Self-organization and time-management skills speed up tasks and affect productivity. Without them, it is difficult to imagine, in particular, the work of freelancers who maneuver from one deadline to another. In this article, Steve O’Neil, a cheap paper writer, advises how to organize your work with the help of structuring the work processes and systematization of everyday life.
1. How to structure work processes
Seek regular clients and develop your professional relationships
It’s hard to be in constant search and balancing from one new client to another. It always takes time to “feel” the customer and fully understand his requests. Clockify statistics show that at least 30% of freelancers in various fields spend 3-6 hours a week looking for a new project. This time can be saved by having a well-established network of regular customers.
Adherence to deadlines, a responsible attitude to the work, and its conscientious performance encourage customers to return to freelancers. It is also worth remembering that long-term cooperation should be rewarded. Consider a loyalty program for regular customers, in which they will receive a benefit. For example, one text in the copywriter will be cheaper if you order several at once. And designers or programmers can provide a nice discount on every fourth-order and the like.
2. Make a status at the beginning and at the end of the day
Morning statuses discipline and focus on the most important tasks. And the evening – help you keep track of how you’ve distributed the load of the day, how much work you’ve had time to do, and what is worth doing tomorrow immediately after the evening statuses write out your goals and objectives for the next day. And always fix a “stop hour” – the time after which you no longer work, and do yourself and rest. If you don’t have such a stopper, your work will drag on until the late afternoon.
3. Set your long-term goals.
It’s easier to move forward when you have benchmarks. And it shouldn’t just be a goal to “finish the current project,” but a full-fledged map of professional growth. To make it, you need to honestly answer a few questions.
Are professional skills needed in your field?
Analyze which professionals clients pay attention to more often. What makes these freelancers so special? What can they do that you can’t? Write down all the skills on paper: from hard to soft skills.
What are my strengths and weaknesses?
It’s hard to assess yourself objectively. Think back to recent feedback you’ve received from customers. Perhaps they noted cool communication but were a little unhappy with the speed of execution? By analyzing all the feedback, you’ll get an objective map of your professional pros and cons.
Where do I want to go next?
The answers to the previous two questions help you make a specific list of qualities and skills you need to work on. Where do you want to apply those skills next? Analyze your professional prospects. For example, a copywriter who has mastered SEO can become a more in-demand specialist.
4. How to systematize your working life
Organize your workplace
A trivial but golden rule is to keep your workspace clean. Among the clutter, it’s harder to find an important note or a laptop charger. Spending an hour or more searching for minutes in a day can add up to an hour, if not more. Also, provide yourself with a source of daylight near your workspace. A Future Workplace study found that 43% of workers feel more tired if they don’t have access to natural light.
5. Take control of your finances
According to our research, freelancers spend up to 8:00 a week on unpaid administrative work, the lion’s share of which is accounting. You can use spreadsheets or apps on your smartphone to organize your finances. The latter has all the tools you need to do a qualitative comparative analysis of your accounting – horizontal and vertical:
The horizontal analysis consists of comparing expense items from the current report with the previous one – so you can find absolute and relative changes in it;
Vertical analysis is conducted when you want to see the impact of each cost item on the overall result for a certain period of time.
With the first method, you can see, for example, that the summer period is less active than the spring period. And the second method will help you see what you are spending more money on so that you can optimize those expenditures in the future.
6. Adjust your working day to your biorhythms
It is important to hear and understand your body and brain: in what hours they are the most and in what hours they are not. Scientists conducted a study among people with different biorhythms, in which they offered them to perform attention tests. Quite expectedly, “larks” showed the best results in the morning, and “owls” – in the evening.
Analyze how your performance depends on your biorhythms. If you feel better when you fall asleep earlier, the best option for you would be to go to bed at 11:30 p.m. and get up around 7 a.m. If, on the contrary, your productivity increases in the evening, then you’re better off actively working until 1 or 2 a.m. and sleeping until 11 a.m.
Self-organization is always a complex endeavor. At first, it will seem to you that you spend a lot of time on management routines, but this is a game in perspective. If all work processes are debugged and automated, and plans for the day and the next six months are clearly fixed, then you will complete work tasks quickly and painlessly.