7 Helpful Time Management Tips For Freelancers

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Helpful Time Management Tips For Freelancers
Freelancer Wondering How to Manage Her Time

The freelance industry is exploding. The Word Bank statistics show that 1.57 billion people are freelancers out of the 3.38 billion global workforces.

We can agree that freelancing is no longer a side hustle. People are shifting from traditional employment to self-employment. 

However, running a freelance business means you handle serious responsibilities like:

  • Pitching clients
  • Making follow-up calls and sending emails
  • Working on clients’ projects
  • Networking
  • Communicating with clients and prospects

How do you ensure that home distractions and personal matters do not interfere with your freelancing time? Time management is the answer. This article provides you with 7 time management tips for freelancers. 

How a freelancer can manage their time

I heard a saying that goes, “time is more valuable than money,” and I agree because once lost, it is irrecoverable. And if properly utilized, it can help you earn a fortune in your freelancing business. 

Here is how you manage your time as a freelancer. 

Here are my favorite books on time management:

1- Make a reasonable work schedule that suits your life

One of the benefits of freelancing is the flexibility and freedom to work when you want. You may not like the traditional 9-5 Monday-Friday schedule, but you still need to set your work hours. 

Clients prefer freelancers who deliver quality work on time; a schedule can help you with that. 

How can you design a practical schedule? Find the most creative time and build your schedule around it. For instance, if your creativity peaks from 10 am, design your structure and create a plan from this time. 

On the hand, if your creative time is early in the morning, you can start working from 6 am to noon and then perform administrative duties in the afternoon. 

Organize your schedule to allow you to perform deep work when you are most active. You can arrange light duties in the afternoons when you are less active. 

Note: Invest in a time management system or have a journal to plan your day in the evening before bed. This way, you know how your day will turn out and what you intend to accomplish. 

2- Have written down to-do lists

Without a to-do list, you will let the day by, and in the evening, you may feel wasted and depressed.  Employers ensure that their employees plan a to-do list to accomplish organizational goals. These to-do lists are not mere rituals; they motivate employees and provide a roadmap to success. 

Similarly, freelancers can manage their time by creating a to-do list. Fortunately, you can do it in a way that works for you. 

When should you write your to-do list? Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss says you are better off writing a to-do list in the evening. He famously said, “the only way to win the morning is to win the evening.” 

Other freelancers plan the whole week on the weekends. They organize what they will do each day before the week starts. They also have a mini to-do list for each day. 

However, you should be careful not to create an overwhelming to-do list. Give each task a reasonable time frame; otherwise, you may be discouraged and feel like you are not making any progress. 

The simplest way is to organize your work into smaller milestones that sturk up to bigger goals. A to-do list has helped me manage my time well, and the satisfaction of checking off what I have accomplished in the day is second to none. 

But how do you organize this list? Prioritize important tasks- start with work for clients who pay the bills. Jim Rhon, an entrepreneur, and American public speaker, often cautioned, “don’t major in the minor things.”

Jim Rohn recommended learning how to separate the majors and the minors. A lot of entrepreneurs, particularly freelancers, don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” 

3- Track your time

You may be saying, “not again!” Time tracking is not the fanciest of tasks, but you can use time-tracking tools like Indy, Toggl, and Harvest to make the process easy. 

Time tracking helps you know how much time you take on a task. This way, you can charge these jobs appropriately. 

For example, a client may be willing to pay $450 for you to design their landing page. If the project takes 3 hours to complete, you will earn $150 per hour. But if the project takes 9 hours, you’ll make $60 per hour. 

In that case, time tracking will help you reconsider your pricing and charge more when you land a similar project. 

Other benefits of tracking time include the following:

  • It reveals opportunities: Time tracking enables the freelancer to know which processes and tasks consume more time. The data can help you streamline the process or subcontract to other freelancers and focus on income-generating tasks. 
  • It helps you visualize your workload: While some freelancers like to use time estimations, sometimes you may not know how long some work-related task takes. It is essential to visualize your workload accurately and block your days. 

4- Learn to say no

New freelancers who want to make more money faster often experience burnout because they simultaneously say yes to several projects. 

Why do freelancers take on multiple projects? Without regular salary security, many freelancers are tempted to take up any work offered. Some freelancers also charge low prices for their services and are forced to work on many projects to make ends meet

Others also underestimate the time each assignment will take. This is called the planning fallacy, where freelancers think they will accomplish more than they can actually do. 

Learning to say no frees up your time, allows you to deliver quality, and relax. Having clients breathing down your neck is not a pleasant experience. You may deliver substandard work or fail to deliver on time, destroying your reputation. 

The best time management tip is to know how many projects can comfortably fit your schedule without cramming your workdays. And if the project seems juicy, you can ask for an extended deadline; otherwise, say no. 

Helpful Time Management Tips For Freelancers
Learn to say no to better time management

5- Remove distractions from your work environment

Most freelancers work from home- the center of distractions. From children running and playing in the house to neighbors playing Star Wars, distractions are everywhere. 

How do you reduce the noise to get the most out of your time? You could partition your home office or take the office to the basement and soundproof it. Soundproofing your home office eliminates all the noise, allowing you to concentrate. 

  • Choose a customized study room desk and a comfortable chair for your home office
  • Ensure your freelance workspace is clear of non-work-related items
  • Lock the room to prevent family members from interrupting your thought process.
  • Talk to family and request them not to interfere during work hours
  • Turn off the TV and mobile devices- email and social media notifications are a source of distraction

6- Take regular breaks 

Freelancers take their work seriously and work long hours than regular employees. One survey shows that 60% of freelancers work more than 40 hours

Once they focus on a project, they rarely get up to grab food, walk around the block, or go for coffee runs. 

Sitting long hours without taking breaks causes health problems and can lower productivity. Don’t feel guilty about taking a walk or stepping out of your desk for a breather. 

Breaks or day off allows you to change your focus on other things. You will realize that you perform better when your return from the break. 

How can you utilize break time?

  • Read a book to improve your memory.
  • Meditate 
  • Indulge in social media platforms like LinkedIn. 
  • Go for a quiet walk in the park and appreciate nature

However, ensure you have scheduled break time. You can even give yourself a day off to rejuvenate after an intense project.   

7- Leverage project management tools

Disorganization creates chaos and waste time. Staying organized and tracking your projects is the thumb rule for success as a freelancer. 

And project management tools such as Trello, Asana, ClickUp, and Harlow can help you with time management. These tools allow you to keep your assignment in one place and interact with clients. 

For instance, I use Trello to manage different projects I work on. I move all my clients on the platform, thus saving time in responding to numerous daily emails. 

Furthermore, project management tools can integrate with other work-related tools. You can sync them with your Google calendar to accomplish your tasks in time.  

Management tools also enable you to prioritize tasks, set milestones and identify dependencies to help track progress. 

And they are easy to learn for any novice freelancer. 

Follow the freelancing time management tip that works for you

Time- is a rare commodity we don’t have enough of. As a freelancer, your success hangs on how well you manage it. 

Several activities, like becoming better at your craft and attracting clients take time. You can do all that with good time management skills. 

Remember, every second counts, so plan for it. Prioritize deep work and allocate them when you are most active. Other administrative responsibilities and leisure should come later in the day. 

Therefore, choose the time management tips that suit your life. What time management tips have worked for you?


Welcome all! I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the guy behind The Entrepreneur Journey. I am a blogger, Amazon private label seller, and I share everything I have learned along this journey with YOU

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