How to plan my time most effectively as a freelancer

How do I plan my time most effectively as a freelancer? In this guide, we'll discuss time management. Read on to learn more.

How to plan my time most effectively as a freelancer

Working as a freelancer comes with the enticing luxury of being able to choose your own hours. This is a benefit that often attracts people to the freelancing lifestyle.

If you want to succeed working for yourself as an independent worker, however, you will need to understand how to manage your time appropriately.

Still wondering “how should I plan my time as a freelancer?” We’ve put together a guide that will help you get started on the right track.

Let’s check out the details below.

Plan out your schedule

This is one of the most important aspects of being a successful freelancer. If you don’t develop a comprehensive schedule, you will likely find it fairly difficult to stay on task.

For this reason, freelancing for beginners is often something much more difficult than they expected.

The good news is that you have plenty of flexibility when it comes to establishing your work schedule. Although it’s always possible to use a traditional 9 to 5 layout for your weekly schedule, many people choose to arrange their work around other obligations in their lives.

For instance, someone might be responsible for taking their children to soccer practice at 4 PM on Thursdays. So, they might begin working a few hours earlier on Thursdays so that they can finish early.

Use a time tracking tool

Ironically, simply keeping an eye on the clock often isn’t effective enough when it comes to tracking your time effectively.

Time tracking becomes even more important when you are billing clients per hour instead of per project. When you involve collaborators, things can get even more complicated.

Hectic proudly offers a comprehensive time tracking tool that allows freelancers to easily convert hours worked into an invoice. Not only will this provide a more streamlined client experience, but it can also help you get paid faster.

You can check out our time tracking tool here to learn more about how it can help you.

Hold yourself accountable

In a conventional job setting, there is always accountability. If you don’t meet certain standards, you risk having disciplinary action being taken against you.

In extreme scenarios, you could even lose your job.

As a freelancer, this risk is far less likely. If you want to be as successful as possible, though, you’ll need to hold yourself accountable when it comes to productivity.

If you don’t meet your project goals for the day or the week, it’s in your best interest to allocate time on the weekend in order to make up for the shortcomings.

Although this might mean foregoing time that you could spend on hobbies or hanging out with friends, it will help build discipline that will make you more successful in the future.

Pace yourself

Freelancing is a marathon, not a sprint. This is especially true when it comes to work such as web development and design.

Unfortunately, many freelancers get caught up in the opportunity to work as much as they want. This can sometimes lead people to work long, intense hours over a short period of time in order to accomplish as much as possible.

Unfortunately, this is almost guaranteed to lead to burnout. Ironically, a situation like this will cause you to be much less productive over a long period of time.

Instead, pace yourself by establishing plenty of time to complete your project. Although you may not make as much money per hour or per day, you will more than likely make a significantly higher amount of money per month.

Complete tasks in order of priority

Haphazardly organizing your tasks is not an efficient way to remain productive. Instead, you should group tasks based on priority.

Depending on your personal preference, you might wish to start with a minor task early during your workday and then tackle a larger one once you have mentally warmed up.

Others prefer to get the heavy stuff out of the way at the beginning so they can coast to the rest of the day. Regardless of which option you choose, prioritizing certain tasks will help you get more done in less time.

Using a project management tool is a great way to help you visualize the tasks you have to complete each day and week. You can also use this utility to arrange them based on their priority.

You can take a closer look at our project management tool we offer here.

What else should I know to help plan my time?

Just like how it’s important for you to pace yourself, it’s also important for you to take breaks. Working an entire shift without taking the time to mentally decompress can quickly fatigue you.

As previously mentioned, this could lead to a situation where you become less productive overall.

To help keep yourself as organized as possible, you can also implement a home base tool. This will give you seamless access to all of the information you need about your ongoing projects, payment info, etc.

Since freelance web developers, writers, designers, and more manage so many nuances at a single time, it’s highly worth considering the utility that this can provide.

Managing freelance careers can be overwhelming at first

The good news is that it’s far less intimidating than you initially expect. As long as you implement proper time management, you’ll be able to avoid many of the obstacles associated with being a freelancer.

Still wondering “how can I plan my time more effectively?” We have plenty of tools that can help, including a mobile app that lets you work whenever and wherever you need to, giving you freedom to freelance.