Welcome to The Freelance Lifestyle’s A-Z of Freelancing. Each week, I’ll be looking at a new topic linked to freelancing – from Admin to dealing with having Zero clients.

This week’s topic, as I’ve just mentioned, is the dreaded admin.

Admin is one of the inevitable but uninteresting parts of freelancing. For every successful meeting, interesting social media interaction and happy pay day, there’s a pile of paperwork, expenses to file, emails to send and clients to chase.

Somehow, it’s easy to find time for all the fun and interesting stuff – but we’re ‘too busy’ to do the boring admin.

So if you’re struggling to find time for admin, try this four step strategy.

The Admin Attack Strategy

Schedule time

Friday mornings are my serious admin time. I block it out to catch up on expenses, filing, clearing the remaining backlog of emails and catching up with clients. Then I either treat myself to a Friday afternoon off, or a really tasty lunch. Once a week might work for you, or half an hour each morning might work better. Try both, and see what works best for you.

Do it in bite size chunks

Recently, I’ve been using the 30/30 app to schedule in all my work for the day (thanks for the recommendation Michelle Jackson Rowe!) I’ve been scheduling in email time several times a day – then I ignore it the rest of the time. This has really improved my productivity, because I’m focusing on reading and replying rather than juggling it with other work. Breaking big jobs into bite size tasks make them less intimidating, and easier to slot into your daily schedule.

Make an admin sandwich

When I really don’t want to do a task, I make an admin sandwich. Find two tasks you love to do, then slot the admin task in-between. For example, I hate making phone calls, so I slot them in after social media and before blogging.

Outsource it!

Really hate dealing with your accounts? Can’t keep on top of your emails? If you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle, and you have the budget, consider hiring a virtual assistant. It might be an added expense, but the time it could free up means you can concentrate on other areas of your business – potentially leading to a higher income.

How do you deal with your admin? What’s your biggest admin bugbear?

5 Comments on The A-Z of Freelancing – Admin

  1. Outsourcing is great, especially since the cost comes off your tax bill a lot of the time. Look at what you can afford, however little you think that amount is, find people you like and ask them! I have several VAs at only an hour a month and it’s made such a difference.

      • It’s for a different reason. I use one for confidential only to me work (blog posts, admin, what is usual for most businesses). Another for confidential client information (as I have a lot of that, so I had special criteria for her). There’s my social media angel (@rosalilium_). Two VAs I have parted company with for bad fit. Then there are the 3 subcontractors so that’s why I have a team section on my About page.

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