Top Hacks to Boost Freelancer Efficiency

Young woman working efficiently at work desk

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 For years, you’ve been a creative freelancer. You’ve managed to meet your deadlines by the skin of your teeth. But that’s enough. Now, you want to use a particular system, if there’s one, and organize yourself better so that your clients consider you efficient.

But why is freelancer efficiency so important?

Importance of Freelancer Efficiency

Freelancers aren’t your typical 9-5 office-goers. Far from that. As a freelancer, you work on your own on all kinds of projects, often simultaneously. The higher the level of the project, the greater the demands for efficiency and time management. 

So, it pays to be efficient.

If you are an efficient freelancer who manages several clients, it’s chiefly because you have excellent time management skills. This helps you be efficient and productive, and meet your deadlines easily.

You continue to be in business depending on the projects you receive. This motivates you to stay on top of your work pile.

It’s also not surprising for freelancers to be more productive than other professionals. Due to your effective time management skills, you are more efficient and productive than 9-5 office-goers.

For these essential reasons, being efficient is a prime skill for freelancers—one they continue to harness if they want to develop and grow in the cut-throat world of freelancing.

Boosting Freelancer Efficiency: 8 Proven Hacks

There are many hacks and tips that work to a freelancer’s advantage. However, since I’ve been in the business for over three decades, I would like to lay out the best there are:

 1. Find Your Passion and Focus on It

If you don’t know where your interest or passion lies, it’s a good idea to check that out and freeze on it. After you decide whether your passion is writing, designing or coding, it’s time to perfect your craft.

This may take time, but it’s best to spend time on this. Alternatively, you end up being a mediocre professional. For beginners, the best thing to do is to take on a project in your field and make money on it. Once you’re paid for it, you’ll recognize your true worth. You can then work harder and get better results for yourself.

If you have hobbies or special interests, you can convert something you love doing into your passion and get paid for it!

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is an internationally renowned time management method. It helps you break down a large project into a 25-minute burst of work. Usually, this is followed by a short break. Its creator, Francesco Cirillo named it so after using a tomato-shaped timer.

This unique technique is useful for freelancers in a variety of ways. First, it helps you stay motivated and focused. It also helps you keep away all distractions.

The idea behind this technique is that it is easy to work in short bursts as you aren’t likely to be distracted by noise, traffic, social media, or other distractions around your home.

Second, it also helps you grow your productivity. When you work in a short period, you will get into a flow state which completely immerses you in work. This can increase your productivity and give you better results.

Third, the Pomodoro Technique can help freelancers reduce stress. When you take regular breaks, you give your mind and body a chance to rest and recharge. This can help you avoid burnout and stay motivated in your work.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

Whenever you begin a project, set goals for it. This can make a huge difference to your productivity and the outcome of your project.

Once you set your goals for a project, make achieving them realistic. For instance, don’t overload your day and achieve only 50% of your goals. Your goals, if correctly set, can guide you and make a positive impact on your productivity.

  1. Don’t Overload Yourself with Work

To be in business, you need to search for clients and work on their projects. So, you should be aware of the amount of work you can do and the time it will take you to complete it.  

To do this right, evaluate your knowledge, expertise, and skills related to the projects you take on. Next, work out the number of projects you can competently complete in a given timeframe. Also, work out the time you will take to deliver your projects.

If you’re just setting out to be a freelancer, take on one client and work on one project at a time. Gradually, as you set into the work style of a freelancer, you can increase your workload.

Ultimately, you’ll reach a stage when you will be able to take on several projects from more than one client and do a superb job. But be careful not to take on too many projects as this may prove your overconfidence.

  1. Use a Calendar, Planner, or To-Do List

Generally, freelance work isn’t streamlined. So, the onus of structuring your work days and achieving your daily target falls on you. To be systematic in your work, create a daily or weekly schedule.

This will be particularly helpful if you work with several clients with multiple projects. Try using a to-do list, if you prefer. Alternatively, you could use a digital calendar to accomplish your several tasks.

You can even use some of the best automated tools available to manage your tasks. These will help you stay abreast of your projects and keep you more productive.

6. Create a Dedicated Workspace

As you work on your own, it’s quite likely that you work from home. In some cases, you might also work out of an internet café. No matter the location of your work, ensure that it is a quiet spot, far away from the noise of people talking and traffic.

This is a very important aspect for you as it can have a direct impact on your productivity. Once you settle on the ‘where’ part of your work, move on to investing in tools and necessary equipment that you’re going to need.

  1. Do the Most Difficult Task First

You’ve probably heard or read the quotation, “Eat that frog!” A productivity book by the same name was written by Brian Tracy in which he advises his readers to do the most difficult task first thing in the morning and get it out of the way. That’s what he called the “frog”—the most difficult and ugliest task on hand.

He believes that once you get the most difficult task done, you’re all set to accomplish whatever you want for the rest of the day.

  1. Utilize the Power of Time Management

To be more productive, you need to manage your time well. For freelancers, here are some of the most proven time management strategies you could use:

  • Eisenhower Decision Matrix:

This productivity tool helps you choose the task to handle first, based on urgency and importance. The matrix comprises four quadrants:

  • Urgent and important: Such tasks should be done first
  • Important but not urgent: Decide when it’s best to handle such tasks
  • Not important but urgent: Delegate the task to someone
  • Not important, but urgent: Delay it

This keeps you focused on high-impact work and high-revenue-generating tasks. It also avoids wasting time on unimportant tasks.

Takeaway

You can boost your efficiency in several ways. You could follow the tips given in this blog and become a highly productive and successful freelancer. Let’s look at the key takeaways:

  • Find your passion and focus on it.
  • Use the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused and productive
  • Set realistic goals and don’t overload yourself with work
  • Use a calendar, planner, or to-do list to stay organized
  • Create a dedicated workspace where you can focus on your work
  • Do the most difficult task first thing in the morning
  • Utilize the power of time management by using tools like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix.

Ready to skyrocket your freelancer efficiency? Try these proven hacks today and take your productivity to the next level!

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