People view freelancing as an easy job. To be honest, it is just like any other office job. In fact, it might be harder. There are very strict deadlines to meet, clients that need work done quickly and even complicated projects.
Your entire career depends on meeting deadlines. Once a deadline is missed, you can end with a bad review, lost money and tarnished reputation. This shows how important time management is.
Time tracking is essential for freelancers to boost their income. By tracking time productivity is increased manifold. It helps identify sinks in time. Also, it allows you to recognize time-consuming tasks that are generally underestimated.
Some tasks seem trivial, we think we can do them in 10 minutes and end up spending a major chunk of time on them. This is a miscalculation or wrong time management.
Once you have accurate information about how your time is being spent you can make a schedule. Freelance time tracking allows you to make a to-do list and see what time is the most productive for you. This allows you to make better time estimates.
The best thing is that technological advancements make it easy for people to track time. Not only this, but freelancers can also boost their income with it.
To track time better, the following are 11 practices that you can follow to boost your income.
11 Freelance Time Tracking Best Practices to Boost Your Income
Set Fixed Work Times
The beauty of freelancing is that you don’t need to have a fixed time for it. But, this can end up being a problem too. You have to set a fixed time of day for working. It can be any time of the day, but once you have set it, follow it. This allows you to manage the billable hours.
Another advantage having a set time provides is that people around will not disturb you. They know this is your work time. This will reduce distractions while you are working and increase productivity. Have a peaceful place where you can work away from daily distractions.
You can use a browser extension to track time or even keep an alarm clock nearby so you don’t lose focus while working.
Make a To-Do List Daily
It is important to know which tasks are scheduled for the day. Break them down into smaller units. Generally, sitting down for 6 hours straight a day can get difficult. Making a to-do list breaks down tasks into smaller parts and makes them manageable.
Some people prefer automated lists. There are many tools on the market for this. Others prefer to write things down. It gives it a personal touch. Write them down on sticky notes and paste them on the side of the computer where they are visible.
Be Reasonable with Deadlines
The thought of doing a big project in one go is inviting. It pays you better and you can grab more projects. But, don’t set unreasonable deadlines just to have the feeling that you can do more in less time. It is not practical and you can end up ruining your entire schedule.
Time Tracking Apps
Time tracking seems cumbersome to some people. Writing down deadlines, seeing if you meet them or not, making and updating new ones etc are time-consuming in themselves. Don’t worry! There are many applications available that help you in tracking time.
One such example is Timesheet. It allows you to track time and helps optimize your workload. The best thing about it is that it is very user-friendly and can be used by organizations and individuals alike.
There are some obvious distractions like watching TV or scrolling on the mobile. Some other distractions don’t seem like one. For instance, we think checking emails is important but checking them 50 times a day is not. Fix a time for checking emails. Three times a day is enough. Respond to important emails only. For the rest, assign reminders to tend to them later. In apps like Timesheet, you can add slots for checking emails.
Have Proper Invoices
Have you ever wondered what to do with all the data you have collected by tracking time? It can be beneficial when you have software that keeps a track of all the invoices. Know the best way to do it? Go for a time tracking app that does it on your part. You don’t need separate software for it.
Timesheet allows you to automate invoice management. Now, you don’t need to get in the hassle of managing the time tracked. The app will transform your tracked time into revenue. The process is automated and there is an option of customization.
Keep a Round Figure
A misconception while time tracking is that you need to keep a track of every minute and every second. This is not the case. Even hours are not that important. The wider picture can be seen through days and weeks.
Track Billable Time
Just tracking time is not important. Yes, having a to-do list and logging in whatever you do all day long allows you to be more organized and have an idea of where you are spending time. It also allows you to be more productive and see what time of the day you are most productive.
The trick is to track billable hours in your Timesheet. As in freelancing an hour worked is an hour paid.
S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound goals. Once you get a project, break it down into smaller portions. Attempting it in one go can slow you down. Again, making sure that you have a metric to measure them is important. Here come apps like Timesheet.
Managing your day is not easy. There are a hundred things to do. For this, use reminders. Reminders help you keep track of your time.
Integrate Different Apps
To increase productivity and boost your income, go for apps that can be integrated. For instance, Timesheet can be integrated with different services like Zapier, Chrome and QuickBooks Integration.
This makes Freelance time tracking very easy and doable. For example, with QuickBooks Integration, all your data is synced online in whichever one you select: Timesheet or QuickBooks. This makes accurate invoice generation and payments easier.
Freelance time tracking is a serious aspect of freelancing. Most freelancers don’t think much about it. They argue that keeping a journal for tracking time and making to-do lists is a waste of time. This is not the case. This article highlights how important freelance time tracking is and how to do it.
To take control of time and gain clarity of how you are spending time. By doing this you can not only save time but also increase your income. The best thing about it is that it has a 30-day free trial and does not require any credit card requirements. This gives you time to see avail the benefits it offers and get familiar with it.
So, if you are thinking of making it big in the freelance world, follow these 11 tips to track time efficiently. Once you get track of time, you can also bill the clients effectively. They can also have a look at how many hours you have worked and pay you accordingly.