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How to be organised as a Freelancer

30.06.2014

Being your own boss, company and employee requires some skill as roles change in day to day work. If you feel that you are doing a great job in being creative and have already some projects to be done, but feel unsecure about the way you’re handling them, we are here to help you with some pointers.

Quantity or Quality

Depending on quantity of work, size of projects and schedule for your freelancer time and of course future ambitions you should make a work system that is comfortable for you. Before jumping into conclusions like: “I should be more organized” or “I have to build a system to keep me productive and accountable” take a look at what you are doing. The quantity and quality of projects. How much time do you need for them, how much time you can spare every day for them, are there many small projects with many details or big projects with a clear thing to do.

 

Working Environment

Another thing to be taken in consideration is the way you work. At a desk, in nature, in the morning, at night, at work, between handling the kids and buying some groceries. Make a system of work in which you can organize yourself depending on your personal situation. For example, some people prefer to do practical work at an office, like implementation work, and gathering ideas in the par or while hanging out with friends. You can easily organize your work to get the best out of it while enjoying your time.

 

Tools

Use organizing tools appropriate. For example, if you have one thing to do per day, you don’t have to use google calendar or not even an agenda. If you have more and feel like your mind cannot handle it, use a notebook (pen/paper). If you feel that your notebook is always full and can’t get organized enough, then you can use google calendar.

 

Stay Focused

Don’t do two things in the same time, like eating and working on the computer. It will ruin your eating and limit your focus on the work and eventually can turn into a bad habit that you will want to get rid of. Take your time with everything, it will be reflected into your work.

 

Prioritize

Attend tasks when they feel best to do, don’t start with the easy ones or with the hard ones, and act appropriately. Some managers prefer to do difficult tasks first, just to get rid of them. I prefer to do them when they feel right, for example you can start your day more easily, by sending some simple emails or reminding payments or even organizing bigger projects for the day ahead. When you feel good and with your energy up for work, then is the best time to get on the serious work.

 

Take breaks

Although breaking 10 times per day seems like slacking off, if you do it the right way it can keep you from being tired or feeling overloaded. Don’t be afraid to break, it doesn’t have to affect your rhythm as long as it is braking and not starting to do something else. Have an apple or blend a juice, go outside, move away from the work, play with your dog, play the guitar, take a fast swim etc. There are limitless ways to offer your brain some air so do it, it will be very well invested time, and you will the see benefits.

 

Never Panic

If you have tight deadlines or your work seems that it will never finish, don’t panic. You don’t have to get emotionally down because of work. It’s bad for you and counterproductive anyway. Try to deal with the situation like there is no pressure. If you are overloaded, take your work one thing at a time and if you feel too tired just end it, you are human after all. If it feels like you’re not going to get into the deadline, don’t panic, talk it over with the others involved in the project and find your peace. Panic is dangerous, don’t do it!

 

Plan

Always manage your time in advance by adding 2-3 times the estimated time for any project. It will help you go through it in a relaxed manner and you’ll have time for eventual problems that may occur. Also remember that personal life and work should be in harmony, if you manage to put them both in a comfortable timeline you will see how they don’t seem like work and free time anymore but just enjoying life as it comes.

 

Hope you got some new and good advice on how to be a better organized freelancer, keep doing what works and change what doesn’t until you find your personal way of organizing it. It’s all about practice, trial and error.

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Ionut B
Author
Digital Art Director with an innovative creative thinking able to translate ideas and concepts into useful and memorable interactive marketing campaigns.

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