Getting more clients is one way to make more money, but I believe being inefficient with the work you currently have loses you money unknowingly.  Whether you have to work smarter in general or just tweak a few procedures, here are some tips to tighten up money leaks and boost your bottom line.

1. Kick unwanted emails to the curb

If most of your bills are paperless and you receive them via email, it can sometimes be hard to find them if they’re sandwiched between other random emails. You don’t want to incur a late fee, miss a payment altogether or possibly have the domain name on your website expire because the email is buried somewhere in your inbox. Stay on top of your important emails by cleaning out your inbox in one fell swoop.

Unless you have messages sent to a folder right off the bat, you may want to quickly reduce the amount of emails in your inbox altogether. Consider bulk deleting them. If you subscribe to certain newsletters or if you get notified for sales from your favorite brands, these emails can quickly clog up your inbox and make it hard for you to find more important information like bills that might have been bounced down a page or two.

If for some reason, you didn’t get around to getting rid of them, I catch up by deleting them in batches. I will type the name of the brand into the search bar at the top of the email. Then I’ll quickly scan the subject titles and delete them all at once. It’s one of the quickest ways to reduce the number of emails you have. It makes it much easier to find others you might need to take action on.

Depending on the amount of emails you have in your inbox, determine how long you will spend chipping away at getting rid of them. if you’re majorly backlogged, start with ten minutes a day. You might gain insight on which ones are the most pesky and decide to switch your preferences or unsubscribing altogether.

2. Outline a plan of attack

How we work affects how much money we make. If you take longer to do a task for a client, it directly impacts your rate. So while accepting to complete a project for $500 sounds great, if you have to put in more hours than you thought to accomplish the project, your earnings can quickly dwindle. This is where learning how to work more efficiently can be your trump card for giving your income an upward shove. Consider using an effective time tracking tool to truly assess how long it is taking you to work. You might want to do this for multiple projects. What’s your day like as a freelancer? This way  you can see how long certain tasks or projects take you on average.

If you’re a writer, try to find ways to write faster. While many people can hop on their laptop and start typing away, that isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to complete an article. If you don’t know the main points you’re going to cover, you can just waste your time writing a bunch of random tips that don’t go together. You’ll have to possibly spend more time revamping things later too.

Certified inbound marketer, Sajib Mannan of TheInnovativeWriter.com makes it a habit to always outlines the points he wants to cover on paper before he even touches a keyboard. No matter how computer dependent we become, he finds that pen and a paper works best to gather his thoughts prior to writing the content. See if a tip like this works for you line of work. Even if you jot your main points on a document for a presentation or points covered on an agenda instead of paper, structuring what you will write about helps construct the article before you write it. It only takes a few minutes to do prior to writing and it can help save you time in the long run.

3. Be a spreadsheet geek

Sometimes we purchase many different ongoing services for our business. It can get hard to keep track of it all. Consider corralling all of the information in one place so you can look at what your spending at a glance. Christine C. Renee at TheFrugalSingle.com does just that. By putting all of her business subscriptions on a spreadsheet such as Grammarly, paid job boards, business memberships, etc. she is better able to stay on top of her spending. Renee points out, “That way I know how much a subscription or membership costs me each month (even if I only pay it once a year). Doing this gives me an idea of the minimum amount of money I need each month to pay for business expenses.”

If making a spreadsheet sounds overwhelming, chip away at making one. Generate a list of subscriptions and other expenses you’d like to keep track of. If you have a short amount of time to work on this each day, set aside ten minutes a day to add a subscription or expense, contact information plus the amount you pay. Doing a little bit every day can help you have everything stored in one place before you know it.

The Bottom Line

These tips can work to your advantage financially. Time and money are interwoven. When you get a better handle on each, you can potentially waste less time to make more money. Reclaim your time and money by working more efficiently. Organize bills, invoices and other important information better in your email by mass deleting what you don’t need. Also be sure to track the hours you spend working to know how much you are truly making.

 

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Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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