How to Manage Your Time as a Freelancer
Take advantage of your days, avoid the pit of laziness & boredom, and get sh*t done
In the past two months, I’ve written twice as much (if not, more) than I have in an entire year.
In March, I wrote 6 Medium articles and 3 Thought Catalog articles — A total of 9 for the month.
In April, I wrote 18 Medium articles, and 2 Thought Catalog articles — A total of 20 for the month.
A combined total of 29 articles in 2 months.
Keep in mind, I wasn’t writing for money and I do have a pretty significant amount of debt in the form of student loans.
I did it because I had a lot of time on my hands and frankly, I just really enjoy writing.
You may now be wondering, “How is she receiving an income?”
Well, the only reason I was able to do this was because I’ve been, for lack of a better term, “unofficially unemployed” since the beginning of March. And in case you missed it, I recently wrote about my experiences with unemployment in the form of a Medium article — This isn’t my first time at the rodeo, FYI. I’ve been unemployed before.
To sum it up, the company that I was working for was sold to another company earlier this year and I was relieved from my job. As a result, I’ve had a lot of downtime since then.
Fortunately, the silver lining in all of this was that I was still getting paid my regular salary while I was out of the job, so I never really had to worry about my finances, which made writing all the more fun.
Pretty sweet position to be in, right? (Yes, that’s exactly right)
I speak to you today as, not necessarily a Freelancer, but someone who has been somewhat “working from home” for the past two months and was needing to find ways to make the best use of my time.
Though I didn’t really need to “hustle” to make ends meet, nor did I have to worry about whether or not I was going to be able to pay my bills on time, I did have to strategically figure out how to take advantage of this time that I had before I ultimately started work again (*Disclaimer: I start work again full-time in a regular 9–5 office job this Monday).
I wanted to avoid the pitfalls of laziness, unproductiveness, and most of all, boredom.
In order to do so, I needed to make sure that I wasn’t falling off the wagon. One would probably think that all of this downtime would be like a well-earned extended staycation or some sort of sabbatical.
But no, I looked at it more so as an opportunity to do all of the random activities and errands that I would be saving for the weekends (which I would normally only accomplish 5% of)
Now, I didn’t have to limit those activities to just the weekends.
I had full days. I had my weekdays back.
So what did I do?
I woke up early.
I went to bed at a decent hour.
I ate a good breakfast.
I blocked out scheduled time in the mornings to write.
I checked on my finances.
I re-connected with friends and colleagues.
I cleaned out my closet.
I organized paperwork.
I organized my website.
I enjoyed life.
If you are a freelancer, my advice to you is this —
Premeditate your days.
And I don’t mean, make a detailed, regimented, hourly schedule of everything that you need to accomplish every single day (I mean, I guess you can do that, but that seems a little overwhelming).
After all, as John Lennon said,
“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans”
What I really mean is, think about what you want to accomplish each week.
Make a list of the things you need to do so that you can have a visualized plan of attack.
And once you’ve crossed off the things you needed to do, relax, then start a new list — This will ensure that the wheels keep turning.
But, in all honestly, freelancing is different for everyone— There really is no specific formula for success. It’s all about your own goals, your own pace, and what you want to accomplish.
These are just little pieces of advice based on my experience, but hopefully you can take away positive from it.