Three Ways to Improve Your Life as a Freelancer
Working freelance, we become accustomed to the freedom we have within our daily business practice. Yet, we are often so busy that fundamental business strategies get overlooked. In fact, we are the receptionist, HR department, the sales team, accounts, marketing and the copier guy – all rolled up into one. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for any one of those jobs.
There are so many distractions within our daily work routines (especially for those working from home); all too often these can hinder productivity. Improving our business discipline, however, will help us to think more like a business and run more efficiently.
This post explains why we should have never taken the guys in the HR department for granted! Following are a few uncomplicated ways to be more efficient in our daily business routine.
1. Take care of yourself
Self care! Not as cringey as it sounds, I promise. We are good at beating ourselves up, working late and taking on too much. We are not good at saying NO, exercising, and time management.
I used to work for a large company and it employed someone whose sole job it was to make sure you were sitting at your desk properly! I used to think it was farcical.Yes, I know how to sit on my chair, no my screen isn’t too bright etc etc… Then after three years of working from the sofa, ten paces from my actual desk, I got RSI in both wrists. Not only did I have to take time out, but I also incurred a number of trips to the physiotherapist. Make sure your working environment is adequate and assess your desk space for its health implications. In fact, go one further: make your work space somewhere you want to hang out!
2. Implement professional business practices
Managing time effectively will give a huge boost to your work output. Try the following:
- Set feasible work hours. Remember, you set the precedent for your clients. If you get into the habit of replying to emails late on a Sunday, it will become expected.
- Use an electronic calendar such as Google Calendar to manage appointments and schedule meetings so that you get email reminders. Use your electronic calendar to block out time for key projects in advance. Psychologically this will help you to prepare, as well as help you to prioritize.
- Value your thinking time. We spend a huge proportion of our day thinking, reading and engaging in conversation. This is NOT wasted time. Our thought processes facilitate productivity when we act on our ideas…. that is creativity in action!
3. Capture your Intellectual Property and Processes
Company CEO, President, El Capitano, The Wizard –whatever you call yourself ,you are your brand. Make sure you reflect that brand clearly and powerfully in your business processes. Manage your bookkeeping and endeavor to respond to email within 24hrs…. even if it’s to say you are out of the office.
As head honcho you also have the power to say NO! Try not to overwhelm yourself to the point where work becomes stressful because you will not be producing your best work.