getting actual work done, it can eat up a lot of your time. Here are a few tips on how to work smarter than harder as a freelancer.
1. Find Your Organizing Zen
Being organized is just as important in the freelancing world as it is in any regular job. Don’t allow your work responsibilities to slip (deadlines, tasks, meetings), and it’s your duty to stay on top of your game. There are a number of apps that can help you get organized and track down your tasks. For example Wunderlist and Trello are both cutting-edge choices. If you are more of a pen-and-paper sort of person, have a marker and whiteboard posted close for maximum efficiency.
2. Stay Focused
Just because you’re your own boss doesn’t mean you can laze about all day. Being a freelancer definitely has its perks, i.e, you can work in your pajamas, eat any time you wish, and take a break anytime you want. But you’ll need to be careful because those very same advantages can turn into disadvantages. You’ll need to stay focused even if there’s no boss looking over your shoulder every 15 minutes.
So it’ll be really helpful if you change it up a little bit every now and then. Set a dress-up day, rent an office space for a month, work in a coffee shop, use white noise or set up a time to check your emails once a day. By doing this you can break up boring routine and get to stay focused on achieving tasks.
3. Break Time is Good
Taking a breather every now and then seems counter-intuitive, but it’s taxing having to work long periods of time without any breaks. Research shows that taking a few minutes of break time can help a person do more than powering through a day’s task without any rest. Breaks can help freelancers become more efficient by helping them stay on task, keeping the brain focused and preventing burnout in the long run. A few minutes off per hour of work is a healthy practice.
4. Don’t Forget Your Finances
Now that you’re the boss, it’s time to take helm at the financing end. You will be in charge of your own paycheck, tracking your expenses, sending out invoices and setting money aside for taxes. There are a number of apps that can help you get your finances in line, track hours you spend and even save you a bit of money on PayPal fees.