How to Manage Your Time If You Are a Self Employed Professional

business development Jul 16, 2021
Time Management

Excellent time management is one of the biggest challenges for most self-employed professionals. Time management doesn’t mean how much time you spend at work, it is about how this time translates into success. You count your time as your productivity and consequently profits.

If you have been finding it hard to create the perfect work-life balance because of poor time management, you are at the right spot. New and even experienced self-employed individuals can sometimes find it difficult to manage time. 

Here is a list of time-management tips that can help you make the best use of your working hours. 

Always Track Time

Time tracking helps you understand when you are the most productive. When we break down our workday into small parts and set goals, it is easier to stay on track. Let's say you have to read 6 chapters of a book in 3 hours, breaking down this one goal into hourly goals or more than one goal can help you keep track of time and stay productive as you move along. 

You can keep track of time by looking at the watch throughout the day. If most of your work is done on your PC, you can download a time tracker to keep a record of how you used your time. It can give you valuable insights into how much time you spent on a certain project, app, or website in a day, week, or month. 

It is easier to reschedule a time when you are aware of where the time was spent. 

Prioritize Tasks 

Some tasks need more time while others need less time. Prioritizing your tasks will help you give each task the times it needs. Poor scheduling and lack of task management can result in most of your time spent on tasks that demanded less time, leaving less time for tasks that demand more time and consideration.

Sort out the projects that need to be done urgently and schedule them on a priority basis. Planning ahead and always leaving room for disruptions and urgent breaks can dramatically change the way you schedule work. Disruptions can be inevitable sometimes, leaving room for unexpected breaks can help you manage time better. 

You might be able to save time on projects and never get behind on completing projects. 

Set Working Hours

When you are self-employed it is easy to get overworked on some days and not get anything accomplished on others. Your projects should not overwhelm you when you think of them. Managing work alongside your personal life is important to keep work out of everything else. 

Decide what time of the day are you most productive, delegate your work during these hours. Create a work pattern that helps you accomplish more and lets you enjoy time for yourself. 

Discuss your time management plans with your co-workers and family. They might be able to give you valuable suggestions. 

Shut Out Distractions

You already know this one, but have you been struggling with getting distracted? Self-employed individuals often have a problem focusing and concentrating because when you are your own boss, you can delay work and reschedule it at any point which leads to procrastination. 

When you are allowed to use your phone in your workspace, you can easily waste half an hour watching YouTube videos. Sometimes all you need to increase your concentration on work is to get rid of the distractions. 

Find out what distracts you the most, it could be your cell phone, a mesmerizing painting in the office, T.V or it could be your mind that starts wandering after a while. Place the physical items in a different room. Leave your cellphone in an ‘important calls only’ mode and place it where you cannot reach it, but still hear it ringing.

If your mind starts wandering, set a desktop wallpaper that motivates you to work. Even the word ‘Focus’ written in bold letters on a page, pasted on the wall beside your workstation can remind you to focus on what is in front of you, and boost your productivity. 

Manage Stress

Anxiety and stress can affect your productivity. Whether your stress is related to personal life issues, financial problems, or stems from mental or emotional trauma, it can have implications on your work-life. 

You could be overworked, and the stress could be coming from constantly getting overworked and not having any downtime. Learn to manage stress and talk about it with your partner, your friend or get professional help if it is impacting your work-life balance. 

Sometimes spending a good day reconnecting with nature or doing what you had been wanting to do for a while can re-energize you for the whole week. So, take a day off and enjoy yourself. 

You should never postpone a well-deserved vacation, whether it’s a 2 weeklong vacation in the Bahamas or a day off work with friends to enjoy good food and watch Netflix. 

A break from work can rejuvenate your soul. Do not fall into the trap of working 7 days a week. Even if you cannot fix one day for a break, for example, manage to take a day off randomly when you can, be it Monday or Friday, and spend it doing something fun. 

Build Tempo

When you build a tempo while working, you can considerably up your focus and productivity. Figure out what helps you build a tempo. Some self-employed individuals are morning people and their brain functions at its optimal in the morning. Find out what it is that can help you establish a smooth flow when working.

For some people, 7 hours of sleep, some caffeine, and meditation or mindfulness can do the trick. When you reach the peak of productivity, avoid exiting and stay within the flow until you get most of the work done. Even it means skipping breaks and delaying chores, you will have more time for it later during the day once you end your work. 


Bottom Line

By employing these simple strategies, you can accomplish a ton of work and be successful at almost anything. Most of these you probably already employee, but it is a good reminder to keep you on track. This is not rocket science, but at times the simplest ways to improve upon go unnoticed and are taken for granted when you are trying to hold it all together in the beginning.