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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  Planning and Managing Your Online Freelancing Business
      >  What You’ll Need for Successful Online Freelancing

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Your Freelancing Castle - A Comfortable Office or Workspace
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Time - The Most Important Resource
(Page 3 of 4)

Taking Control of Your Work Time

Once you decide to devote certain hours of the day to work, make sure you actually use them for work. It’s very easy to get distracted and end up frittering away your work time; at the end of the day, you find wondering where the time went and why you didn’t get anything done. Been there, done that. :)

Here’s a few specific tips:

  • Eliminate Obvious Distractions: If there’s something in your office or workspace that you know will distract you, put it somewhere else.

  • Manage and Prioritize Communications: Modern life features many convenient ways to communicate—perhaps too convenient. Remember that you own your phone and your email account, not the other way around. There are few interruptions that really and truly must be dealt with immediately—to whatever extent possible, save the ones that can be saved and handle them during times when you aren’t trying to concentrate.

  • Work is Work and Play is Play: Many freelancers find that they are tempted to spend time on leisure activities when they should be working; this is part of the same self-discipline issue we discussed before. It’s fine—even healthy—to take breaks while working to unwind or have fun before returning to the task at hand. But take such breaks deliberately, and make sure they aren’t very long compared to time spent actually at work.

  • Beware the Temptation of the Internet: The Internet is the source of your work as an online freelancer, but can also be a massive time sink if not managed carefully. Watch out for those five-minute browsing breaks that turn into a half-hour. I’ve actually at times disconnected my Internet for an hour at a time to force myself to work. This not only prevents one from acting on distracted impulses, it tends to reduce them as well. It’s as if the act of disconnecting the ‘net sends a subconscious message to the brain that it’s time to get the job done, not to think about what’s happening on your favorite Web sites.

Another essential tactic for getting work done is to be very cautious about giving clients access to your instant messaging IDs or phone numbers. We’ll discuss this more in the chapter on managing freelance projects and clients.

Finally, you should expect that your workload will vary over time: it’s possible to swing from having many active projects to very few very quickly. As a freelancer you simply have to learn to deal with this challenge.


Previous Topic/Section
What You’ll Need for Successful Online Freelancing
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12
3
4
Next Page
Your Freelancing Castle - A Comfortable Office or Workspace
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Last Site Update: February 1, 2012

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