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Time Management for Freelancers. Presented by corinne mckay , ct corinne@translatewrite.com 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:

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Time management for freelancers

Time Management for Freelancers

Presented by corinnemckay, ct


Cta annual conference: may 4, 2013

The goal
The Goal!

To help you determine how to manage your time


to tell you how to manage your time

Time management for freelancers

Because everyone’s challenges are different:

Available amount of time

Responsibilities outside work

Physical environment

Financial needs

Client needs


Some basic truths
Some basic truths:

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.

We ll cover
We’ll cover:

Time management survey results

Top tips for regaining control

What a productive space looks like

Making a plan!

What s the problem it s not just you
What’s the problem? It’s not just you!

“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!)

Most common time management challenges
Most common time management challenges:

Procrastinating (64%)

Easily distracted (56%)

Can’t say no (44%)

Lots of responsibilities outside work (42%)

Repercussions of poor time management
Repercussions of poor time management:

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%)

Goals of better time management
Goals of better time management:

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%)

Already tried
Already tried:

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%)

Taming your e mail
Taming your e-mail

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

Taming communications in general
Taming communications in general

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”)

Avoiding procrastination
Avoiding procrastination

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.

Managing non work responsibilities
Managing non-work responsibilities

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.)

Making your plan
Making your plan

Identify a goal

Identify the current obstacles

Identify a path to the goal

Identify a very specific goal
Identify a very specific 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.”

Identify the current obstacles
Identify the current obstacles

“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”

Identify some potential paths around the obstacle
Identify some potential paths around the obstacle

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.

Thank you
Thank you!!

Corinne McKay