By Lynne Gowers on 31st December 2014

Time management best practices for freelancers

Time management and productivity have become buzzwords: we hear them all the time, we sort of know what they mean, we realise they’re important, but we’re not quite sure how to achieve them. After all, it’s about more than getting everything done on time without too many late nights in between.

Time management is defined as the ability to use time effectively and productively, especially when at work, while productivity is loosely defined as the ability to do more. So if we’re working at our best we are doing as much as we can and doing it well in the time we have available.

While this may sound simple, it’s actually harder than it sounds, as the temptation to procrastinate can be strong and if your schedule gets delayed, finding a way to optimise that wasted time and resource can be challenging.

To help 2015 be a well-managed and productive year, here are a few tips and best practices.

Time management best practices

Do, review, improve

To operate as effectively as possible, it’s important to hone operations. However, we often fail to build time into projects to review what’s going well and what needs changing. To maximise efficiency and improve quality be sure to introduce a review period into your work. When you’ve completed a task, think what went well, what didn’t work and how it could have been improved. You can then adjust your work accordingly, saving time further down the line to correct any mistakes.

The start of the new year is a brilliant time to do this on a grand scale. Take an afternoon to think about the year just gone and identify ways you can improve upon it in 2015.

See the value in down time

We often find we procrastinate the most when we’re overworked but the thought of actually taking time out when we have a never-ending list of things to do naturally seems ridiculous. However, if you don’t build time to relax into your day, you won’t be working at your best. It’s better to work four hours at the top of your game than eight hours half asleep. If your mind and body are tired, you simply won’t be productive.

The most effective freelancers often ensure that they take time for themselves throughout, creating regular breaks away from the computer and ensuring they take a healthy lunch.

Get appy

Freelancers these days are lucky that they live at a time when technology exists to make work easier. There are now plenty of apps and software to help organise workloads, facilitate collaboration or even improve efficiency (dictation apps are priceless).

To improve time management and productivity in 2015, do a search of all the sorts of technology that can make your life easier.

Restore digital order

It’s a fact that most work now takes place online and it’s easy to waste time searching for emails, documents and websites you need. Therefore, it’s important to create digital orger. This means adding colour coded folders to your inbox and making sure everything is where it should be, marking certain emails as important, bookmarking various sites, and ensuring all documents are in logical places and accessible from all mediums.

Get the right tools & advice

It goes without saying that when you start out as a freelancer, it’s important you get the right advice and use the right tools to ensure you run your business the right way. Our online accounting service not only provides you with a trustworthy & efficient way to operate through your own Limited Company, but we’re always trying to find new ways to help speed things up (check out our mobile apps).

Written by Lynne Gowers
Disclaimer Although we attempt to ensure that the Information contained in this publication is accurate and up-to-date at the date of publication it may not be comprehensive, we accept no liability for the results of any action taken on the basis of the information they contain and any implied warranties, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement and accuracy are excluded to the extent that they may be excluded as a matter of law.

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