Time Management Tips for Freelancers that Actually Work

Being a successful freelancer is not for the easily distracted. When you were on someone else’s payroll, you probably got paid the same no matter how much you accomplished. But when you’re a freelancer, you’re only earning a paycheck when you’re actively working. This can be a huge wakeup call for new freelancers, especially if you struggle to stay productive throughout the workday.  

Without good time management, though, you will end up leaving money on the table. Put these easy yet powerful time management tips to good use to start maximizing your earnings: 

Track Your Time 

Tracking your time is especially important when you’re a new freelancer. It’s the single best way to understand how long projects should take so you can get better at estimating and reserving enough time for projects moving forward.  

You can use a time tracking tool like Toggl to keep track of your time. The more you pay attention to how you spend your time, the better you’ll get at scheduling projects, leaving enough room for each one, and keeping a balanced schedule.  

Tracking time makes it easier to recognize when you’re wasting precious minutes. If that’s the case, then a productivity tracker like FocusMe can help block out distractions. 

Stick to Set Working Hours 

As a freelancer, you have greater control over your schedule. But with this in mind, it’s best to stick to a routine when it comes to maximizing productivity. It keeps you in the same rhythm each day so you can better gauge how you manage your time. Plus, it gives you a start and end time so you can aim to keep all work activities between those hours. 

Prioritize Your Tasks 

People prioritize tasks in different ways. Some prefer to knock off a few quick and easy things from their to-do list first. It gives them a sense of accomplishment early in the day and can make them feel productive. Others prefer to “eat the worm,” meaning they do their least favorite task first and get rid of any stress that might be killing their productivity. 

However you work best, make it a point to review the day’s tasks and prioritize them according to your preferences. This helps you avoid falling behind on deadlines so you can keep your clients happy. 

Create a Plan for the Next Day 

A little planning can go a long way in helping you stay focused and productive. At the end of each work day, make a plan for the next day so you can get right to work. This helps you avoid using all your brainpower in figuring out what needs to be done and how long it will take, and you can put that energy toward your client work.  

Don’t Overbook Yourself 

Overbooking yourself can ruin your reputation with your clients if you’re constantly missing deadlines or delivering subpar work. While no freelancers like turning away work, know your limits and understand your time is finite. It’s hard to turn away paying clients, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re not always in a time crunch.  

Want a better way to freelance? Discover the benefits of the CitronWorks freelance marketplace


Leo Gestetner

A serial entrepreneur for over 30 years with a track record of successful online and offline businesses. Leo is Co-Founder & CEO of Zenvoy (Building A.I. Driven Private Networking Communities) & is also Co-Founder & CEO of CitronWorks (A global marketplace of remote professionals ready to help entrepreneurs and companies achieve their goals). Leo is Founder & CEO of Heath Capital, a private equity firm that primarily takes control positions in Technology, Real Estate, and Consumer & Durable Goods Businesses and is very active in each investment.


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