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If you’re a freelancer, you know that scheduling your freelance life is essential to your success. Without a good plan, you easily get overwhelmed and fall behind on your projects. This blog post will discuss 11 ways to improve your workday and make the most of your time!
1. Determine what kind of schedule you need
One of the great things about freelancing is that you can set your own schedule—but scheduling your freelance life can also be one of the hardest things you do. It can be tough to stay motivated and productive when you don’t have anyone telling you what to do or when to do it.
As a freelancer, one of the most important things you can do is figure out what schedule works best for you. This will help you be more productive, avoid burnout, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
There are two main ways of scheduling your freelance life:
Option 1: A strict freelance schedule
This type of schedule involves setting specific days and times for working and sticking to them as much as possible. This can help you stay focused and avoid procrastination.
Option 2: A more flexible freelance schedule
The second way to schedule your freelance life allows for more flexibility. It can be helpful if you have a lot of other commitments outside of work. For example, you might only work 3 days per week or take a longer break in the middle of the day to go for a walk or nap.
However you go about scheduling your freelance life, it’s important to stick to it as much as possible. This will help you stay productive and avoid burnout.
2. Start by experimenting with freelancing schedules
If you’re not sure what type of schedule will work best for you, try experimenting with different options until you find something that feels comfortable.
You won’t figure out scheduling your freelance life the first time you try it. In fact, it may take a while before you find a freelancing schedule that really works for you. That’s okay! Just keep adjusting and experimenting until you find a schedule that feels right.
After scheduling your freelance life in a way that works for you, stick to it as much as possible. Remember that your freelance life is subject to change, so be flexible and willing to adjust your schedule as needed.
3. Use software to keep your schedule on track
Once you have set a schedule, it’s time to start thinking about how you will follow it. While it might seem like a daunting task, there are many tools available that can make the process a lot easier.
Time-tracking software is a great way to track how much time you spend on each project. This can be extremely helpful in ensuring that you’re billing your clients correctly, and it can also help you identify areas where you might be more efficient when scheduling your freelance life.
To find the best tool for your needs, be sure to review our full list of the best time-tracking tools for freelancers here. With any of these tools, you’ll be able to better manage your time and become more productive in your work.
Our favorite one is probably Moxie. It’s simple, has a mobile app, and it can turn your tracked time into an invoice with a couple clicks. You also can get this feature for free on their Essentials plan. Feel free to check it out.
Productivity software can also be a great asset when scheduling your freelance life.
There are a lot of different productivity software options out there, so it’s important to choose one that will work well for you and your specific needs. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best productivity software options for freelancers. Review our list of productivity tools and find the perfect option for you so that you can streamline your work and get more done in less time.
Project management software can also be tremendously helpful for freelancers working on multiple projects simultaneously. These tools can help you to keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks, and progress on each project. They can also be used to communicate with clients and team members.
There are dozens of project management software options out there, so choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. To help you narrow down the field, we’ve compiled a list of the seven best project management tools for freelancers and solopreneurs. From simple to-do lists to robust project planning platforms, there’s an option on this list for everyone.
When scheduling your freelance life, experiment with different apps and software programs, and find the ones that help you to be the most productive.
4. Use a Freelance planner
You might also want to use a freelance planner for scheduling your freelance life in a more tangible way. This will make keeping track of deadlines, appointments, and other commitments much easier.
A good freelance planner should have space for you to write down:
- Your daily schedule
- Weekly and monthly goals
- Project deadlines
- Invoices and payments due
- Client contact information
- Notes and ideas
- There are a few things to consider when choosing a planner:
- How easy is it to use? Choose a planner that is userfriendly and easy to understand.
- Is it portable? You’ll want a planner that you can easily take with you on the go.
- Does it have enough space to write? Make sure there is plenty of room to write down appointments, deadlines and notes.
- How customizable is it? Choose a planner that allows you to customize it to your needs.
There are a number of different planners on the market, so it’s important to choose one that will work best for you and your business. To help you make the right choice, we’ve put together a list of the best freelance planners. Take a look and see if one of these planners is right for you.
Once you’ve chosen a planner, it’s time to start using it to schedule your freelance life!
A dedicated freelance business planner will help you stay organized and on track. Plus, it’s a great way to keep all your important information in one place.
5. Do the most difficult work first
Mark Twain allegedly once said, “If it’s your job to eat a live frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning, and if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
In other words, start with the most difficult work and the work that requires the most energy. Once you’ve completed it, the rest of your day will be a breeze in comparison. This is also known as the “80/20 rule” or the “Pareto principle.”
20% of your efforts produce 80% of your results.
Make a list of everything you need to do today, and then start with the most difficult task. Not only will you get it out of the way, but you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment that will carry you through the rest of your day.
Of course, not every task can be completed in one sitting. In that case, it is best to break the task into smaller chunks and work on it little by little. However, you should still start with the most difficult part first. This will help you get into a “work mode” and progress on the task.
It can also be helpful to set a timer for yourself and work on the task for a set amount of time. This will help you to stay focused and avoid getting bogged down in details. Once the timer goes off, you can take a break and return to the task later.
6. Categorize your schedule
The best way to get into a flow state is to do similar work at similar times. This allows your brain to become accustomed to the type of work you are doing and the environment you are doing it in.
For example, if you always write in the morning, your brain will start to associate that time with writing. This means that when you sit down to write at 9am, your brain will be in the right state to get into a flow state more easily.
The same goes for your working environment. If you always work in the same place, your brain will start to associate that place with work. This means that when you sit down to work in your office, your brain will be more likely to enter a flow state.
So, if you want to get into a flow state more easily, start by scheduling your freelance life in blocks of time, and do similar work at similar times. Also, try to create a dedicated workspace that you can always return to when it’s time to work.
Another way to optimize your freelance work and life is to group similar tasks together. If you have a lot of writing to do, schedule a few hours each day specifically for writing. This way, you will get into a flow state and be more productive.
Of course, there will always be some flexibility in your schedule based on deadlines and other obligations. But if you can schedule your freelance life wisely, you will be much more productive and happier with your work.
7. Use automation and templates
One of the best ways to boost your productivity is to use automation and templates.
Automation can help you save time on tasks that you have to do repeatedly. For example, if you invoice your clients every month, you can set up an automated system so that you don’t have to create each invoice manually.
There are many other great automation tools out there for freelancers. To find the ones that are right for you, check out our full list. With these tools in your arsenal, you’ll be able to work smarter, not harder.
Templates can also save you time by providing a starting point for common tasks. For example, if you frequently write blog posts, you can use a template to ensure that your posts are formatted consistently.
If you’re looking for an easy way to improve your content production workflow, be sure to check out our full list of the best templates.
8. Give yourself a break
We all know the feeling of being completely overwhelmed and bogged down by work. When you’re a freelancer, it can be easy to let work take over your life. You’re constantly connected to your email and clients, which can make it hard to disconnect and take a break when scheduling your freelance life.
It’s important to schedule breaks into your day, so that you can get up and move your body. Taking regular breaks will help you stay fresh and focused, so that you can be more productive when you’re working.
Here are a few tips for scheduling breaks into your day:
- Set a timer for yourself and take a break when it goes off.
- Get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour.
- Schedule a longer break in the middle of the day, so that you can go for a walk or take a nap.
- Make sure to schedule some down time at the end of the day, so that you can relax and unwind.
- Use your weekends to take longer breaks, so that you can recharge and prepare for the week ahead.
Taking regular breaks when scheduling your freelance life will help you stay sane and healthy as a freelancer. Make sure to schedule them into your day, so that you can get up and move your body. Your mind and body will thank you for it!
9. Focus on “completion” rather than “perfection”
Perfection is the enemy of “done”. As a freelancer, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details of each and every project. However, it’s important to remember that not every project has to be perfect. In fact, striving for perfection can actually lead to projects taking longer than necessary and backed up projects when scheduling your freelance life.
Instead, focus on completing projects in a timely manner. This doesn’t mean sacrificing quality, but it does mean setting realistic standards and meeting them. By doing so, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and get more done overall.
Here are a few tips to help you focus on completion rather than perfection:
A. Set realistic standards.
When starting a new project, it’s important to set realistic standards for what you expect to achieve. This will help you stay focused and on track, and prevent you from getting bogged down in details that don’t matter.
B. Focus on the essentials.
When working on a project, focus on the essential elements that need to be included. Don’t get sidetracked by minor details that can be left for later.
C. Don’t strive for perfection.
Remember that not every project has to be perfect. In fact, striving for perfection can actually lead to projects taking longer than necessary and never getting completed.
D. Work efficiently.
If you want to get more done, it’s important to work efficiently. This means setting a reasonable amount of freelance time management for each task and sticking to it. It also means taking breaks when needed so you don’t get burned out.
E. Keep a close eye on the finish line.
As you’re working on a project, keep a close eye on the finish line. This will help you stay motivated and on track, and prevent you from getting sidetracked by minor details.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to focus on completion rather than perfection. This will help you work more efficiently and get more done overall. So don’t strive for perfection—focus on completing your projects in a timely and efficient manner.
10. Find a way to stay accountable
It’s not always easy to stay on track when you’re scheduling your freelance life. Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or you just have a side hustle, there are a million distractions that can keep you from being productive.
But one of the best ways to stay accountable is to find someone who will hold you accountable. Whether that’s a partner, a friend, or even just a social media group, having someone to report to can make all the difference.
Here are three ways to stay accountable as a freelancer:
A. Report your schedule to your partner or a friend
This is probably the most obvious way to stay accountable, but it’s also the most effective. When you know someone is going to be checking in on you, you’re much less likely to waste time.
Plus, it can actually be really helpful to have someone to talk to about your work. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re not making progress, talking to someone can help you figure out a plan to get back on track.
B. Post your calendar/to-do list to social for group accountability
If you’re not comfortable sharing your schedule with just one person, that’s OK. You can also create a public calendar or to-do list that everyone in your accountability group can see.
This can be a great way to keep yourself accountable, because you’ll know that people are going to be checking in on your progress. And if you’re really struggling, you can always ask for help from the group.
C. Set goals in public
If you’re the type of person who is motivated by seeing your progress, then setting goals in public can be a great way to stay accountable. Whether you create a detailed spreadsheet or just make a list on your fridge, seeing your goals in writing can help you stay on track.
Plus, when you share your goals with others, they can help hold you accountable. If you’re struggling to reach a goal, they can offer encouragement and advice.
No matter what method you choose, the important thing is to find a way to stay accountable. Having someone to check in on you can make all the difference when you’re trying to stay productive.
11. Set boundaries
One of the best things about freelancing is that it gives you the freedom to work when you want, where you want. But if you’re not careful, that freedom can quickly turn into 24/7 work hours.
Suddenly, you have no time for family, friends, or your hobbies.
To avoid burning out and to keep your freelance career sustainable in the long run, it’s important to set some boundaries when scheduling your freelance life. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
A. Turn off work notifications during personal life hours
One of the easiest ways to boundary-bash is to have your work notifications on 24/7.
That way, even when you’re supposed to be relaxing or spending time with loved ones, you’re still thinking about work.
To avoid this, make a rule for yourself that you will not respond to work notifications during personal life hours. This means no checking your email after hours, no taking client calls outside of work hours, and so on.
B. Set office hours and stick to them
Another way to boundary-bash is to work all the time, even when you’re not on the clock. This means working early in the morning, late at night, and on weekends.
To avoid this, set office hours for yourself and stick to them. This means only working during the hours that you’ve set for work. Yes, there will be times when you have to work outside of your office hours, but those should be the exception, not the rule.
C. Take breaks
When you’re freelancing, it’s easy to get so caught up in work that you forget to take breaks. But if you want to be productive, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day.
Make a rule for yourself that you will take a break every hour or two. During your break, do something that has nothing to do with work. Take a walk, listen to music, or read a book.
D. Go easy on yourself
One of the hardest things about freelancing is that there’s no one to tell you what to do. This can be both good and bad.
On the one hand, it’s great because you have the freedom to work however you want. But on the other hand, it can be easy to get overwhelmed because there’s no clear path to follow.
When you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, go easy on yourself. Give yourself a break and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not getting as much done as you’d like.
Where from here?
Freelancing is a great way to have more freedom in your career. But with that freedom comes the responsibility to set boundaries.
By following the tips above when scheduling your freelance life, you can make sure that your freelance career is sustainable and doesn’t take over your life.
We hope that you found these tips helpful and that they will help to make your workday more productive with freelance time management.
If you have any additional suggestions when it comes to scheduling your freelance life, please share them with us in our Facebook group! We would love to hear from you.
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