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How to Manage Your Time as a Freelancer

Working for yourself is a dream of many people. Not having a boss breathing down your neck, not having to deal with annoying coworkers eating your lunch and being able to work from home rather than having to commute to an office.

However, working as a freelancer can have its setbacks. When you are managing your own time, it is very easy to fall into the trap of poor time management. As your own boss, making the best use of your time is of the utmost importance because if you do not put time in, you will not have a salary, unlike in a normal job where you (probably, every place is different,) get paid even if you fall into a Candy Crush hole for a few hours during the week.

Here are some tips for managing your time while working for yourself:

Unplug

The Internet is a hotbed of unproductivity, but often you need it in order to complete the task you are working on. There are apps for both Mac and PC systems that will block time-wasting sites, such as Facebook and game sites. Cold Turkey is an app for PC users, and Self Control is an app for Mac users. Both will have you list a certain list of set sites to block and set a timer, after the timer runs out, you can access the whole Internet again—however, you cannot disable the apps in any way other than letting the timer run out, so be careful what sites you blacklist.

Get a planner—and use it!

It may seem very high school, but having a real, physical planner can help you organize your thoughts and keep projects straight. Most stores sell planners around back to school time, along with various other office supplies that can aid in organization. If you are absolutely opposed to using a physical planner, your iPhone’s calendar app is a good alternative, or Google Calendars.

Have set times to work

You must set times to work; otherwise you won’t ever get it done. It is easy to get distracted by the Internet or things happening around you at home (kids, pets, TV, etc.) if you don’t have set times to work each day. Plus, it allows you to keep a somewhat normal schedule that is similar to those around you and suits the needs of your family.

Don’t sleep in all day

It’s easy to be tempted into sleeping in late, since there’s no 9-5 office to be at, however, sleeping all day will hurt your productivity because your friends and family will want to do things with you at night while you’re trying to work.

Give yourself breaks

Alternatively, taking breaks is important. Getting up and walking around once per hour or taking some time to go outside is important so that you don’t get burnt out.

Keeping yourself focused at home can be difficult, but ultimately can be very rewarding.

About

Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.