One of the most frequent questions asked by freelancers is “How do I save more time and be more productive? How do I get some time to rest?”. Since it doesn’t make sense to be making money without having the time to enjoy it, I’d say managing time is of the essence in the home and freelancing business. Because there is abundant job for freelancers, it is only natural to take and accept so many jobs. But when it gets too much, it becomes hazardous not only to the freelancer but to the freelancer’s family and loved ones.
The novelty of working for ourselves and determining how much time we have to ourselves is an appealing concept. The interesting thing about freelancing is you get to determine how much time you spend by yourself, your working hours, and most importantly, your income. However, the novelty of working for just a few hours wears off after you start getting jobs as a freelancer. If your work and reputation is good, you are bound to get more jobs and consequently, less time to relax.
Unfortunately, so many freelancers just keep working. The time to relax and spend more time with the family is suddenly not just there anymore. So, how do you manage your time to not only afford you enough time to spend with your kids, but also to maximize your productivity
1. Don’t bite more off than you can chew.
Activity does not necessarily mean progress. Accepting every job that comes your way is not only dangerous, it is suicidal. You’ll end up working yourself to death for just a few extra bucks. Choose your jobs wisely as you do not want to be swamped. If you have a specified target, go for jobs that will help you achieve that target. If not, you’ll end up leaving the really important things like family, relationships and love behind while thinking “I’ll soon have time for them”. If you have to say “No” to an offer, say it. It doesn’t matter how juicy the offer is. The single biggest reason people opt for freelancing is to be able to spend more time with their loved ones. Imagine the disappointment your son would feel if you failed in your promise to help him build that tree house he’s been asking for over the weekend all because of a project you had to attend to.
If you have a huge workload and cant seem to meet the deadline, outsource your work. There are other freelancers that are willing to take the work off your hands. Develop networks and partnerships with other freelancers that you trust. For example, you can write the article and find someone else to type or proofread it, thus freeing up some of your time.
3. Map out time for every activity.
There’s no need working in your business when you should be growing it. Spending the whole day sending and replying emails, making and taking phone calls can be frustrating when you have a target to meet. Set out time for each of these and do not exceed it. If you have to turn off your phone, avoid checking your mails, lock the door, retreat to the basement, hire a nanny, do it. If on the other hand, you feel the phone calls and emails are important, hire an assistant to help with those. It won’t cost you much and gives your job a touch of professionalism. If you are second-guessing this, think when you get burned out, how long will you be in the hospital for the needed rest? That should help make up your mind.
4. Try Dictation
One important method that has helped me a lot is dictating. It works like magic and it doesn’t cost you anything extra except if you want to buy a Dictaphone. All you need do is connect a microphone to your computer. I have been able to as a result, churn out over 15 articles in a day all within 6 hours, each of which took me about 15 minutes to dictate and an extra five minutes to edit. Not bad eh? This article was produced using that method.
Note: The time you spend depends on how many words you are writing, and your speed of dictation.
The good thing about it is with frequent use, you become adept at it. The above-mentioned example was for 600 word articles. Imagine doing that six days a week. That’s 90 articles. If you sold each for just $10-which is cheap- that’s $900 a week and $3600 a month. If you can’t spare six hours a day, you can choose your time. I spend that much. For the dictating technique, please follow carefully the instructions here. Most PCs are enabled to use a microphone. This can be done using Microsoft word which comes with the Microsoft Office package. To do this effectively, use the following tips:
- A high quality close-talk (headset) microphone with gain adjustment (gain adjustment: A microphone feature that allows your input to be amplified so that it is made louder for use by the system.) support. (A universal serial bus (USB) microphone is recommended.)
- A 400 megahertz (MHz) or faster computer. If you don’t know how to check this, click Start tab, then Control Panel – this can be seen on the right side of the two divides, then double-click System. When this loads, you should be able to see it towards the lower right corner of the page.
- 128 MB or more of memory
- At least Windows 2000 with Service Pack 3 or Windows XP or later
- Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.01 or later
Positioning the speech recognition microphone.
Position the microphone so that:
- It is about an inch, or a thumb’s width, to the side of your mouth
- It is not directly in front of your mouth, and you are not breathing directly into it.
- Note If you inadvertently move the microphone as you speak, remember to bring it back to the correct position.
Speech recognition capability is built into all Office programs by initially using the feature in Microsoft Word or by doing a custom installation. fter speech recognition is installed, you can increase speech recognition accuracy by taking a few minutes to train the computer to recognize how you speak.
If you need more help on this, to learn more about this click the Help tab in Microsoft word and type in the keyword ”using microphone” or “speech recognition. You’ll find quite a number of topics like how to speak to a computer; things you can do or say with speech recognition etc. Take your time to get familiar with this incredible tool. If you have to spend one to two hours learning this so you can hasten your work, do it. That’s it. Use this tip and you are on your way to making lots of money, working effectively, and saving lots of time.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a well-balanced life, enough time for yourself, your loved ones, and time to enjoy the money you’re working so hard for.