Let’s talk about how to save time as a freelancer. When you’re paid by the hour, using your time efficiently is vital. Whilst it’s a running joke that freelancers work from home in front of the TV, in their pyjamas, my experience is that freelancers are more driven and efficient than some people in traditional office jobs, because they’re judged far more on their output. Coasting has consequences.
With that all being said, without a little self-discipline, I’m a terrible procrastinator. Sometimes I drift a little, but these tips for how to save time always help me get back on track.
- Stop being on your phone ALL THE TIME. Honestly. I’m so guilty of this (as in, I’ve been told off for mopping while swiping through Instagram), and have to make a real effort to tuck my phone away for a few hours. If you suspect you might be a mobile overuser, tuck it away for a few hours and see how much you get done. Oh, and depressingly, the world doesn’t fall apart without you being online all the time.
- Save drafts or templates of emails you regularly send. For me, that’s coaching contracts, email confirmations, answers to common questions and my fee structure. I’ve also got an auto-responder set up with the answers to common questions I get. I use MixMax (affil, but it’s free) too, which lets me save templates, and very quickly insert things like available dates from my calendar, polls and more.
- Plan your weeks and days. Yes, it’s boring. But when you know exactly what you have to do that day, it’s easier to get focused than thinking ‘crap, I’ve got so much to do but I’m not 100% sure what!’ Choose your top three goals each day and your Frog, you have to eat before anything else.
- Use an automated calendar tool. If you spend lots of time going back and forward trying to schedule things, an automated scheduling tool can really help. I like and use Calendly. Also, automate as much of everything else as you can. I’ve got a few articles on automation here. Whenever I’ve struggling for time, I look at my processes and decide what’s essential, what needs automating and what needs dumping.
- Speak to Jo Shock. Jo is a total whizz at all things organisational and time-saving, and a little chat with her this week has got me back on the wagon when it comes to feeling more focused. She does free 30 minute sessions too, have a look here.
What are your top tips for how to save time as a freelancer?