in Misc

Freelance Time Management

Working as a freelancer, can bring you lots of benefits but for this to happen you must first think very well about time management and self discipline. This is not an easy task and many freelancers fall in this trap.

Time management is all about discipline and developing good working habits. There are also some tools that can really help you, but we will talk about them later in this article.

A major difference between self employment and working for an employer is the need for self discipline. You will be the guy who will manage your own schedule and for that it’s essential to develop time management skills and find good time management tools to help you to provide the best service.

Track Your Time…

Loosing important time is bad because time is money and the only guy who will loose money will be exactly you. You must learn to track how you spend your time. E-mail and web browsing can be real time sinks. How many times you realized that you spend 1 hour just sitting at your computer and doing nothing ?

There are tracking applications that let you know which applications and websites you have open and how much time you have spent on them. This way you can see where you loose time and solve that problem.

Estimate How Much Time A Job Needs

Finding out how long it takes to do a particular job is very important and it’s part from time management skills. Why is that important ? Because it helps you making the right bid and also tells you when you will be available for the next job.

There are simple programs that let you start a job and clicking again when you stop one, and they allow you to add notes and descriptions so that you can generate reports on how you have spent your time.

Create Lists and Prioritize Your Tasks

Knowing exactly what you have to do and what is more important to accomplish first is very important for every freelancer. A piece of paper is in front of you can make you an efficient working machine.


Time Management Tools

1.Contact management. Best programs to use are Big Contacts or High Rise. These software store more than phone numbers, addresses and email addresses. They also store notes for each contact, phone calls made, meetings held, and tasks that need to be done. Most freelancers prefere Big Contacts but High Rise is also very helpful and easy to use.

2. Project management. With Backpack and Basecamp you can share pages, have checklists or other lists for the project’s task, set up pages for each project, add files and notes and images, even send yourself reminders and do “white papers” for collaboration. Basecamp is even more complex.

3. To-do list. Vitalist is the number one choice of many important freelancers. There are many to-do list programs you can also try.

4. Calendar. With Google Calendar you can share your schedule, access your calendar from your phone and get event reminders on your phone via text messages or via e-mail.

Alexandru

Alexandru is the co-owner of TopDesignMag. “If it looks easy, it's hard. If it looks hard, it's impossible. If it looks impossible, it's due tomorrow. At 8 A.M.”

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