As a freelancer, there’s no shortage of things for you to do on a daily basis.
You’ve got to pitch and negotiate with new clients, create new and finish old projects, manage upkeep on your blog, advertise on social media, manage your finances…
The list goes on.
If you’re new to freelancing, the stress is no joke.
How will you ever get all this shit done on time?
Aside from outsourcing, you’ll have to learn to manage your time properly so you get what you need done.
You can do what countless successful solo business owners and freelancers like yourself have done for years.
Time blocking and focusing on the right tasks.
Here are 3 ways time blocking will improve your freelancing business.
1. More Productivity
Single Tasking = Productivity
Contrary to popular belief, the human brain can only manage one task at a time. I’m not talking about the easy stuff like chewing gum and walking, I’m talking about doing meaningful tasks properly.
You can’t carry on a real conversation and check your email at the same time, your mind will shut one thing off while it tries to do the other. And you’ll lose precious time in between trying to refocus.
Single tasking is good for your brain and will give you a sense of accomplishment because you’re more likely to finish a project.
2. You Learn to Prioritize
Time blocking makes you hyper aware of exactly how much time you have because of the pre-planning required to create time blocking sessions.
You learn to separate important tasks from the not-so-important tasks.
It puts your concept of how much time you have into perspective so you’ll choose to work on tasks that have a greater impact on your business.
For example, spending more time writing and implementing new blogging techniques will help your business more in the long run than spending too much time answering emails and checking social media feeds.
3. You’ll make Progress in Your Business
You’ll get more done, I promise!
When I first started freelancing, I was so stressed out because I had so many things to do and couldn’t find time to get them done.
I was overwhelmed and couldn’t believe this was the life of the freelancer. I almost gave up!
My last resort was to reach out to a business coach who introduced me to short time blocking sessions. She suggested I make my time blocks anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour.
Up until our first coaching call, I was trying to multitask and doing tasks as they came up. And by the time they came up, they were nearly overdue.
When you block your time, you prioritize tasks as they need to be done, when they need to be done. And you focus on ONLY that one task for your allotted time.
Do you have a goal to publish a post once a week?
Time blocking 30 minutes a day for 4 days to work on that blog post will get you to your publish date on time.
Here’s How You Can Start Time Blocking Today
Time blocking is closely related to the Pomodoro technique. A method where you set a timer for 25 minutes and focus on a job for that time.
When the timer is up, you take a 5-minute break.
After the break, you start the timer again and continue your work.
This method helps to keep your mind focused in short bursts. It prevents burnout and fatigue. And keeps your mind fresh.
The time blocking method I’m talking about can be used similar to the Pomodoro method. Just change your time from 25 minutes to whatever your task requires (30 minutes, 40 minutes, etc.).
Time blocking works when you:
- Pick one task to focus on (email, writing a letter, doing research, cleaning, etc.)
- Set a timer for that task and focus on only that task
- Do nothing else until the timer is up
When you focus on one task at a time, you’re able to get more done because you’re not wasting time constantly moving between tasks.
Here’s an example
Let’s say it’s Tuesday. The things you need to get done for your business are as follows:
- Email new client a contract for new project
- Research an article that’s due in 10 days
- Write a blog post due on Saturday
- Pitch for new clients
- Send invoices to current clients
- Answer blog comments and engage on social media
- Call your mom
- Walk the dog
How time blocking works into your work day, give yourself a time limit for each task:
- Email new client – 30 minutes
- Send invoices to current clients – 40 minutes
- Pitch for new clients – 1 hour
- Research article due in 10 days – 30 min (for Tuesday and Wednesday)
- Write a blog post – 1 hour (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday)
- Answer comments and engage on social media – 40 minutes
- Walk the dog – 1 hour
- Call mom – 1 hour
That’s a total of 6 hours and 20 minutes.
But, you may not need a whole 30 minutes to invoice clients, answer comments, or pitch new clients. Especially if you have a system that cuts your time in half.
So you could conceivably get all of this done in less than 6 hours, yes?
The Rules of Time Blocking
- You need to use a timer and you’re allowed to only work that specific task during that time.
- Remove all distractions. This means turn off your phone, close out social media tabs (unless that’s your task), close out email, and close the office door (if you have other family members).
- When your time is up, stop working and take a break. If you need more time, come back to it after the break and repeat the process over again as many times as you need. Just remember, you’ve only got so many hours in a day, it’s okay to extend a project beyond a day if you need to.
You don’t have to feel stressed and overwhelmed with your freelancing work. Time blocking will make you a master of your time and your business. It’s how so many other successful freelancers and side-hustlers get shit done on a weekly basis.
Try it this week and share how it went.
Not new to time blocking? I want to hear how you make it work for your business.