Freelance work gave me the opportunity to leave the nine to five rat race. The problem is, when you freelance and run your own business working for others, it becomes a 24-hour a day, seven day a week, 365-day a year career. Still, I wouldn’t give up freelance work as a writer, blogger, and content developer.

Since going freelance, I have learned a lot about myself and work. In the past, the end of the workday (for the most part) meant relaxing and enjoying my time off. Now, I spend some nights working from my home office until well after my wife and son have gone to bed. However, the tradeoff is that I get more time at home enjoying other things.
Time management is one key item that I have learned in the last few years to better make use of my time. Had I stayed in the nine to five rat race, I would have never have learnt these time management tips.

Make a schedule

A schedule can be the most important item you make each morning (besides good coffee) or the previous day before you end. I found a schedule can be as simple as making a list of to do items or as complex as organizing a calendar with due dates.
A lot of the freelance work I do is short-term, but there are recurring weekly jobs I also complete. Building a schedule so I can see when and what must be done can be a lifesaver. On days when there is a lot of work to complete, there is nothing more satisfying than marking it off my schedule with a black sharpie.

Make your to do list reasonable

There are plenty of days in which I create monstrous schedules and to do lists knowing that not everything will get complete and somethings will be shifted around. Not only does a monstrous schedule of items to complete in a day intimidate you, but it can make you depressed, apprehensive, and hate what you do as a freelancer. Your to do list must be reasonable. Being overwhelmed is not why you became a freelancer in the first place.

Sleeper well and rest your mind and body

Sitting in front of a computer all day can be tiresome and working late into the night can cause its own set of issues. A good night’s sleep is important to all freelancers as it is easy to miss out on sleep as you hustle for the next job. A lack of sleep can run your body down causing you to become ill. In addition, it can cause you to suffer mentally and struggle to cope with work. Writing can take a lot out of you mentally. A good night’s sleep allows your brain to recharge and keeps you fresh. The mornings are my best time to compete work after I have slept and that is when I do my most strenuous writing tasks.

Say ‘no’

I find my biggest issue as a freelance writer is an inability to say ‘no’. Anytime a client or potential customer offers me a job and the chance to make more money, I tend to take it. As I have got busier and established myself as a freelancer, I have been able to say ‘no’ more often. However, it is one of those things I still wish I could do better. Saying ‘no’ to work doesn’t make you a bad person or lazy, so don’t beat yourself up over it. It simply means you want to manage your time and complete the tasks you are comfortable doing.

Take days off

In a way, this goes hand in hand with saying ‘no’. You are not a robot and cannot continually work day after day. Of course, freelancers do attempt to do seven days a week to chase money, but again, that isn’t why any of us left the nine to five world.
Taking days off in which you don’t answer emails or do any kind of work is normal. You would take days off from any other job, right? So, do not spend all of your time glued to your laptop on the weekend. If there is a place you want to visit or simply do some shopping, take a day off and do it.

Make an office

Like many freelancers, I have turned a room in my house into my office. It is my workspace with a computer, papers, and other items used for completing my daily tasks. Often times, freelancers work from anywhere they like including coffee shops, the couch, or dining room table. These places all have ways to distract you and prevent work from being finished accurately and on time. An office environment is a great way to manage your time, focus, and get work done.

Get rid of the smartphone

Okay, don’t really get rid of your smartphone, as like me, you probably use it to interact with clients. However, my iPhone becomes a major distraction throughout the workday. The constant barrage of messages from current, past, and potential clients is unbelievable. When a message comes across my iPhone, I cannot help but answer it immediately (or read it at the very least). On my busiest days, I often find myself flipping by iPhone over or sticking it in a desk drawer to prevent myself from being distracted. Smartphone distractions add up in lost time throughout the day.

Make a routine

Similar to creating a schedule, by setting up a routine, you are prepared for your workday before, during, and after it ends. When you go to an office at a regular job, you have routines, so why not create one at home too? Perhaps you fancy a cup of coffee, a run, and shower in the morning before starting work. A routine gets you mentally organised for the day ahead.

These tips should help you manage your time better as a freelancer. They improved my work-rate and can do wonders for you too.

Author's Bio: 

This is Arifur Rahman. Who is a professional SEO Specialist & Blogger. He has been working in this sector since 2015. He loves to share his stories, tips, tricks and teach the online readers