How to stick to a regular schedule as a freelancer
- Live and die by your calendar
- Always schedule for “makeup” time
- Don’t feel guilty taking time to do what you love during “normal” office hours.
- Find your optimal time of day and your optimal work threshold (length)
- Don’t panic when things go wrong
Get ready for freelancing strategies, hacks and tactics to help you skyrocket your success.
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calm. You’re listening to freelancing school with your instructor Mike Volkin.
Oh yeah, it’s time for freelancers school. Thank you for joining me. I’m Mike Volkin. And today we’re going to be discussing a question that I got from a student’s freelancer, magic class student. And the question is, as someone who works from home as a freelancer, do you struggle to stick with a regular schedule? And I thought this was an interesting question, because I personally don’t but I did when I first got started. In fact, it was about five to six years into freelancing that I determined how to really make myself efficient. So let me show you some tips on how to stick to a regular schedule. The first tip is to live and die by your calendar. This is probably the most impact Tip I will give you today, if you don’t live and die by your calendar then you should definitely do. So now I’m not talking about put bathroom breaks in your account, you don’t have to be that adamant about it. And I’m not talking about those people who are going to dismiss this tip because they already use a calendar. I’m talking about making the calendar your guide to your day that is unbreakable. For example. on my calendar every day is meditation twice a day, for 10 to 15 minutes a day. Every day on my calendar is the gym every day. And if it’s not on my calendar, making me productive, it gets put on some kind of task list where I’ll take care of it in the evenings or the weekends. But my time during the week days, I live and die by the most productive tasks that I need to make the income that I want. Even on the weekends. It’s not so much productive tasks on the weekends, anything that I don’t see as being productive or making me money I throw into the weekends, but still even on the weekends I will live and die by my calendar. Okay. The second tip I have for you is always skip For makeup time every single day on my calendar I have a half an hour set aside for so I’ve heard some people call it oopsie time some people call it a fudge time I just call it makeup time this is time that you didn’t anticipate would happen I’m a client call ran long. You did work improperly in your client asked you to do it again. This just happened yesterday I had an issue with a client accounts got hacked one of their Amazon accounts so they had to bring me and some other staff members aboard to try to do some damage mitigation control. Okay, so there are unexpected things like that that will creep into your day that you need to schedule for it’ll throw off the rest of your day. So at least a half an hour, I would suggest. Another tip I have for sticking to a regular schedule is is to not feel guilty taking time to do what you love during normal office hours. So that’s the reason why you’re a freelancer because of freedom. Okay, I used to feel super guilty going to play golf or you know, I’m in You listen to me, I’m a competitive tennis player. So I play almost every day, okay, I’m either practicing or I have a match. And I used to feel really guilty if it was like 10am and I’m practicing tennis when everybody else is in their khakis and colored shirts or even worse, their suits on 100 hundred degree days sitting in a cubicle answering phones, I mean, everybody has a choice and how they want to structure the structure their life, and it’s no excuse if you need to get dressed up in a suit every day and answer phones in a in a cubicle. It’s there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you like to do, but I don’t want to hear you complain about it. I had a chef the other day complained to me that well, I have to sit in a kitchen all day or stand in the kitchen all day. It’s 150 degrees in there and like what did you choose that occupation? Well, yeah, okay, well, don’t complain about it. I mean, the point here is, don’t feel guilty because you’re a freelancer and you have the freedom to do what you want. If you want to go out for a jog in the middle of the day. If you want to go play tennis or golf or go bowling, do whatever your passion is for life. You structured your life around it. My God reap the benefits of being a freelancer, okay, you don’t have to sit in a home office all day when it’s beautiful outside, I structure my day. So I get some hours done some work hours done in the evening. Okay? So don’t feel guilty. Find your optimal time of day and your optimal work threshold is another tip. So optimal time of day. I know I’m an early bird type of guy, right? So you’ve heard me mentioned this before, if you follow me, I talked about how I usually wake up somewhere between 430 and 630. So by the time it’s 930, and 10, and so people are just getting to the office and drinking their coffee. I’m thinking about lunch at that point, pretty much so that’s what I know my day is optimal. I can just wake up I crank out some work. The clients, prospect calls aren’t happening yet. It’s too early for them, even on the East Coast, and I’m on the on the west coast. So I am an early bird type of person. That’s when my brain functions optimally. And it’s interesting. You know, everybody’s different on this. So I want you to if you don’t know what it is, think about when You did your most productive work today and log it down on a piece of paper on the side of your computer. Don’t do it digitally or you’ll lose it and then do that for the next week and you probably see a pattern going Okay, you know what between two and 6pm is when I’m really cranking out some work. Alright, so that’s the time you want to set aside in your calendar because now you live and die by your calendar is to crank out client work because you can keep your head down and just just work. Okay? So find your optimal time of day and I also mentioned your optimal work threshold which is your length. I am personally not designed with my add not designed to work an eight to five I just cannot do it. I have lapses in concentration. The way I work is I’m very intense for about an hour and a half to two hours at a time and then I like to take a break. I go for a quick jog. I take my dog for a walk or throw a frisbee whether take my daughter somewhere or whatever the case, but I know that in order for me to be productive, I can go hard for about an hour and a half or two hours and then I cut it off okay. It is actually way more more productive to do something like that, than to try to stretch out an eight or nine hour work day consistently, trying to keep your head down and do work, you’re going to hate your life and your brain and your stress and your body just won’t be able to, to handle it long term like that. And you start to resent your life, your job and everyone around, you can feel the effects of that. So you really want to hang back on that and really think about your work threshold. And the way you can do that is to the same exercise is figuring out your optimal work time, is just think about how long you just had a good bout of concentration for you could just say, Oh, I just worked really hard for like 45 minutes, I didn’t check my email. My phone didn’t ring. I just got three pages as a blog done or whatever the case and just start noting what patterns emerge. Okay. And the last tip I have for you in order to determine how to stick to a regular schedule as a freelancer, it’s a don’t panic when things go wrong. You know, sometimes you just get off schedule, it just happens and if you live and die by your calendar, and it’s 2pm and you have to Three things that are flagging, you’re behind on two calls and you know what, it’s not the end of the world. You’re a freelancer so you have the ability to a 24 hour work day, you know, on some cases, people get sent home at 5pm and, and they just don’t have access to the same tools that they need to be productive, you know, other their software is at work or whatever tools they need to make calls or be productive is is at work. So you as a freelancer can always make up time. That’s why I suggested earlier to schedule a what’s called a makeup time, fudge time, oopsie time whatever you want to call it, okay, so don’t panic. as a freelancer, you have way more flexibility to make up for lost time than you would as a salaried employee worker somewhere. So I hope these tips help Have a great day.
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