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Time is gold: time management tips for freelancers

successful entrepreneur business tipsWritten by Clarissa Wilson

One of the main reasons why people prefer doing freelance work than doing a nine to five job is the freedom to do their work at their own pace and time, and to work at home. What many don’t realize – especially newbies – is that time management is actually a skill many freelancers struggle with. Below are is some new career advice for anyone new to the industry.

Experienced freelancers all know that…

Deadlines are sacred

Though shall NOT miss a deadline, no matter what happens – even if you’re going through a really bad phase in your life. Remember, it was YOUR choice to do freelance work and clients don’t really care about your personal life. They only care that you can deliver good work ON TIME.

Quality matters

As freelancers, we are in charge of the quality of our own work. We are our own editors, proof-readers, or critics. Before sending off any work, we must ensure that we are submitting top-notch quality work. Every new job, no matter how much you are paid, must be exactly what your client wants. The freelancing world isn’t as big as you think it is; your reputation will be at stake even if you offend one client.

For all freelancers, being able to deliver quality work boils down to simple time management skills, which not many are good at handling. People are different, what works for others may not work for you. However, there are a few guidelines one can do or follow:

    • Stick to a routine

If you are a morning person and used to getting up, drinking coffee, having breakfast and then begin working, stick to it. Stick to it as if your whole life depended on it. Once you break the routine, it will be easy for you to slack off and worse, give excuses to why you’re lazing about instead of working.

    • Keep away from distractionsHaving music on while working is fine, but never keep the television on while working, this will only distract you no matter how disciplined you think you are. Switch off your cell-phone and ignore your landline phone if it rings. Get an answerphone. If you are expecting an important phone call, make sure you don’t use that as an excuse to delay work. It’s also vital to make sure that your family or housemates understand and respect your work. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean that they can disturb you anytime. Time is gold. The sooner you meet your deadlines the better and the more time you can spend with them.
    • Make a list and check it twiceIt’s always good to make a work list of the things you have to do daily. Check that list twice to make sure that you’re actually ticking it away.
    • Hourly time scheduleRemember those hourly time schedules you had as a student? This was great because you never missed any of your class because you knew exactly where you had to be. Why not make an hourly work-time schedule instead? This will guide you through your work and tell you whether you’re spending too much time on a task or not.
    • Take breaksJust like in an office, take your usual breaks, but just like at work, see that you don’t over-do it. If you prefer doing short breaks, make sure it isn’t longer than 30 minutes. However if you prefer longer breaks, ensure that you make up for the time lost.
    • Don’t be a slave to timeThe one great thing about being a freelancer is that you can keep going-on like the energizer rabbit and work well into the night if you want. The problem with this is that you’ll easily burn-out. Only do this if you want to get ahead our work because of an impending vacation. The important thing about being a freelancer is having a life too.
Clarissa Wilson has been a professional writer for more than 5 years now. She started a website – job resume examples that’s collecting examples of real people resumes to help others climb the professional ladder.
Want to write for Creative Agency Freelancing?

Photo credit: wwarby via Flickr cc


About Greg Dillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at http://gdinspires.com. He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched Strat-Talking.com - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic as well as acquiring CreativeAgencyFreelancing.com for designers. Feel free to email him at: greg@gdinspires.com or follow on Twitter @CAFreelancing.


  1. Useful tips!
    I’d have to agree with you. One of your tips that seems to work on me and is my favorite is #5, taking regular breaks. It’s my way of making my mind rest and my way of rewarding myself for accomplishing some tasks. :)
    We should also check our energy level and concentration regularly. And it’s also important to avoid doing those time wasters at work.

  2. Great tips. As we all know, in freelancing, time is money. So, we have to use it very carefully.

  3. Nice tips for time to be managed effectively and immensely. Most of the time the need of a better time management is an extreme necessity that has to be concluded in terms of the business perspective which makes a sense that has to be considered in intensive approach. But the tool which makes the approach better with all possible terms do meet the exact requirement keeps the value. In our organization we are dedicated in using the tool from Replicon – http://www.replicon.com/

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