One of the beautiful aspects of being a freelancer is freedom. You get to choose your schedule, your workplace, your clients, and more.
However, the sudden switch to complete freedom often leads freelancers to an unorganized and unproductive work schedule. Here are some suggestions for how to schedule your freelancing day.
Step 1: Plan Big Picture
Planning the big picture is essentially determining your work-life balance. You need to decide how many days a week you want to work and how many hours a day you want to work. Try to avoid being overambitious such as pledging to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week.
Take into account your personal calendar.
Do you have a family day on Sundays? Then take Sundays off. Do you want to get your kids ready for school in the morning? If so, schedule to work after they leave or wake up early to get work done before the kiddos rise.
You get the point. Just remember to be realistic to avoid burnout.
Step 2: Analyze Your Weekly Task List
Each week, you must analyze what tasks need to be accomplished that week and the steps involved in doing so. If you have 30 little projects, make sure to have a list of due dates and start dates. If you have three big projects, write out the steps you need to reach the final goal.
Step 3: Determine Your Daily Task List
Your daily task list can be written out the day of (although the night before or at the start of the week would be best). Take on the tasks that need to be completed according to your weekly calendar and get them done.
Step 4: Schedule Me Time
A common mistake people make in general, whether in the office or as a freelancer, is to become consumed by your work. That simply is not healthy and will lead to decreased productivity.
Take the time to schedule "Me Time." Each day, "Me Time" should include stepping away from the computer to eat lunch and exercise.
Plus, remember that you are a freelancer for a reason.
If you want to attend a baseball game in the middle of the day, do it! Just be sure to schedule your calendar around it so that you don't miss any due dates.
Step 5: Stick to Your Calendar
The last step to remember is to stick to your calendar. It can be easy to get wrapped up in Netflix or a good book when isolated from other workers.
Don't fall into this trap. If watching Netflix while you eat lunch is your “Me Time,” be sure to only watch for the time you allotted. Then get back to work and finish your task list.
Here is one last tip for you. If you can get ahead of your schedule, do it. If a project took less time than you expected and you can get started on another project you were planning to do tomorrow, go for it!
Don't wait for tomorrow for what you can do today because you never know what will pop up and ruin your plans.
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