With the advancements in technology over the years, we can now accomplish many more design tasks than ever before. Productivity has increased immensely with more and more production being churned out left right and centre. Whether it pertains to working in the design industry, or any other sector. Most (if not all) workers have been able to make use of technological advancements to achieve much more in the limited time that they have, even compared to a decade ago.
Freelancers, who have a more casual work ethic compared to those who have a 9 to 5 job, can still accomplish enough in the time they spend working. However, it is pertinent for such people to be able to organise their time properly in order to make use of the tools on hand and work to their full potential to reach results.
Following are just a few tips for freelancers who would like to learn more about organising their day in order to complete all given design tasks in time. Read on, and keep learning!
Whether a full-time or part-time freelancer, you still need to be smart about your time and business. Time management is crucial for success. Successful freelancers have set personal rules and routines for themselves in order to work more effectively and efficiently.
DESIGN YOUR FREELANCER DAY PLAN
A to-do list of sorts. When you start your day, it is best to map out your work hours and list down the number of tasks you want to finish by the end of that period. Allocate enough time for each task to be completed with ease. If you have any work errands group them together on one day. Planning ahead would save you time on a weekly basis. By doing so, you would not have to constantly discontinue your work at home to run an important errand or not have to rush back home from an important meeting to complete your in-house task. By setting out dates and days on the outset, you will know how to effectively make a weekly planner, which would help you check off more tasks than when you go on a random routine without planning ahead.
Setting daily and weekly goals makes you more focused towards the tasks on hand and you feel proud of accomplishing them at the end of the day and/or week.
A DEDICATED DESIGN WORKSPACE
One may not always have the luxury of a huge home office. However, you should still have a dedicated work station, where you would diligently head to, to work on all your assignments. With working in your space, you spend less time “collecting” all your necessary gadgets in order to work; rather they would already be in place for you to start promptly. It is also less likely that you would have many distractions while working, as the area would be “separate” from the rest of the house. With all the tools you need nearby, you set a pace and get into the groove.
Once settled, allot a specific time each day, every day and treat your freelance design job as you worked for another employer. Do not mix it with the rest of your routine at home. You lose focus and any organisation towards work is wasted.
SORT YOUR MAIL
Sounds daunting, but try to start your work routine by sorting through your inbox and categorising your emails into three parts:
- Junk or unnecessary replies, delete these messages without spending any time on reading them. The less emails you have to begin with, the better
- Quick Emails: those that take less than five minutes to read and reply, get them done and out of your way. Do not let them pile up, as they might begin to be burdensome in (the very near) future
- Longer Emails: these are the ones that take some time and energy to go through and reply. If you have dedicated “email tasks” on your planner than by all means complete this task and check it off. However, if you do not have time to do them immediately, flag or file them separately, and set a task reminder so as not to forget all about them.
- Other emails such as spam should also be treated like the junk mail and immediately deleted.
- Emails with offers and/or information you may want to hold on to, may be categorised as such and dealt with later. Do not let them linger in your inbox.
Just as you would in an office, keep up to date about your finances. Income and expenses should be dealt with on a daily basis. Do not let anything pile up. If you have to be paid from several places, keep track of your payment dates. Do not defer on your taxes either. It is best to keep personal and professional finances separate so as to remain clear about your accounts. If it seems too daunting a task, you may work with an accountant to manage your moneys.
NEVER BITE OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW
That is a complete no no! Of course when you are a freelancer, you would want to take up as many design projects as you can. The pay can be a huge incentive to over commit to tasks you may not necessarily be able to handle realistically. But you still only have so many hours to complete your design work. If you over commit and under deliver, it shows up pretty badly on your repute. Taking on more work would make life difficult to manage, and you would be unable to enjoy the finer points of life. You may end up constantly working, and would eventually tire yourself out. It is a must that you plan ahead and see how many tasks you can handle in a given period, with enough room to enjoy yourself as well. After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
With these cardinal rules in hand, you can work out a routine that suits you. You would be able to accomplish more while enjoying your work and not feel overburdened by them. LIVE, WORK, ENJOY!