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.

"I've worked with Eric on a variety of projects over the years, for several different ventures. Whether designing a website for a commercial client, organizing an education event for creative professionals, or pioneering new frontiers in SEO for the medical industry, Eric is always professional, forward-thinking, and an absolute pleasure to work with. I trust his recommendations about website best practices completely, and his design aesthetic is both innovative and universally appealing. Simply put, he's one of the best in the business."
Jeff Kent, Partner, Campfire Digital

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