As a freelancer, my days are full! Between client work, personal projects, marketing, networking, maintaining a home, and caring for a family, there always seems to be twice as much to do than there are hours in the day! I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to help save time; the following are my 10 favorite:
- Have a plan. This is my number one time saving trick! While it may seem counterproductive to spend time thinking about work instead of doing work, spending a little time to plan out what you expect to accomplish for the day, week, month, and year will keep you focused on what’s truly important. After all, you have to know where you are going if you ever expect to get there!
- Schedule tasks as if they were appointments. For me, to-do lists are just too easy to ignore. Important tasks are scheduled on my calendar — with start and stop times — and are treated as unbreakable appointments!
- Work with your body clock. Everyone has certain times when they are more energized and feeling more creative. Use those times for your most important tasks!
- Turn off your notifications. The little ding that signals a new e-mail and the pop-up telling me I have a Facebook notification are just too enticing for me to ignore! When I need to concentrate on work, the notifications are turned off!
- Schedule social media posts. Social media can be a great marketing tool — but it can quickly suck the hours out of your day. If you use social media for marketing, take some time to schedule the week’s posts in advance.
- Have a set time for emails and social media interaction. Scheduling social media posts is a great time saver, but you still need to spend some time being social on social media! I like to schedule two or three time chunks a day to devote to social media interaction and checking e-mails. And yes, I schedule a quitting time for this activity!
- List your rates and services on your website. By the time a prospective client contacts you, they already have a pretty good idea of what you do and how much you charge. This trick saves time going over services and rates with prospective clients, and also saves time by weeding out those who are unwilling to pay your prices.
- Get organized. There’s no bigger time waster than searching for something. Create a designated place for everything — the digital clutter as well as the physical.
- Eat real meals. Don’t snack at your desk while working. You make think you’re multitasking, but you’re just draining your body — and mind — of the energy you need to get things done, and done right.
- Run errands during traditional business hours. I used to feel guilty running personal errand during the time I thought I should be working, but once I realized what a huge time saver this is, the guilt quickly evaporated! Businesses are less crowded during the weekdays, so I can get my errands done in half the time.
These are my favorite time saving tricks — what are some of yours? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to let me know!