Whether you’re a freelancer or small business owner, implementing a few of these tips can go a long way to optimize your work efforts.

  1. Create routines

While some aspects of your job may require you to wait for information to make a game day decision, there are many repetitive tasks that have to get done on a regular basis that you can readily anticipate. Establishing a routine can help you do this to make the most of your time.

Routines make your work day run smoothly, give you a sense of control and can help you from getting distracted. To establish a routine, think about the tasks you need to complete on a regular basis and jot them down. Hack your personal productivity and consider what time of day works best for you to complete what you need to do. Maybe you can get tasks, like writing and number crunching, done in the morning while allocating time in the afternoon for filing, invoicing or checking emails.

  1. Track working time

Keep track of how much time it takes to get work done. This will help you better gauge how long it really takes to complete certain tasks. Then when you plan your day, you can block out enough time to realistically complete work. It will also help you better gauge an hourly rate or figure out how much to charge per project.

  1. Channel your inner organizational nerd.

Sometimes we don’t realize that we can work more efficiently than we currently do. Sometimes we just keep plodding along the same way and accept the way we currently work as the status quo. Even though doing things the way we normally do is comfortable and might work, processes can always be improved upon. This can help free up time to do other things for our business. Maybe you’ve been meaning to get set up for epayments or find a to invoice minus the fees. Allotting time to take care of such things is essential to keep things orderly and running smoothly.

For this reason, I watch free videos about home office organization on Youtube once a week. My two favorite channels are Alejandra.tv and The Clutter Diet. I turn to Alejandra’s videos for more task-specific tips when I want to organize a particular space like my desk, supplies and files. She even includes budget-friendly ideas and ways to save on your home office.

The Clutter Diet videos by Lorie Marrero tend to focus on processes that can be generalized for different situations. You can learn how to organize anything using her O.R.D.E.R. acronym. Each letter stands for a step in the organization process. It’s easy to remember for future use and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you need to get things in order. She includes this on her channel as a series and explains each step thoroughly as a separate video.  This can help aid your decision making and give you a logical sequence to  get things in order. Also, when your work space has rhyme and reason from the start, it’s conducive to working more effectively.

  1. Offload some of your work

You may come to a crossroads where you’re forced to start getting outside help. In order to free up time to expand your business, you have to start outsourcing. If your budgetary limitations are holding you back, you can outsource some work without spending too much. You can still be mindful of your budget by turning to sites like Fiverr. Get an intro for a video made, have graphics and logos designed or even hire someone for copy writing. Peruse the “featured gig” section on the website to see what else they offer or try looking for something specific in the search bar.

 

Consider using the tips outlined above to work more effectively and maybe even boost your bottom line in the process.

 

 

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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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