5 Essentials for Freelancers to Work Smarter Instead of Harder

07 October 2015,   By ,   0 Comments

When you realize you have more skills than the person working above you, it’s hard to go back to work day in and day out.  That’s when the idea of freelancing comes to mind.  It sounds great, doesn’t it? Working for yourself, making your own hours, setting your price…

But without the bosses above you and the accountants besides you, it means you have to carry out the smaller tasks to keep your business running all by yourself! A little consideration ahead of time goes a long way.  So before you take the leap, think over these 5 essentials we found on Entrepreneur.com. There’s a few things you need to know but as soon as you read this article, you should be good to go:

 

1. Find a Task System That Works For You

Staying organized is one of the most important steps to being successful. You simply cannot afford to let tasks fall through the cracks or deadlines pass you by. It is up to you to stay on top of everything, so you have to find a method that works for you.

There are tons of tools on the market to help you keep track of all your tasks, so it is really a matter of finding what works best for your work style. If you are a visual person, Trello is a good choice, but if you like lists consider a platform like Wunderlist. If good old pen and paper works for you, use that.

2. Stay On Top Of Financials.

One of the scariest parts of going out on your own is figuring out the money. You have to make sure you save enough for taxes, get paid on time, track expenses, and remember to send out invoices. It is a hassle, and you may not feel like you have a head for numbers, particularly if you are freelancing in a more creative field.

But, to be successful staying on top of your finances is vital.

I highly recommend using a finance program that will help you stay organized. Some of the programs will help you save money on PayPal fees, track late payments, and even track hours you spend on each job. A few popular programs are:

 

3. Stay Focused

The good news is, as a freelancer you can work in your pajamas all day. The bad news is, as a freelancer you can work in your pajamas all day. With all the freedom in the world, distractions can become super tempting. And with no boss over your shoulder, it can become very difficult to stay focused and get work done.

You need to figure out how you work best and put yourself in the optimal situation each and every day.

This might mean working from a coffee shop, getting dressed in professional clothing, checking email once a day, renting space at a co-working site, or using white noise. Find what works best for you and stick to it.

4. Take Breaks

When you are down to the deadline, taking a break seems counter-intuitive. Doesn’t it make more sense to power through and just get the job done?

Actually, it may take you even longer than if you stopped to let your brain rest.

Taking a break helps your brain focus better, prevents burn out, and helps you stay on task. It also helps you make better food choices, which can help you control weight gain. There are lots of benefits to taking breaks, even just a few minutes each hour.

Step away, stretch your back, and you just might find a new perspective.

5. Ask For Advice

There are almost 53 million freelancers in the US, which means there are 53 million people out there who have all taken the leap to becoming a freelancer/entrepreneur. Ask others for advice if you need something. I’ve done this over the years. The more I humble myself and admit that I don’t know everything… the easier it is to get exactly the information I need. Find and network with these people.

As a freelancer, you have the freedom to work from anywhere, to make your own schedule, and to accept work that excites you. But, it is also up to you to make sure you stay organized and handle all the tasks associated with running a business. Instead of getting overwhelmed by it all, use these tips to work faster and smarter.

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