Time management is something that we all want to learn one or two things about.
I think one of the most asked questions when it comes to issues concerning productivity is ‘how can one simply manage one’s time more effectively’?
We are all concerned about making the best use of our time and making sure we achieve all the things we ought to achieve within a specific timeframe.
However, if we fail to manage our time well, some things happen that may sometimes affect our personal brand as a freelancer.
How many of us have lots of things to do and we don’t even know where to start from because we don’t know how to manage our time?
Have you ever felt like you have a long list of things to do that your to-do list gets you weighed down that you will literally prefer to go and watch a movie rather than face the things you need to do?
Dear freelancer, you need to know that there are really so many things that happen when you don’t manage your time, and here are some of them:
- You miss deadlines: there have been so many times that I missed several deadlines because I didn’t do the right things I was supposed to do. I didn’t manage my time well. I didn’t even understand what to do, it was getting out of control and I was missing so many deadlines. And when someone keeps missing deadlines, will clients or employers be happy with them?
- You get confused: yes. whenever I didn’t manage my time well, I get confused about the different things I’m doing. I feel tasks literally being forced down my throat and I don’t really know how to go about it and what next to do. I didn’t like those periods at all.
- You get disorganized: this is also another thing that happens when you don’t manage your time well, you get disorganized and even your workplace may look so messy and cluttered. How many of us have experienced this?
- You procrastinate: when you have lots of things to do and you don’t do them, you tend to procrastinate and leave those things undone. There have been times that I procrastinated because I couldn’t handle my time well. And guess what, all it did was to pile up my workload.
- You get stressed: stress is another result of lack of time management. When you don’t manage your time well, you get stressed even at the thought of so many things you need to get done.
- You feel overwhelmed: you feel overwhelmed and tired, and it might even affect the kind of work you produce.
And so, how can you start managing your time well? Here are some ideas for you:
- Plan: plan your day, week, or month. Plan out the things you ought to achieve at a particular time and think about ways you can achieve them. When you plan out things, you are forced to think of ways to achieve those things. For instance, if you want to start writing weekly, you need to set SMART goals towards that. In case you might have forgotten, SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Once you have set your SMART goals, you need to ensure that you plan out actions that you can follow to help you achieve your goals. For instance, you can decide to write one page daily or you can decide to start writing few paragraphs daily. Don’t look at how little the changes might be, they may be making a huge difference.
- Schedule: schedule tasks. Get a good calendar and schedules tasks in slots that need to be filled with those tasks. For instance, you can set your calendar and schedule dates you need to submit works or start some works; and you get a reminder beforehand, so as to prepare.
- Automate: there are so many tools you can use to automate your work. As a freelance social media manager, you will agree with me that tools and Buffer are at your disposal, and you can easily use them to automate your social media management. Likewise, as a blogger, you can schedule your posts beforehand. You can schedule based on a timeline that suits you; either monthly or weekly. This helps you to do your work in batches, and also help you save lots of time.
- Remove distractions: if you want to manage your time well, one of the things you need to do is to remove distractions. Find out those things you spend your time doing that you shouldn’t be spending your time doing, and stay away from them.
- Monotask: don’t fall into the habit of multitasking. When you multitask, you rarely get lots of things done. However, when you monotask, you get one thing done, and you move on to the next. When you stop and take a look at those things you have gotten done, you will be surprised.
- Prioritize: what are some of the things you need to do now? What are those things that can wait till later? What are those things that are more important than others? You need to carefully decide these things and set your priorities straight.
Do you know other tips for helping freelancers stay productive and manage their time well? kindly drop your comments below.