Nothing is as exciting and deliberating as being able to become your own boss, even if it’s just a side hustle. I for one can vouch for it – I talked about becoming a business owner and freelancer for about 10 years before I finally made the cut 2 and a half years ago!
Over 1.1 billion people worldwide currently work whenever and wherever they want as freelancers, and that number is expected to grow exponentially in the next decade. Call them whatever you like: digital nomads, remote workers or freelancers, one thing is certain- they have to structure their workload just like everyone else.
Just like with any profession, there are tips, tricks and advice on how to work smart and structure the workdays and free time.
Where do freelancers make mistakes?
Let’s start with what makes it difficult for freelancers to organise the working time. I am useless at time management and it’s something I need to work on. Freelancers like myself often find these issues to be their main blocking points:
- Unbalanced Work/Life ratio
- Fear of missing out
- No action plan
- Workspace not suitable for productivity
- Shifting workloads
How do you overcome the obstacles?
It’s vital to structure your day based on the client’s needs and required work. If clients happen to be based in a time zone behind yours, it might be better to create an evening working routine when they are online and available for communication. If the time zone is ahead of yours, then working early in the morning might be the ideal solution for you. Without the communication, you can start falling behind.
The hardest part for most remote workers is not the tasks – it is sticking to them and seeing them through to completion. This can lead to falling behind with work, not meeting deadlines and losing clients. Take a few minutes to sort out and prioritise the tasks you need to accomplish for the day, as it is a great way to reach your daily working routine.
Your daily working list should include:
- Projects that need to be completed
- Projects that need to be started
- Ongoing projects – can you do some prep work?
- Clients that need to be contacted about specific deadlines or challenges
When you’re up for a quick break (which you should, because working for yourself can mean neglecting time off and breaks) make sure to add the following activities to your schedule that will help you stay energised and motivated:
- Healthy Meals
- Social media, games, catching up with friends/family
The list of daily tasks should also include things to do while you give yourself breaks during the day. Read a few pages of your favourite book, go out and take a short walk around the neighbourhood or play your favourite online game over a cup of hot coffee.
These small but significant daily rituals can contribute a lot to your overall wellbeing. Online games nowadays are easy to load and access, with thousands of themes to choose from. You can find the online version of almost every game you’re familiar with it, and one of the most light-hearted ones out there is online bingo which makes a nice work break!
Gaming providers put a lot of effort into obtaining the best experience for the existing and potential audience. Have a look at this list of trusted new bingo sites where you can go through different providers and online bingo themes.
Create a positive working vibe
Sometimes the problem is about where you spend your working hours rather than how you work and perform. Having a space full of distractions and unmotivating obstacles can be a big nuisance towards completing your to-do lists. Think about where do you feel most comfortable – at home, outside in a café, a coworking space, or out in nature? Of course, we don’t always get blessed with the weather to work outside, but on those days that we do, it’s worth having a home WiFi system that can stretch to your garden.
Explore the possibilities and stick to what works best for your concentration.
While deploying these tricks can be beneficial to complete and organise your time, there are other things you can do to keep track of your time. Utilising various time managements apps and platforms online is a great way to keep track of your time, workload and finances.
Though the life of a freelancer might require you to be an expert in multitasking and adaptation, your home must not become your 24/7 work. The balance between work and social life is the critical component of your success to make and maintain contacts with the outer world. If your social interaction has dried up because your friends assume that you’re not available, you’re probably too focused on work.
Also, be aware of your behaviour when you’re out. Are you fully present and enjoy your leisure time? Leave the phone in your bag, have fun and enjoy – you’ll reply later to those emails and chats.
Remote working and the life of a freelancer gives the ultimate control of working whenever and wherever you want. It has it’s highs, but it can be difficult at the same time. Learning to anticipate, organise and manage daily tasks is vital to organise your life and control the flow.
Remote work and freelancing are the future of work, happening right now. and will only continue to become more ‘normal’. Once you’re able to set up rules and stay disciplined, you can quickly embrace the exciting opportunities for both your professional and private life.