Whether you’re new to running a freelance business or you’ve been in the game for quite some time, you’ll quick learn that it pays to be productive.
After all, time truly is money when you’re working on your time. As such, it’s crucial that freelancers find as many ways as they can to save time and ultimately trim down the minutes spent on any tasks that don’t directly contribute to their bottom line.
Oftentimes, it’s the overlooked “small stuff” that adds up over time. While five minutes on an invoice or email here or there might not seem like much, consider how many hours a month you might spend on tedious tasks that result in no additional income.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to get your time management under control and focus on getting down to business.
Get a Handle on Invoicing
Invoicing is often one of the biggest offenders when it comes to time-wasting; however, bear in mind that taking care of invoices in a timely manner ultimately ensures that you get paid.
Automated invoice processing can be a total game-changer for freelancers who spend long hours tweaking and fine-tuning their invoices one-by-one. Having a solution for invoicing also prevents any lost or mishandled invoices, which can be a huge headache and time-sink.
Step Up Your Project Management
When you’re juggling a bunch of clients, it’s easy to get your work lost in the shuffle which might result in missed deadlines and other communication mishaps. Rather than rely on endless email chains, keep track of your work via a project management solution such as Basecamp or Trello. When both you and your clients understand where you’re at in terms of workflow, you eliminate the need for constant follow-up and check-in emails.
Streamline Your Social Media
Freelancers have tons of options when it comes to finding clients and getting discovered via social media: unfortunately, many business owners use social media as an excuse to waste time. To remedy this, consider the following options:
- Queue up your social posts and content via a platform such as Buffer or Hootsuite so you don’t spend all of your time manually pushing your content
- Using a timer, commit to only spending small bursts of time on social media (five minutes, for example) in between breaks from your main work
- Only focus on social media channels that make sense for your business: for many B2B professionals, this means Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn versus Pinterest or Instagram
Don’t Get Bogged Down by Emails
Last but not least, emails can be the silent killer of your productivity. While they’re a necessary evil, they don’t have to take ages to answer or craft.
Many freelancers block out a specific time of day to answer emails (with the exception of emergency messages) to avoid constantly having to keep an eye on their inboxes. Likewise, you can create your own email templates for generic responses and pitches so you don’t have to constantly craft new messages each and every time you have something to say to a client or customer.
Regardless of what your freelance business looks like, chances are you could stand to save some time, right? With these tips in mind, you can keep yourself productive and spend more time focusing on what really matters for the sake of your business.