6 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Time
One of the main draws of freelancing is working on your own schedule. However, that can also present a significant challenge. How do you make sure you get work done without a regular schedule?
Freelancing and working remotely means you can work on your schedule and in a way that suits you. This is one of the main draws of freelancing and remote work; however, it can also present a significant challenge. How do you make sure you get work done without a regular schedule?
Most freelancers find that it’s best to set a schedule even if you don’t have to. A schedule helps you maintain balance and ensures you get enough work done each day. It also prevents you from working too much. This may be surprising, but many new freelancers find they work more since there is no official “start time” or “quitting time.”
Work with Your Natural Rhythms
The good news is that you can create a schedule that works for you. Are you most productive in the early morning? Then start work at 6 a.m. Are you a night person? Your workday can kick off after lunch or later. You can even break up your workday so you have a productive morning, a long break, and then a few evening or late night hours.
How Much Is Enough?
It isn’t easy to judge at first how long your workday should be. A good guideline is to look at how many hours you need or want to work and set a schedule accordingly. Or make it just a bit shorter and try to be more productive with your time. You can always add a few hours when you have a deadline or something you need to finish.
Tell Everyone Who Needs to Know
Once you have your schedule set, inform the key people you work with. You might let team members and clients know your schedule so they know when they can reach you. If you meet with clients in-person, schedule time for face-to-face meetings. When you are working with people in another time zone, you could adjust your schedule accordingly. Also, inform family members and friends so they don’t distract you during your working time.
Monitor Your Working Time
Your work schedule serves you, not the other way around. This means that it’s up to you to ensure it’s working the way you want it to. You should take some time to reflect and make sure you’re getting results. Are you getting things done? How is your energy level? Do you have the time and energy to do the other things you want to do when you’re not working? If not, see what changes you can make to maximize your time.
Take Time Off When You Need It
One of the advantages of having a flexible schedule is that you can adjust it when necessary. When you have a family emergency or something else to deal with, take the time off you need. If there is important work to do, shift it to another day.
Stay Off the Clock
Since you’ve gone to the trouble to make a work schedule, make sure you stick to it. When you’re off the clock, don’t do anything work-related. Resist the urge to check your work email. Turn off notifications. If you want to check email while you’re off work, set a time limit so you don’t get absorbed in work again.
Your work schedule gives you control over your work and your time so you can get things done on your terms and maintain the right work-life balance.