Working as a freelancer can be a lot more challenging than one might think. Working from home, doing everything on your own, figuring things out, avoiding distractions, and completing tasks before deadlines. All of this sounds easy because people make it sound easy otherwise, working as a freelancer is more exhausting than your regular job. However, one should not forget that it is more profitable than working as an employee as well. For high-earning potential and freedom, you need to figure out a way to manage things efficiently so that you can work effectively. Here are a few tips for freelancers that we believe will help you in working effectively as a freelancer, especially if you have just started.
Set Deadlines for Every Task
It is kind of basic to tell a freelancer that they need to write down the tasks for the day. But, instead of just writing a vague to-do list, what you can do to make it even better and more efficient is add a deadline along with the task. For instance, if you are to complete two projects today, your to-do list should have:
Project 1: By 2 PM
Project 2: By 7 PM
This way, you will create a sense of urgency for yourself and your to-do list will make so much more sense to you.
When you allot a specific time limit to your task, the chances of you procrastinating are lesser than when all you have is a to-do list. Your mind doesn’t know when exactly you need to complete the task except by the end of the day. This means you can start and end anytime. But when there is a limit, you will feel obligated to start and complete it as soon as possible because there is another task in line.
Write Everything Down
Okay, your to-do list should not be just about tasks or freelance-related work. Consider making a proper schedule with everything written down, from making breakfast to taking a breather every two to three hours.
Taking breaks, having meals on time, doing household chores, and drinking water are some things that are as important as completing your freelance work. Consider putting most of it on your to-do list with time allotted to every task. One of the most common tips for freelancers that almost everyone gives is writing everything down. And it is important and effective too.
PROTIP: While you are writing your to-do list, add “send cold emails” to your list and dedicate 1 hour of your time to this. This will help you grow and get more clients as a freelancer.
Invest Your First Hour in Just Research
When we start working on something new, it is easy to procrastinate and waste time researching.
We usually don’t realize this easily but if you pay attention you will notice that when you are working on a project that you are new to or least familiar with, you end up avoiding the work. Even though all it may take is an extra hour or two, we are not able to start it at all because research takes most of the time. Moreover, people who start with writing whatever they know and then consider researching the topic end up investing comparatively more time as well.
What one should do instead is invest the first hour of working on a project in just research. Go through the designs or information available on the internet, note down the points that intrigue you or are important for your work, and simply use this time to skim information and understand the basics of the project.
After this hour of research, take a short break, leave your seat, take a walk and breathe for around 3 to 5 minutes, come back, and start working. This way your content will be better in quality, you will take lesser time than you normally would, and your creative side will have a much better role to play.
Avoid Working From Home Everyday
This should be at the top of the list of tips for freelancers. When people say one of the pros of freelancing is that you can work from anywhere, you should be taking that advantage. Working from home can get extremely tiring because you end up staying inside your home most of the time. This isn’t healthy and can affect the quality of your work and life as well.
Go out, sit in a cosy, calm coffee shop with fewer distractions, and work. You will find how much fast and efficient you work when you are sitting someplace outside your work.
Working from coffee shops and spaces where other people work as well gives you a chance to interact and network with people who can be your potential clients and friends. Whatever you are looking for, you can easily get when you start working remotely.
It may seem unnecessary to spend money and time to dress up and go out someplace when you can easily work in your pyjamas at home but trust me these little efforts can make a huge difference in the quality of your work. A difference that is significant for your freelancing career.
Take Frequent Breaks
Taking breaks after every project or every two hours is one of the most important tips for freelancers. You don’t have to take naps after every project and a break does not mean you can watch Netflix for two hours straight. Simply leave your desk for 15 minutes either after your project is completed or after every 2 to 3 hours, whichever system works best for you. It won’t waste your time. Instead, taking a break will allow you to freshen up, stretch your muscles, walk a little, and divert your mind from work so that your mind can refresh, start again, and be more efficient and creative. When you keep working continuously, you set yourself up for burnout which only lowers your productivity, efficiency, and the quality of your work.
Read more: 10 Bad Habits Side Hustlers Need To Quit
Don’t Mix Work and Household Chores
Just because you are working from home does not mean that you can leave your work and do household chores whenever you feel. Sure, this is one freedom that you can manage your work and house altogether but this can be counted as a distraction as well. So, when you are working, avoid getting distracted by household chores especially if they can be postponed.
Of course, eating and cooking your lunch is as important as working so it cannot be avoided but cleaning that countertop, changing bedsheets, and throwing away empty bottles can be either done before or after working hours. So, don’t even consider stressing about it while you should be focusing on your work instead. This is where time management again plays a role.
Working as a freelancer is very intriguing but continuing as a freelancer takes a lot from an individual. We hope these 6 tips for freelancers will make the situation better for you. Prepare yourself beforehand for the struggles you will have to face in order to succeed as a freelancer. If you are absolutely new to freelancing, it is better to invest your time in a course so that you can avoid wasting your time figuring things out from scratch. Hustlepost Academy offers a course on how to start and grow your online business. The program covers everything from the basics of starting as a freelancer to how to convert it into a six-figure business within a few months. It is probably the only course you need to succeed as a freelancer, in any and every industry.