One of the luxuries of working as a freelancer is having the ability to create your own schedule, work when you want, and at your own pace. This applies regardless of whether you’re a backend developer or a designer. Some see it as a blessing and some see it as a curse. If you’re new to the fast-growing freelancer industry, this might be a tough adjustment. Especially if you’re coming from a strict 9-to-5 work schedule. We spoke to Freelance Developer, Ky Nguyen about his personal experience juggling work, his freelancer gigs, and his personal life. He’s highlighted a few noteworthy tips on how to manage your time as a freelancer and make your freelance career just that much more worthwhile.
Make the Most of Your 24 Hours
Have you ever wished you had more than 24 hours in a day? I sure have. There came a point in my life when I had a really hard time with time management and I wasn’t about to find a way to get out of this funk. I had no time to spend with my family, no time to work on personal improvement, no time to go out with friends, no time at all. All of my time was used up on my freelance work from coding new features, fixing bugs and much more. I was killing myself working odd hours and missing out on quality time with my family and friends.
I spent all of my efforts learning how to manage my time more effectively. Finally, I found a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope these tips will help you learn how to manage your time more effectively and become a freelance rockstar.
Switch Up Your Working Hours
The first step I took to implement effective time management was to change up my work hours. Everyday I spent 8 hours in the office and I spent an additional 4-6 hours after dinner to work on my freelance projects. But this system did not give me time for my freelance activities because I spent all of my energy at work. I was physically and mentally drained and there was no way I could efficiently finish my freelance work. This is one of the main reasons why working over-time is not a good idea for any type of project.
It’s important to recognise what times of the day you are the most productive and what times you are not. After dinner, I want to spend time with my family, play games with my kids, read a book, or simply, take part in a stimulating conversation where I’m not talking about work or another project. It’s important to use this after-work time to shut off and spend some time with your loved ones or simply in an activity that doesn’t require you to think so much.
What time do of the day do you work most efficiently?
For me, I usually start working at 2 AM after 3 to 4 hours of sleep. This time is ideal for me because everything is quiet and there are absolutely no distractions. No phone calls, no email, no one bothers you. For me, this is the best time to get my creative juices flowing. I use this period to do some researches and to work on my side projects. I’ve found that this is the most effective way for me to manage my time and to receive the best results out of my work. I am able to contribute to more online communities, take some online and bring myself to a new experience level. And of course as a result, I am able to earn more money from my freelance projects.
Keep Up Your Health
Most importantly, a healthy body is the key to reach success. I have to work 8 hours everyday in an office and an additional 4-6 hours on freelance projects. If you do the math, my body has to work 1.5 times more than usual. Crazy, right? For most people, their body and mind will become exhausted very quickly with a schedule like this. In order for me to prevent myself from becoming ill, I make a conscious effort to include additional nutrition in my meals with more fruits, protein, etc.
In additional to a healthy diet, it’s important to stay active.I try to incorporate a little bit of exercise into my daily activities. For example, I use the stairs instead of the elevator, I try to walk faster, clean the floor manually, and more. Now, I know these types of activities won’t help me become an athlete, but every little bit helps to keep my health up.
Change Your Mindset
I had a misconception of working and learning and what it took to manage your time as a freelancer and a full-time employee. I was working on more freelance projects in the hopes of expanding my knowledge and my experience. In 2015, I took on so many freelance projects and it was a big mistake.
When we work on a freelance project, we have a lot of pressure to uphold the quality of code, time, and money. We have to develop new features, fix bugs, while continuously releasing and developing more new features in a very limited amount of time. And what was the result? All I was trying to was learn how to finish the project as fast a possible. As a result of this, the quality of my work suffered. I wasn’t growing or learning from my freelance projects, and I wasn’t managing my time effectively.
It’s important to learn the new technology or framework, and to become strong and familiar with it before starting a new project. As a tech freelancer, this will help you go far. Learn the technology in depth, apply it to project, and experience it. Not only will this help you earn money but it will also help you manage your time better.
Free time is your friend.
After one or two projects (around 2 -3 months), you should set aside some free time to learn and research. Build your library of knowledge so you can apply these skills to future projects. This will boost your career.
From the very first time I implemented these tips, I have earned more about 1.5 to 2 times more money than before. I still have time for family, friends, learning new skills and building my technical knowledge. It’s all a balance act. Once you’ve learned how to manage your time and mastered that, everything else will fall into place. Comment below if you have some unique tips on how you effectively manage your time!
If you’re ready to take the next step, then let’s get started. If you’re applying as a top freelancer simply click ‘Become a Pangara Talent.‘ For clients, ‘Hire a Pangara Talent.’ We look forward to working with you!