Presentation on theme: "PRESENTED BY CORINNE MCKAY, CT CTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE: MAY 4, 2013 Time Management for Freelancers."— Presentation transcript:
PRESENTED BY CORINNE MCKAY, CT CORINNE@TRANSLATEWRITE.COM CTA ANNUAL CONFERENCE: MAY 4, 2013 Time Management for Freelancers
TO HELP YOU DETERMINE HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME NOT TO TELL YOU HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME The Goal!
BECAUSE EVERYONE’S CHALLENGES ARE DIFFERENT: AVAILABLE AMOUNT OF TIME RESPONSIBILITIES OUTSIDE WORK PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FINANCIAL NEEDS CLIENT NEEDS PERSONALITY/PREFERENCES Why?
Some basic truths: Time management isn’t just about time. It’s about managing mindset, physical space and priorities. Many tasks expand to fill the available time. The Internet will take as much time as you give it. More hours in the chair does not necessarily mean more productivity You need to have a specific goal in order to improve your time management.
TIME MANAGEMENT SURVEY RESULTS TOP TIPS FOR REGAINING CONTROL WHAT A PRODUCTIVE SPACE LOOKS LIKE MAKING A PLAN! We’ll cover:
What’s the problem? It’s not just you! “Always on” business environment Clients in different time zones Work creeps into home life, home creeps into work Too much to check: e-mail, multiple phones, texts, IM, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blog… Fear: not having enough work, not making enough money, losing a client, not being available when an important message arrives. Passion for work (not a bad thing!)
Most common time management challenges: Procrastinating (64%) Easily distracted (56%) Can’t say no (44%) Lots of responsibilities outside work (42%)
Repercussions of poor time management: Working late at night or early in the morning (72%) Not enough time for non-work interests (64%) Feeling stressed about work/life balance (63%) Feeling stressed about work (51%) Finishing projects at the last minute (50%)
Goals of better time management: Feel less stressed about work (61%) Pursue non-work interests (57%) Feel less stressed about work/life balance (54%) Earn more money (52%) Get more done (50%)
Already tried: Using a to-do list (66%) Prioritizing tasks (54%) Stress reduction (exercise, meditation, etc.) (44%) Breaking work into blocks of time (44%) Doing “must dos” before “want to dos” (42%) Thinking about work during down time (42%)
Taming your e-mail Read the “Inbox Zero” series on 43folders.com Respond immediately whenever possible Use e-mail templates for common responses Mercilessly unsubscribe, filter and batch Maybe check e-mail less often (try once an hour) Send fewer and shorter e-mails (a good idea anyway) Fear not the delete button; especially when the message is a request for your time Answer e-mail when other people are not online, so that the inbox doesn’t refill faster than you empty it
Taming communications in general Steer clients and colleagues toward e-mail: avoid phone/IM/text if at all possible (interruptions/hard to archive) Realistically assess whether a mobile device helps or hurts (the “half on” phenomenon) Don’t be afraid to put a time limit on phone calls (“I’ve got about 5 minutes, or feel free to shoot me an e-mail”)
Avoiding procrastination Actively seek out work that you enjoy; don’t just take what lands in the inbox Keep an “as time allows” list in front of your face Earmark “mindless entertainment” time When you are no longer productive, stop working Consider outsourcing tasks you hate Consider blocking time-sucking websites Force yourself to do unpleasant tasks first; just get it over with
Focusing When a task pops into your head, don’t do it: write it down Set very short-term goals: make it a good hour, not a good year Keep your work space as distraction-free as possible Set a timer for 55 minutes, then do something physical for 5 minutes, then repeat Don’t be afraid to get radical: rent an office outside the house, put up a Do Not Disturb sign, don’t answer the door or the phone, etc.
Managing non-work responsibilities The rule of 1 (1 hour a day; 1 responsibility per association, school, etc.) Don’t feel powerless: who said yes? Take at least one computer-free vacation per year Don’t be a 150%’er about everything; pick something to be mediocre at Set personal priorities just as you do work priorities Get more efficient about household tasks When you feel overwhelmed, say no to all new requests for your time for a week (month, etc.)
Designing a workspace where you can actually work
IDENTIFY A GOAL IDENTIFY THE CURRENT OBSTACLES IDENTIFY A PATH TO THE GOAL Making your plan
Identify a very specific goal “At least 3 days a week, I would like to stop working at 5:00 and not think about work until the next morning.” “I would like to work 10 fewer hours per week and earn the same amount of money.” “I would like to be completely offline from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon.” “I would like to exercise an hour a day without working overtime to make up for it.”
Identify the current obstacles “I work in the evenings because I waste too much time during the day.” “I can’t take a real vacation because I don’t have enough savings.” “I’m afraid to leave my desk for a minute because a client might call or e-mail.” “I procrastinate because I don’t look forward to my work”
Identify some potential paths around the obstacle Give yourself 15 minutes on social media, then close/block those sites Have a reward waiting: an evening off, money to spend on whatever you want, etc. Create a completely dedicated workspace: like an insomniac’s bed! Avoid excuses, blaming and regret: they are wasted emotions Borrow from other sources: sports, authors you admire, etc.