Time Management Strategies for Freelancers to Stay Focused During Working Hours
Time management strategies can help you maximize time spent on working effectively. This can keep you stay focused and allow you to finish work in a timely fashion. Think about implementing the following tips to have the most impact on your work hours.
1. Implement the Barabara Corocran Rule
After listening to a video regarding success at work, I remember hearing Shark Tank Extraordinaire, Barabara Corocran say how she doesn’t allow her family to call her at work unless it’s an emergency. This is a great rule to establish to combat daily interruptions that can frequently disrupt your workflow. Setting a ground rule early on to stay productive at work and focus better. Once I heard that I implemented this rule with my own family, I stay more engaged in what I am doing and just jotted down what I need to talk to them about later.
2. Stick to a schedule even if it works more like an outline
One of the best time management strategies that works well for me is sticking to a schedule. I can’t say that things always happen at an exact time every day during the workweek, but certain tasks normally happen around that part of the day on a regular basis. Sometimes I start working at 8 AM. Other days at 9 AM.
While that is how my life just works at the moment, I still commit to getting certain work done during the morning hours when I’m most productive. I purposely schedule other tasks in the afternoon. Early evening is for getting lighter tasks done like filing or restocking office supplies without running myself into the ground every day.
I know roughly how long it will take me to finish an article so I focus on having a block of time to complete that work in the morning. I also infuse checking email and other daily tasks during the afternoon. That’s usually when my energy wanes or I just need to switch gears. I find working this way save me a great deal of time by not having to constantly decide what to do each day.
3. Set up day-specific duties
If there is something I need to do on a regular basis but it doesn’t require daily action, I assign a set day to take care of such tasks. I devoted a day to sending out invoices and keeping other bookkeeping -related activities organized. I like to do this on Friday so I can have a fresh start on Monday.
I also clean my desk, recycle papers and attend to any details that might make work life easier like going paperless. Managing my time this way helps me organize it better. If a certain email comes my way that isn’t urgent or something bookkeeping related shows up, I know I have set time to handle it. I can work in a more orderly fashion and know I will do what I’m supposed to when the time comes without getting too overwhelmed in the moment.
Take a “set it and forget it” approach.
I make things simple whenever possible. For instance, I spent very little time figuring out what to wear and what to eat. I purposely buy clothes that are easy to mix and match. I have classic wardrobe staples that I can pull out at any time. So if I have an important meeting or event where I need to dress up a bit, I have go-to clothing to wear without having to run out and get something new or overly fuss about it.
I also map out what I will eat every day. While I can take an hour lunch break if I wanted, I don’t. I fuel up and get back to work so I can maximize my working hours. I still incorporate strategic breaks, but purposely eat quickly to make sure I finish what I set out to do for the day.
The Bottom Line
Time management strategies can be easily embedded into your week using the tips above. Setting a schedule, choosing days to do weekly tasks and laying down some ground rules like no family calls at work can all help to use your time wisely.