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7 Cost Effective Ways of Managing Your Work as a Freelancer

<p>Being your own boss is both a blessing and a curse. As a freelancer, you have control over your work hours and the types of projects and clients to take. But on the other hand, you must constantly battle with time management and self-restraint. By learning how to manage freelance projects effectively and efficiently, you can become more productive and earn more.</p> <p>With<a href="" target="_blank"> almost one-third of businesses</a> nowadays looking to outsource some of their services, freelancers such as yourself are thriving. There are more opportunities in store for you. But the market can get tough and tight. Hence, you need to devise your own strategy and leverage the right tools to remain relevant and competitive.</p> <p>With that, here are some cost-effective freelance tips and tricks to help you manage your work.</p> <h2>Establish a schedule</h2> <p>One of the most attractive benefits of freelancing is its flexible schedule. You decide when and how long you want to work daily. However, too much freedom can also hinder your productivity.</p> <p>Avoid procrastinating by setting up a definite schedule that you should follow daily. Think of it as having your own office hours. You establish what time you need to start working, when to take breaks and how long, and when to call it a day. You can also develop your own off days to make room for work/life balance.</p> <p>Another tip on time management for freelancers is choosing a specific day to plan out your week. For example, Sundays can be the day where you pick which projects to accept and send out emails or proposals to prospective clients. So that by Monday morning, you already have an agenda for each day of that week. This ensures that you meet important deadlines and give each client the attention they deserve.</p> <h2>Keep track of your time</h2> <p>Sticking to your own schedule can be tough. Unexpected delays can happen. Or, sometimes, you might finish up a project earlier than expected. Whatever it is, you need to be able to adapt to such changes and adjust your schedule accordingly.</p> <p>Hence, it is important to keep track of your time. This will tell you how long it usually takes you to finish a project on average. With this information, you have an idea of how your schedules should look in the future and plan effectively.</p> <p>Time tracking also helps you determine and calculate your billings to your clients, especially if you charge your clients by the hour. Knowing how long an average task takes, you can make an accurate budget and timing estimates for a specific project.</p> <h2>Create invoices</h2> <p>Being a freelancer means you will be your own bookkeeper and accountant. You need to learn how to manage payments from clients, track work-related expenses, and comply with tax regulations. Hence, you must also learn how to<a href="" target="_blank"> create your own invoices</a>.</p> <p>An invoice is a legal document that itemizes and records transactions between you and your client. It informs both parties of how much the client owes you. It also contains information such as the date of purchase, amount of applicable tax, description of service, and payment terms.</p> <p>There are many benefits to having invoices for your freelance work. For one, it leaves a visible paper trail of your transactions with your clients. As a result, you can easily track your sales and finances. You can also use this as protection against potential disputes with clients. Hence, in some countries, invoices are mandatory across all types of businesses, even for freelancers.</p> <h2>Minimize distractions</h2> <p>Technology can become<a href="" target="_blank"> your ultimate source of distraction</a> while at work. Unfortunately, freelancers use digital software and devices daily. In fact, you can even say your job is reliant on the internet, making it harder to resist going to your social media channels or falling into information rabbit holes.</p> <p>A freelance job can sometimes be a test of discipline and self-restraint. Being your own supervisor, you have to keep yourself in line, so keep distractions at a minimum. Avoid picking up your smartphone during your assigned work hours. Better yet, consider blocking certain websites on your devices while you work. You can even use apps to help boost your focus.</p> <p>Your work environment can impact your productivity. Make sure you set up an area where you can work peacefully and without distractions from your housemates. You can also insert some short breaks in between work hours to avoid overwhelming yourself.</p> <h2>Maintain client relationships</h2> <p>A<a href="" target="_blank"> recent survey by Boston Consulting Group</a> shows that the top challenge for many freelancers is handling client relationships.&nbsp;</p> <p>Freelancing doesn&rsquo;t necessarily mean working on your own. In fact, you should consider it as a partnership with your clients. You must maintain a healthy relationship with them.</p> <p>Keep communication lines open between you and your client. You need to make sure that they know how and when to reach you if they need something from you. Update them regularly on your progress to make sure that both parties are on the same page. Let them know immediately of any changes with the project so you can discuss potential deadline extensions or reevaluate guidelines stipulated in your contract.</p> <h2>Choose projects carefully</h2> <p>It is so tempting to accept all projects that come your way. After all, the more projects you get, the more money you can earn. However, having too much work can also be detrimental to your productivity and time management.</p> <p>That is why it is also essential to<a href="" target="_blank"> learn how to say no</a> to a project. Moreover, you need to accept and understand your own limitations. Otherwise, you might chew off more than you can swallow and end up missing out on deadlines, resulting in submitting subpar outputs to your clients.</p> <p>Put a cap on the number of projects you take in a day, week, or month. Likewise, determine what type of services, topics, and fields you want to focus on. This way, you won&rsquo;t have any regrets with your work.</p> <h2>Leveling up your freelance work</h2> <p>The gig economy continues to grow as more people flock towards freelance work. That also means competition in the market will get tougher and higher for freelancers like you. Level up your freelance work by following these tips in managing your workload. Most of which wouldn&#39;t even cost you anything to be able to do so.</p> <p>The advantage of freelance is you don&#39;t need a degree to secure a good-paying gig. Hence, anyone can participate and still be competitive in the freelance market. You must simply learn how to manage your work wisely and effectively. You can also check out the<a href=""> best companies to work for without a degree</a>.</p> <h2>Leverage tools and technologies</h2> <p>Following these tips can help you get started on how to succeed as a freelancer. But without the right tools, you might find it difficult to build up your brand and expand your operations.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are countless software available to help freelancers improve and manage their workflows cost-effectively. Some of the tools you need as a freelancer are time tracking tools, project/task management systems, calendar apps, and communication platforms.</p> <p>As mentioned, having an online quote and invoice software is crucial for you to accurately and professionally manage your finances. You can use software like Momenteo, a cloud-based, automated platform tailored for freelancers to send quotes and invoices and receive payments for free.</p>