How to Budget Time as a Freelancer

The era when jobs were more secure and sedentary is long behind us. Our fathers and grandfathers spent the better part of their lives sticking to the 9-5 shift. And they could look forward to superannuation benefits and post retirement income.

But nowadays, although the earnings have more than quadrupled in almost all or any job position, it comes with the rider of uncertainty.

As new job opportunities have been created in all sectors of trade and commerce, the commercial and industrial landscapes all over the world have undergone evolutionary and revolutionary changes that have made many openings and job designations insecure.

And the insecurity and uncertainty issues that are mostly tied with your month to month earnings, goes up manifold if you’re working as a fulltime or a part-time freelancer.

These days, more and more men and women are taking up part time freelancing positions to supplement their monthly earnings.

You’d find many individuals working as part time content writers, bloggers, virtual assistants, desktop publishers, bookkeeping accountants, web designers, online tutors, resume drafters and editors, and online social automation marketers.

And the tribe of freelancers in the eponymous positions are growing by the day. Many go on to graduate from a temporary position to become a fulltime freelancer.

One overriding similarity for all freelance or ad-hoc positions mentioned above is fluctuating or erratic incomes. Irrespective of whether you work as a blogger or a virtual assistant, you cannot vouchsafe a steady payback at the end of every month.

There’ll be occasions where you may end up earning $30,000 in one month and less than $10,000 in the next month. More or less, all freelancers have to put up with the inconvenience where there is a certain degree or level of ‘oscillation’ in gross monthly income.

Fluctuating or wavering earnings has been and still is the overarching hallmark of all freelance jobs and positions are contractual in nature with a commission based payment system.

You’re only paid for the work that you do and payment is only sanctioned after your submissions have been approved.

When you’re starting up, you’d be tempted to put in as many hours as possible to make sure that you have a substantial amount at the end of the month.

You’ll also find it excruciatingly difficult to manage your entire working day in an efficient manner.

So, as a freelancer, you’d be caught between the two extremes of maximizing your earnings and managing your time effectively. You’ll be in splits while trying to find an equitable and harmonious balance between your working life and private life.

You’d often find yourself asking that million dollar question that haunts freelancers and self-employed individuals alike:-‘How to Budget Time as a Freelancer?’

If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our other articles on Important First Steps for New Freelancers, The Tradeoffs of a Freelancing Career, Micro Blogging For Free Lancers and Steps To Freelancing.

Time Management

Time Management
Source

Time management would be the single most crucial issue that you’d need to factor in when working as a freelancer either part time or fulltime. Nobody can dispute the fact that time is of essence when working in a freelance position.

On one hand, you’d have to devote enough time to your work so that you don’t default on your fixed payments in the beginning of every month, and on the other hand you’d have to find time for fulfilling your familial obligations.

You’d also have to see to it that you keep aside two to three hours for relaxation and unwinding or else you’ll be coasting towards the burnout route.

Working nonstop can lead to fatigue and exhaustion and can physically and mentally drain you out which can be damaging.

There’s another sound and practical reason why you should be taking a break more often if you can help it. Most of us are acquainted with the fact as a freelance writer, web designer or a desktop publisher you’d need to be at your creative best.

You’d have to churn out contents, assignments, and specimens day in and day out that’ll be of a trademark quality and differentiate you from the crowd.

To sustain your creativity, you’d need a free flow of ideas on a regular basis. But there will be ‘patches’ in your work as a freelancer when you’d feel that you’re running out of ideas.

You’ll be often caught off guard with such patches when you’ll be overwhelmed by feelings of ‘running out of steam’. If the blockage persists, the quality of your work will take a beating and you’ll gradually lose interest in your area of specialization.

Taking time off once in a while will help you to rejuvenate yourself thoroughly so that you can come back with renewed zeal and enthusiasm.

You’d have to find ways so that you can budget your time as a freelancer. You’d have to go through several ‘trial and error phases’ before you can have a time-schedule that syncs with your lifestyle.

Evaluate And Reassess Your Work First

Evaluate And Reassess Your Work First
Source

Before you can start planning on budgeting your time so as to expend it in the most optimal manner possible, you should first evaluate how you wish to spend it in the first place.

Having a concrete idea of what you can most efficiently do throughout your working day, will form the cornerstone for scheduling your time as a freelancer.

Periodic Reviews

Periodic Reviews
Source

If you make a periodic review or analysis of what you did in the last half an hour will help you keep a track on what you have been upto on any given day.

To be a little more elaborate, if you jot on a piece of paper on a point wise basis, your doings every half or one hour, for at least five days, you’ll gain an insight into the pattern of your activities.

That is to say, you’d get an all-round perspective of what you’re most likely to do with the captive time available to you any specific day.

This knowledge will help you to separate the grain from the chaff i.e. weed out the activity areas that is eating into your quality time.

This assessment will help you to cut down time spent in front of the TV, gossiping with family, friends, and chatting on your Facebook profile.

Summing It Up

Summing It Up
Source

You don’t have to keep on maintaining an activity roster for every half an hour throughout. Just keeping it for the first two or three months will suffice.

Once you have a crystal clear conception of how you can use your available time in the most fruitful manner possible, you’ll surely would have found the answer to that million dollar question:-‘How to Budget Time as a Freelancer?’

Sharing is Caring
  • Bhring Nath Prasad

    Time management is very much important for almost every thing.

  • http://www.tricksmate.com Lavi

    For those who are in freelancing field, the primary factor to be considered is skills and the next is time management. These are very vital for every professional freelancer to sustain.

  • Jai

    The key factor in everything you do is tie management. You can’t do things at the right time if your lacking time management. ^^

  • https://www.facebook.com/nikhil.sharma.982845 Nikhil Sharma

    Thank you for the tips. I have learned something in this post and hope to apply these in the future.

  • Kamal

    Ya i agree your Points,Time management is major factor to lead in your life,all this points very useful to budgeting my time.

  • Marie

    These are very true steps on hoe to budget your time as a freelancer. Actually time management is very important. Your success will be measured through how you managed your time properly. ^^

  • http://www.blogosoft.com Tarun Jaitely

    It is always hard to budget time for a freelancer.
    Thanks for sharing the tips.

  • http://www.motocms.com/ Sandra Smith

    For freelancer it is already a battle with time. We have to rush all the time to get the project delivered within the deadline. It is a demanding profession but the rewards are also great.

    • Tarun Jaitely

      Yes Sandra you are right. There is always a battle between a freelancer and time.

  • Ben Stuart

    This is a top idea for a article. When you don’t have a boss like other jobs to tell you what your time keeping needs to be, but as a freelancer gets to decide their time management, so the idea of time management is certainly something to take into consideration.

    • Marie

      I agree with you Ben. Time management is certainly something to take consideration with. Without time management, your role as a freelancer will be broken and would not function well. ^^

  • http://www.ewebbuddy.com Piyush Agarwal

    I think such posts helps freelancers self analyze and also take corrective measures from time to time. Time management is crucial for any freelancer.

  • Kuldeep

    Great Tips. I am just starting my freelancing career, Hope it will help me. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://hitechfreaks.com Jasmine

    Hey Nisha,
    Yes, time is the most valuable asset for Freelancers. As Time is money for them! They have to work faster to get their job done on time. So, time management is very important to get success in this career.
    Thanks for sharing such a useful post!