Being a freelancer comes with its own challenges. Freelancing involves little stability and loads of changes in your work schedule, working style, workload, from time to time. Being unable to manage workflow as a freelancer doesn’t mean it is time to give up. You just need a little he;p and guidance from the inside.
I have brought to you this piece which talks about how freelancers can manage their workflow. If you find working as a freelancer even a little unmanageable, do give this piece a read. It will be helpful and relatable for sure.
Things To Be Considered By Freelancers
These are some of the problems that almost every freelancer suffers with, do you?
- Finding New Work Every Now and Then
- Recurring Gigs
- Irregular Projects
- Family Obligations
- Staying Productive
Finding new work and opportunities happen to be one of the top tasks to be done. You need to make sure you are building good relations with potential clients, applying for jobs, answering emails, and constantly improving your work and marketing strategy.
With changing workflow every now and then, it can be a little difficult for freelancers to manage their work and themselves.
Having recurring gigs is crucial for freelancers to build a living from their business. As a freelancer, you are always looking for new jobs and better-paying clients. It is great when you are young and have little responsibility. In case you have a family to feed, you need some kind of security and certainty to get a job that will create a constant cash flow. So, in that case, most freelancers need recurring gigs.
It is also helpful in maintaining work-life balance. It will avoid huge gaps in your freelancing work life when you do not have any client paying you. Though recurring gigs might not pay you as much as other projects can, it is better when you are looking for a sense of certainty and security in your work life.
As much as we wish for security and certainty, a freelancer also needs some irregular projects. If you do not have that going on, it is better to begin as soon as possible. You should have irregular projects going on along with recurring gigs.
Recurring gigs will ensure youtube is paid constantly for controlling the basic necessities of your life. On the other hand, irregular projects are extra cash that you can use for buying your favorite dress, retirement fund, buying something for your kids, etc.
However, it can be challenging to manage both of them together. You must manage your schedule so that you do not lose your regular clients.
When you work as a freelancer from your home, there are more than one problems or distraction that stand in your way. Family obligations can give you a hard time being the best in your work field as a freelancer.
You might be a mother that needs to take care of your children along with the whole house. Or, you can be a student staying with your family. Students have to focus on their studies, be with their family, and work part-time too. You might have commitments made with others that are important so you have to compromise on your work schedule.
This is another thing that freelancers usually struggle with. With loads of workload along with work from school, college, or house, etc it gets overwhelming and stressful at some times. This is something that almost every freelancer suffers with every now and then whether you admit it or not.
You cannot stay productive every minute you are working. But it is important to stay productive for a reasonable amount of time.
Easy To Follow Workflow Management Tips
Here are a few tips that will help freelancers with workflow management.
- Create A Schedule and Stick to it
- Keep your Workspace Clutter-free
As a freelancer, there are hundreds of things that can make you feel lost all the time. By just creating a schedule and being disciplined, you can fight most of your problems. You might forget to focus on priority tasks and end up spending extra time on things that can wait.
Freelancers need schedules to stay on top of things all the time and ensure deadlines are not missed. These are great for visually minded people but everyone must create a schedule to plan their work life.
To create a daily or weekly schedule, first, write down the things that need to be done in the day or week ahead. Also, set the time for every task mentioned. Also, set time aside for everyday tasks like baths, meals, meetings, looking for new clients, etc. Everything that you know you do, should be written in your schedule to avoid working excessively than planned later on. Next, you need to prioritize your tasks on the basis of their importance and urgency to do it.
The most important task here is to stick to your schedule. If you are a pen and paper person, go write your schedule. Otherwise, there are plenty of great tools available online with additional features that can help you manage your schedule even better.
Keep in mind that efficiency is the key to better workflow management. To be efficient while working, you need organization.
You need an organized workspace that is free of any clutter. For starters, decluttering your workspace will make you feel comfortable, at ease, and relaxed. It will allow you to work better.
Here are a few tips to declutter your workspace-
- Identify necessary items- Figure out which things are important that need to be on your desk always. Anything else that is of no need should be placed somewhere else.
- Do not eat on the desk- do not eat on your desk ever. You will leave unnecessary items like wrappers, food items, or plastic on your desk. Plus, you might spill anything on your important work or desk. It will only increase your work and create discomfort.
- Create zones on the desk- It is a great idea to create zones on your desk. Keep materials needed for research, meetings, etc separately.
Most freelancers struggle with managing their time. They will spend all day working and at the end of the day, it feels like they got nothing done. Usually, freelancers sit back thinking where did their time go and what they have actually completed in a whole day. Luckily there are plenty of tools available online that can help you to track your time efficiently.
Start your clock as soon as you sit down for work. It is important to know how much time you are spending on every task. Track your time while doing anything work-related. For those who bill hourly, this step is unavoidable. In addition to this, it will help you in making future project estimations.
Usually, it takes a little more time to complete tasks than we expect. So, it is better to tell your clients a little more time than you think. In this manner, you will not miss your deadlines.
Put Some Work In Improving Communication
Freelancers need to have good communication skills to communicate with clients properly. If you lack communication, your freelance career might fall even before starting. Lack of proper communication with clients can lead to misunderstandings or poor understanding of projects which can cause conflicts.
Here are some effective ways to build your communication skills-
- Take help of tools- Popular tools like chatbots can be used by freelancers to answer basic questions for your clients whenever you are not available. It will help you to save the opportunity even when you are busy. But do interact properly with your client later.
- Ask questions- If you have any doubt in your mind, ask it right away from the client. It is wise to ask questions beforehand rather than being confused later on.
- Use different platforms- There are platforms like Zoom, Skype, etc that can be used to connect with your client in a better manner than over chat.
Find Ways to do Smart work
To boost your efficiency and productivity daily, you need to get better at every task. The easiest way to get better at tasks you perform is to develop intelligent processes. You need to work smart and not hard to stay ahead.
When you perform the same tasks every day, you need to spend time thinking about what works and what doesn’t. Which things help to speed up your work and which ones slow you down. Figure out if you get distracted easily or not. If, yes, then write down these distractions.
Furthermore, time yourself while doing every task. Next, have a competition with yourself. See how much time you can save without compromising on the quality of work.
Keep looking for ways to work smartly and improve your work processes. Being aware of yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses will help you a lot.
Name all your Files And Folders Properly
Unnamed files and folders can hamper your work progress, slow down your speed and bring stress and frustration. It can even delay your project and set you back.
So, it is crucial to name your files and folders properly. It is a simple task but clearly an important one. Every time you begin a new project, create a separate folder to store all related files in it. For instance, graphic designers can create separate subfolders for logo design, business cards, etc.
Keep a Bullet Journal
Freelancers are usually juggling between projects almost every day. Some people are good at working on to-do apps. You create a to-do list and it helps you to keep track of your workload. But some of us do not just build that way. We love to write things down and it feels much more effective. Here comes the bullet journals for such people.
Bullet journals are basically notebook calendars that consist of our to-do lists, plans, and everything you wish to. It helps you to keep track of the important tasks that need your important attention. Plus, everything remains in check in your freelance work life.
Market Yourself Properly
In order to stand out amongst your competitors, you must know how to market yourself properly. Also, you need to build a system that increases your marketing efforts so that you get more and more leads.
Figure out what type of marketing strategies work well for your freelancing business and put them to use. Try these following strategies out-
- Networking- Network in your field as much as you can. Connect with people online that do the same thing as you. To add to this, attend events, join mastermind groups, etc to stay in touch with people offline. It will help you learn lots of new things to upscale and manage your freelancing business.
- Social media- Build a social media presence and focus on attracting the target audience. Social media helps in hiking brand awareness and visibility. Promote the content to create to show your audience what you do.
- Build Portfolio- This step is crucial to attracting more freelancing clients. Your portfolio will speak volumes about you and your work, it must contain samples of your work. This will help in building a connection with potential clients.
Break Things Down
Focusing on huge tasks at once can be a little overwhelming and frustrating. It is better to break these huge tasks down into small steps before beginning your work. It will provide you with much more clarity and relieve you from the stress too.
Creating an outline of your work will help you progress through tasks successfully. It is better to spend a little more time, in the beginning, planning everything out than spending hours and being confused later on.
You must be aware of your capability and how much work you can take at a given time. At the beginning of your freelance career, it might be tempting but you cannot say yes to every task you come across. You might not have the time to do everything together.
Some clients need more attention and effort than others. So, carefully plan and check your schedule before taking in a new project. If it feels overwhelming and not possible then it is better to say no.