Time Management Issues for Creative Freelancers

You never think as much about your time and productivity on the job as you do when you are working for yourself. When you have a salaried job it may be easy to not worry about which tasks take up the majority of your time and what your biggest distractions are.

As a freelance employee, suddenly funny emails, viral YouTube videos and social media are the enemy, because they keep you from making the most of your work day and quickly lead to you working longer hours than you want to work and not drawing strong boundaries between your work day and your home life. These fuzzy boundaries and poor time management skills can reduce your quality of life as a creative freelancer.

This is a question that Emma Sieasko tackles in her Skyword article, “Thinking Creatively about Time Management: 4 Foolproof Strategies for Creatives and Freelanceers”, saying,
Here are a few strategies you can use to help you focus more directly on important tasks:

“I’m often working on many projects at once. I manage a blog, dream up new projects, coordinate with freelancers, and work with my team. Some of these projects require focus, while others, such as answering emails, are more task-oriented. Others require thinking creatively. I’ve struggled with time management, and I know other freelancers and marketers question the best way to divide their time.”

  • Utilize productivity apps which help you set limits to the amount of time you are willing to spend on “distracting sites” each day.
  • Develop schedule routines like working on any creative projects that are just for you, or more speculative in nature, for just an hour at the beginning of the day and allotting the rest of your work day to paid projects.
  • Schedule specific times to check email, and really stick to those times. You don’t have to respond to email all day long. Checking and responding to email just two or three times a day is plenty.

For more ideas of how to use your time better, ask other creative freelancers you know what works best for them.

"Eric created our company logo, website, business cards, and mailings. He also updated my other company's website. He is very creative and a pleasure to work with from the initial consultation to the final product. He has a unique ability to make the process smooth and efficient and is willing to take as much time as necessary to answer any questions or resolve any issue that may come up. I would highly recommend Eric for any graphic design or web development work. He is simply the best!"
Joshua Nehring, Operations Manager, McCool Development Solutions, LLC

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