Freelancers are typically faced with a lot more opportunities, challenges and pitfalls while working. Why I mention those 3 things? Well, with so much flexibility and freedom, it can sometimes become a hassle when it comes to actually sitting down and getting the required work done.

Uncle Ben’s famous last words were, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Freelancers are blessed with the power of flexibility. Now the greater responsibility falls on our own shoulders of staying committed to the task at hand.

Let’s look at how we can improve efficiency and time management as a freelancer.

Make a Habit of Writing Stuff Down

In the past, I thought I had a pretty good memory. I avoided writing stuff down as I was presented with information. Some of it stuck and some of it went over my head. Whenever I had to do something, some minor details fell by the wayside – I had forgotten them. Should have written everything down…

Keeping track of tasks that need to be done is of utmost priority. As a freelancer, you may be asked to participate in multiple projects or have multiple requirements that need to be taken into consideration when working. Every detail, big or small needs to be remembered. Your job may depend on it.

Having made a list of project details and requirements, you will know exactly what you should be working on at any given time.

Keep a Time Table

Scheduling tasks for yourself is important to being successful as a freelancer. Create deadlines for yourself that are earlier than the ones expected from you. This way you will always stay ahead of schedule.

Stay committed to the schedule you created – refrain from altering times and dates of your deadlines.

Prioritize time sensitive tasks. Don’t push anything off to the last minute. You have a chance of overwhelming yourself and losing quality in the process of trying to catch up.

Get Rest and Clear Your Mind

Don’t forget your mental health when working. Always take breaks and get rest, especially if you are stuck on a subject or can’t come up with fresh new ideas. Doing something completely work unrelated may spark new ideas that could help you with the project you need to get done.

For some people, this thought may not even cross their minds when working. You want to avoid burning out at all costs. It will cause you to lose the passion you have and the drive that fuels your commitment.

Get a New Perspective

Ask for opinions on things that you have done or are currently doing. A new brain and a fresh set of eyes can go a long way.

One of the best things that you can do is get a new perspective on your work. If you employ other people’s opinions, they will view your work as a potential client or customer giving you their interpretation of the subject matter.

Don’t be insulted when they are brutally honest with your work, and use that as an opportunity to amend, adjust and improve.

Don’t Be Afraid to Move Your Workstation

Depending on what you work on as a freelancer, there is a lot of flexibility. Most of freelancers are blessed with the ability to move around more so than other types of employees.

I often work from home for example. Sometimes ideas don’t come as well as I’d like them to here at home. Relocation helps stimulate my senses and get the creative juices flowing.

I suggest you do the same, if you have the possibility. Avoid being cooped up in one spot for too long, and don’t be afraid to roam around to see what suits you the best.

Stay Interested in Variety of Things Outside of Work

Having hobbies and interests outside of work life is vital. Not only it’s great for your overall well-being but it can have positive impact in your work as well.

Knowledge and experience you gain while pursuing your own personal interests can pay off while freelancing.

A while back I took a random anthropology class; I thought it sounded interesting. Anthropology class proved to be useful in a myriad of ways – one of which was learning about heuristics. That knowledge not only expanded my horizons, but proved to be useful recently when writing about marketing psychology.

Final Thoughts

Being strategic in how you approach work is key to being a successful freelancer. Incorporating some or all of these strategies and a few other ones that were not listed can drastically alter your efficiency for the better.

What works for some may not always work for you. Try out some of these methods and see how it impacts your efficiency. Now get to work. Break time is over.

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Uwe Dreissigacker is the CEO of InvoiceBerry.com, an online invoicing software for small businesses and freelancers. His experience in the online business world ranges from AdTech to FinTech and online game publishing. When he’s not busy running his company he enjoys everything tech as well as travelling in Asia and Europe. Follow @invoiceberry on Twitter and Facebook.

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