Time Management for Freelancers. Presented by corinne mckay , ct [email protected] Cta annual conference: may 4, 2013. The Goal!. To help you determine how to manage your time Not to tell you how to manage your time. Why?. Because everyone’s challenges are different:
To help you determine how to manage your time
to tell you how to manage your time
Because everyone’s challenges are different:
Available amount of time
Responsibilities outside work
Time management isn’t just about time. It’s about managing mindset, physical space and priorities.
Many tasks expand to fill the available time.
The Internet will take as much time as you give it.
More hours in the chair does not necessarily mean more productivity
You need to have a specific goal in order to improve your time management.
Time management survey results
Top tips for regaining control
What a productive space looks like
Making a plan!
“Always on” business environment
Clients in different time zones
Work creeps into home life, home creeps into work
Too much to check: e-mail, multiple phones, texts, IM, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog…
Fear: not having enough work, not making enough money, losing a client, not being available when an important message arrives.
Passion for work (not a bad thing!)
Easily distracted (56%)
Can’t say no (44%)
Lots of responsibilities outside work (42%)
Working late at night or early in the morning (72%)
Not enough time for non-work interests (64%)
Feeling stressed about work/life balance (63%)
Feeling stressed about work (51%)
Finishing projects at the last minute (50%)
Feel less stressed about work (61%)
Pursue non-work interests (57%)
Feel less stressed about work/life balance (54%)
Earn more money (52%)
Get more done (50%)
Using a to-do list (66%)
Prioritizing tasks (54%)
Stress reduction (exercise, meditation, etc.) (44%)
Breaking work into blocks of time (44%)
Doing “must dos” before “want to dos” (42%)
Thinking about work during down time (42%)
Read the “Inbox Zero” series on 43folders.com
Respond immediately whenever possible
Use e-mail templates for common responses
Mercilessly unsubscribe, filter and batch
Maybe check e-mail less often (try once an hour)
Send fewer and shorter e-mails (a good idea anyway)
Fear not the delete button; especially when the message is a request for your time
Answer e-mail when other people are not online, so that the inbox doesn’t refill faster than you empty it
Steer clients and colleagues toward e-mail: avoid phone/IM/text if at all possible (interruptions/hard to archive)
Realistically assess whether a mobile device helps or hurts (the “half on” phenomenon)
Don’t be afraid to put a time limit on phone calls (“I’ve got about 5 minutes, or feel free to shoot me an e-mail”)
Actively seek out work that you enjoy; don’t just take what lands in the inbox
Keep an “as time allows” list in front of your face
Earmark “mindless entertainment” time
When you are no longer productive, stop working
Consider outsourcing tasks you hate
Consider blocking time-sucking websites
Force yourself to do unpleasant tasks first; just get it over with
When a task pops into your head, don’t do it: write it down
Set very short-term goals: make it a good hour, not a good year
Keep your work space as distraction-free as possible
Set a timer for 55 minutes, then do something physical for 5 minutes, then repeat
Don’t be afraid to get radical: rent an office outside the house, put up a Do Not Disturb sign, don’t answer the door or the phone, etc.
The rule of 1 (1 hour a day; 1 responsibility per association, school, etc.)
Don’t feel powerless: who said yes?
Take at least one computer-free vacation per year
Don’t be a 150%’er about everything; pick something to be mediocre at
Set personal priorities just as you do work priorities
Get more efficient about household tasks
When you feel overwhelmed, say no to all new requests for your time for a week (month, etc.)
Identify a goal
Identify the current obstacles
Identify a path to the goal
“At least 3 days a week, I would like to stop working at 5:00 and not think about work until the next morning.”
“I would like to work 10 fewer hours per week and earn the same amount of money.”
“I would like to be completely offline from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.”
“I would like to exercise an hour a day without working overtime to make up for it.”
“I work in the evenings because I waste too much time during the day.”
“I can’t take a real vacation because I don’t have enough savings.”
“I’m afraid to leave my desk for a minute because a client might call or e-mail.”
“I procrastinate because I don’t look forward to my work”
Give yourself 15 minutes on social media, then close/block those sites
Have a reward waiting: an evening off, money to spend on whatever you want, etc.
Create a completely dedicated workspace: like an insomniac’s bed!
Avoid excuses, blaming and regret: they are wasted emotions
Borrow from other sources: sports, authors you admire, etc.