Download a program like Focus Booster or Instant Boss to keep productivity up during the work day. These programs give you a timed burst of work, from 25 to 40 minutes, then a regulated short break of 5 or 10 minutes. They help to keep your mind concentrating on the task at hand, and allow you a few minutes every hour for Facebook, forums and other fun diversions. Since I started using these programs my production is up 25% and I don’t feel as frazzled since I get regular breaks.
Twenty Time Saving Tips
Posted June 12, 2011 in Productivity
It’s not at all unusual for a freelancer to run out of day before their work is done. If you’re using an application to track how you use your time, that’s a great start to making better use of your time.
There are other shortcuts and tricks you can apply to maximize your available time. In this post, I’ll share twenty tips to help you make the best use of your time.
My Best Time Saving Tips
Here are my very best time saving tips for work and home. First the tips for your freelancing work:
- Use boilerplates–Whenever possible, automate your business processes. If you send out many proposals for work, make a boilerplate and modify it each time rather than creating a new proposal from scratch each time.
- Specialize–Specialists have several advantages and one of those advantages is that they can get to know a particular part of their field well, saving project ramp up time.
- Outsource–If you find yourself with too much work and too few hours, it may be to your advantage to outsource the lowest paying projects to other freelancers who aren’t as experienced as you are.
- Use a VA–A virtual assistant can save you a lot of time by handling your routine tasks such as answering emails, phone calls, and even performing basic research tasks.
- Keep regular hours–In general, freelancers who keep set business hours devoted to their work tend to get more done than those who work at a different time each day.
- Do your difficult tasks during your peak hours–Each of us has a time of day when we are at our best. Discover your peak productivity time and use that for your most challenging or most creative tasks.
- Organize your office–Have you ever spent hours looking for something in your office or on your computer? Get organized so that you can find needed files and papers easily and quickly.
- Schedule rest-time–A tired freelancer is a slow freelancer. Taking the time to get enough rest will help ensure that you are always feeling and performing your best.
- Put yourself on a social media budget–Social media is a great way to promote your freelancing business, but you can have too much of a good thing. Determine a set amount of time each day for social media.
- Back up your files–Lost or damaged work files can take hours, if not days, to recreate. Spare yourself the hassle by choosing and using a good file backup system.
What you do with your personal time at home affects your freelancing business. If you can save time on your personal tasks, it is less likely that these tasks will spill over into your workday and use valuable project time. Now, the time saving tips for your home:
- Hire someone to help with time-consuming tasks–Just like outsourcing and delegating tasks can help you in your business, it can also help you at home. Especially if you would earn more working than you would pay someone to do the task.
- Combine small trips into one–Do you make multiple trips to run errands? If you do, you can save time (and money) by combining all those small trips into several larger trips.
- Make use of your “down time”–All of us spend a certain amount of time waiting, but with mobile computing devices your wait time doesn’t have to be wasted time. Use down time to check email, update your to-do list, etc.
- If you watch TV, use a DVR to tape shows and avoid commercials–It’s amazing how much of the average television slot is taken up with commercials. Use a DVR, or similar device, to skip commercials and save time.
- Keep some healthy, quick meals on hand. Are you too busy to eat healthy? You won’t be if you keep some handy, but nutritious, meals on hand. Salads, for example, are both easy to fix and good for you.
- Organize your home–Just like you can lose files in your home office, you can also lose things you want or need in your home. Keep your home organized and minimize the time you spend looking for lost items.
- Spread the load–Don’t try to do everything yourself. Divide your chores between family members. Even children can help with routine tasks around the house.
- Use mail order–It’s not always necessary to go to the store to get what you need. You can often order exactly what you need through your computer. Books, clothing, and computer equipment can all be found online.
- Practice preventative healthcare–Nothing takes as much time as battling an illness or injury. So, follow your doctor’s advice and avoid any unnecessary medical setbacks.
- Prioritize–From time to time, re-examine what you do each day. You may find that your priorities have changed and some of the things you do are no longer needed.
How Do You Save Time?
I’ve shared my best time saving tips, now it is your turn. Share your best time saving tips in the comments.
Image by klara.kristina
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June 12th, 2011 at 2:28 pm
June 13th, 2011 at 12:02 am
Good tips Anne!
I personally haven’t used any of the apps designed to help improve focus, but I’ve heard that there are some good ones out there.
June 14th, 2011 at 4:38 am
These are some totally great tips, mate. I’ll keep this bookmarked and open it from time to time whenever I forget what the others are. I tend to get distracted with a lot of things and get a lot of time wasted just for a single worthless thing. Thanks for this , mate.
June 14th, 2011 at 6:40 pm
Yep, outsourcing is really good option. Indias a great place I turn to for that. I recommend elance if you go in that direction
June 20th, 2011 at 4:02 am
gr8 tips, your article is very useful and resourceful for lots of users.
August 5th, 2011 at 8:35 am
Great tips! I work with several freelancers and find the work to be varied and interesting. Keep in mind that some VAs can help with #9 (social media) as well. It’s actually one of my favorite aspects of the job!
I have to admit – #8 and #15 have been challenges for me, but I’m working on it. :)
September 26th, 2011 at 9:50 am
Hi, good tips! One extra tip from me is using Time Mate – time tracking app for iPhone. Easy to use, intuitive and nice. Here is the link: http://itunes.apple.com/de/app/timemate-zeiterfassung/id448126495?mt=8
November 3rd, 2011 at 12:36 pm
If you outsource anything, make sure you are using someone competent. You don’t want to burn your reputation because of a shoddy outsourcing.
November 20th, 2011 at 4:31 pm
Thank you for sharing the tips! Efficient time management is where I always aim to learn some new lessons. For everyone who feels overworked or just looks for new ways to become more organized and productive, I thought I’d post a link to our new infographic with 7 time-saving tips: http://www.wrike.com/blog_images/164400/infographic_time_management_Wrike.jpg?blogId=164400&fileName=infographic_time_management_Wrike.jpg
August 15th, 2012 at 5:08 pm
Just keep in mind that when you outsource, if you don’t choose the right company to handle what your outsourcing you may spend more time on it!
February 21st, 2013 at 7:16 pm
Nice tips Laura, really very helpful.
Knowing this points makes easy to increase productivity everyday, now we have to check one by one.
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