Time Management Tips for Freelance Designers
Time management is very important in every profession; in fact it is the most vital element of professionalism. History may vouch for the fact that success comes to the people who have managed time better in their personal and professional life. You have to meet deadlines to be a successful professional and this can only happen if you are good at time management.
When it comes to freelancers, time management is of utmost importance. Unlike employed professionals, who have a regular job, freelancers have all day and all night to work – meaning plenty of lose time. Thus freelancers cannot afford to lose their track on time management. They have so many random projects and time management is very important for them in order to finish them all.
Freelance designers have a lot to deal with and since they are working on their own, they have to handle everything by themselves. They have to keep on looking for various projects, they have to deal with or meet with clients, keep a record of financial bills and a lot more. So, if they are not good at time management, chances are that they will lose a lot of potential customers and existing good clients.
Even a small job like designing business cards can take a lot of time, be sure to account for all your time and bill your client accordingly.
Following are a few time management tips for freelance designers. By following them, they can surely manage their time, work and other tasks easily:
If you really want something productive from your freelancing, creating a to-do list is essential. You must enlist the most important things and prioritize the tasks that you have to do, first thing in the morning. Since designing is all about creativity, so when designers do have ‘creative revelations’ they start designing and forget every other thing around them. So by the end of the day, they realize that a lot of other tasks have been missed out. In such cases a to-do list can help freelance designers a lot in getting things done timely.
Fixing Your Daily Schedule
Working constantly can get boring, however; you need to realize that you can spend a calculated amount of time on relaxing too. You should divide your time and also make a schedule of your daily tasks. Remember, just because you are not reporting to anyone does not mean that you have to be disorganized. Fixing schedule is important but you will have to follow it strictly too. If you really want to be successful in your field, staying organized can be your key to success.
Multi-tasking is one of the essential traits of a freelancer. You should be able to handle multiple tasks at one time. As a freelancer, you should have more than one project going on. Since approvals are required from clients, so when you are waiting for approval from once client, you can always work on the other projects and utilize your free time wisely.
Give Importance to Quality
Keeping a balance between time management and quality of work is very important. Even if you are in a hurry to submit the project and to meet the deadline, you should be able to take out time to check the quality of the work as well. Mange your time in a way so that you can always have time to double check your work before submitting it.
Time Management Tools
Easy and effective time management tools are available in the software market. You can always get one and schedule your tasks on that. Google tools are a great option for those designers who use Google almost everyday. In this way you can manage your tasks in a better way. Plenty of websites are available on the Internet especially for freelance designers to help them manage their tasks well.
Organizing Your Workplace
If you really have to work well, you have to act professionally even if you are working from home. Your work space should be well-organized and comfortable. A disorganized workplace is never comfortable to work on. You should have all the important tools that are required for your designing on the desk and everything else should be placed perfectly.
This will also bring out more productivity in you. Since designers are creative, creative people have their unique way to making their surrounding comfortable. You do not have to organize your work space in a boring way. You can always add on your favorite pictures and other decorative items just the way you like.
Have Your Own Deadlines
Because you would be working from home, chances are that you might end up working all the time or maybe you won’t work at all. You would have deadlines to meet but, you should have your own daily deadline too. For instance, you will not work after 6 pm no matter whatever it is. Finishing work at a decent time is important and don’t leave it to “next time”. But make sure you stop working once you have reached the deadline for the day and if you have learn something about time management till now, you would be able to meet your daily deadline.
Enjoy Your Own Time
Everyone needs relaxation, especially freelancers. You would only be able to manage time if you are enjoying some quality time away from work. Sometimes designing 24/7 can be very stressful. In such cases, one should leave work for sometime, get freshen up, meet friends and then get back to work with a whole new feel. Always keep in mind that you have to manage your work in a way so that it does not de-motivate you. An urge to continue working should always be there and it can only happen if you are happy with the way you are handling your work.
Avoid Excessive Usage of Social Networking Websites
Yes, they are entertaining, they keep you connected with the world however, and they are quite addictive as well. Once you log in to social networking websites, you end up wasting a lot of time on them and then your important work gets delayed. Do use them but after you have finished your tasks for the day so that you are not distracted from your work. These websites are a great way to relax but then again they are a major cause of time wastage of students and professionals as well. So, if you really want to manage your time, avoid logging into them every now and then.
You have to be strict with your friends and family. Since it is not an office job, people do not consider freelancing as a serious job. Your friends and family might think that you are not working at all and they might disturb you at anytime of the day. Make sure you make them realize that you are working on some serious projects and even if they invite you on something, you need to avoid distractions while you are working. Distractions may delay your important tasks and once such tasks are delayed, the entire schedule gets disturbed and you cannot afford to do that.
Break down the Projects and Deadlines
If you have a lot of projects from the same client or if you have multiple projects, it is important for you to break down the deadlines and discuss them with clients. You cannot manage so many things in on go so why promise something that cannot be delivered timely. It will also affect the quality of your work.
The Bottom Line
Being a freelance designer can sometimes get very tedious and it can be interesting too. It depends upon your approach and they way you handle the time on your hands. You can always be good at time management. All you need is focus and planning. You will have to plan things once and later on just follow them.