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Five top tips to improve your productivity as a freelancer

10th June 2011
As a freelancer or business start-up maximising the productivity of your work is a critical process. By ensuring your clients receive the attention they pay for you will improve the potential for long term work and increase the chances of a satisfied client recommending your services to others.

There is no defined list for improving your productivity as a freelancer as, in reality, this is a never-ending task. But here are five top tips to keep firmly in mind when analysing and evaluating your work-in-progress.

Maintain your email inbox
Staying on top of your emails can prove a challenge particularly if you are snowed under with work from various clients. However, it is crucial that you maintain a functional email inbox that enables you to keep on top of both existing and new work, meeting key deadlines in the process. Most sophisticated email services include the option of creating folders to store email within numerous categories. This helps to keep your inbox clear and free from spam.

Set short, medium and long term goals
In order to meet deadlines for your clients it is recommended that you set short, medium and long term goals for improving the productivity of your work. By creating daily, weekly and even monthly to-do lists you can prioritise work and ensure you avoid any nasty last-minute surprises when a client comes calling for their work!

Track your time anywhere you go

Whether you’re a mobile freelancer with the ability to work from anywhere or if you’re located in a physical office, it is important to track your time. This enables you to bill clients effectively and measure the time taken to complete tasks so you can work out hourly rates and fees for future clients. Most of us are surprised when we look back and see how we have spent our time – it can be quite an eye-opener!

Don’t be afraid to outsource
There may be certain instances as a freelancer when it becomes cost-effective to outsource the work asked of you from a client. If you find yourself spending too much time on a particular task you may consider finding a fellow freelancer who can do it faster and cheaper, still earning you money and saving you time to spend on other important areas.

Avoid accepting every job offer

While the aim is to maintain a constant stream of income as a freelancer there will be some job offers from potential clients that simply don’t make a good fit with your specialisms. Whether it is a job offer not quite in your line of work or it simply doesn’t appear profitable enough, don’t be afraid to turn offers down and focus on more productive projects.
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