Freelancing is not easy and getting started as a freelancer is even more difficult. In fact, everyone except freelancers seems to think the opposite and assume this is a life of absolute freedom in which more time is spent travelling or having fun rather than invoicing or doing any actual work. That being said, the rest of us know that this is a hugely time-consuming job which often leaves the freelancer in question clutching for any excuse to get away from the laptop for a day or two.
Ironically, the best thing about working for yourself is often lost on the freelancer as the emails keep coming and work keeps rolling in. In this sense, time management is always the key to freelancing with a smile and automation is possibly the best way to access the freedom and reasons you started out as a freelancer in the first place. From free organizational tools to simple invoicing, here are some very practical ways you can start saving time as a freelancer:
How to save time as a freelancer
Use a free organizational tool
Do you have anyone working for you? Regardless, there are many organizational tools out there and Trello is possibly the most useful management system which can also be used to communicate with work colleagues. Featuring a wide range of organizational tools, this program is completely free and allows users to create a solid workflow system which should save copious amounts of time once you learn how to use it.
Write things down, get things done
Dave Allen is quite a famous motivational speaker, but he came to fame through the success of his book “Getting things done”. Now, you don’t necessarily need to read the book, but instead, it might be worth taking his simple advice to write everything down.
Although this may sound like quite a simple and pointless thing to do, the theory behind this method is that writing absolutely down on paper will allow your mind to be free of distracting thoughts and remain focused on the task at hand. It makes sense, after all, this is the entire point of having a personal diary.
Outsource your social media accounts
Allowing somebody else access to your social media channels can seem quite a dangerous thing to do but with so many professionals offering the service, this is largely a safe and worthwhile way of saving time. And yes, social media is extremely time consuming and not just a case of posting a nice picture with the first thing that comes to mind.
Social media managers will use a strategy and compile clever posts or series which are designed to bring actual value to your followers. You can find these services with standard digital marketing agencies, or there are other freelancing platforms on which many professionals will even offer to produce agreed before invoicing them.
Take your business seriously and use a simple invoicing app
Eventually, every freelancer will reach the point in which bookkeeping and invoicing needs to be done both properly and regularly. It’s no secret that this is one task freelancers avoid whenever possible but it is nevertheless essential for any serious business owner, and there are there are some incredibly straight forward invoicing apps out there which make it quite easy.
It may be the last thing on the mind, especially for anyone new to freelancing but getting acquainted with this side of the business early will make everything run a lot smoother in the long run while saving you a huge amount of time in the process.
So yes, freelancing is not easy and the time consuming nature of your work will often take away the freedom and rewards which made you get into it in the first place. However, it’s all about organization and effective time management so the simple steps above are always going to be a step in the right direction.