If you’re like most of the freelance developers out there, you probably chose this career path in part for the freedom it promised. Maybe you were being overworked and underpaid at your previous job and saw this as a way to solve both of those issues. What many people fail to realise, though, is that, while working as a freelance developer, it is incredibly easy to overwork yourself and waste valuable time. If you feel that your time management skills aren’t up to date, and working as a freelance developer has taken over your life completely, here are some of our tips that should allow you to regain control over:

Focus – Quite frankly put, most of the freelance developers we’ve talked to find it difficult, if not impossible, to actually multitask efficiently. The general result from multitasking seems to be doing a lot of things at the same time, yet not doing any of them at the right standard and thus having to re-do them and waste even more time and energy. So, if you’re looking to improve your time management skills as a freelance developer, consider simply prioritizing one task at a time.

Avoid distractions – It’s so easy to lose a big chunk of your day to well-known productivity killers such as Twitter, Facebook, and their siblings. If you find yourself guilty of randomly wasting half an hour mindlessly scrolling through your feed or checking emails that aren’t really work related anyway, then make it a rule to limit the amount of time you’re allowed to spend on these activities during your working hours. This will allow you to better manage your time as a freelance developer by increasing your productivity.

Take breaks the smart way – If you ever feel like today is a bay day for science and you’re finding it difficult to focus on the tasks at hand, don’t be afraid to take some breaks. But, if you’re working as a freelance developer and wish to maximise your time efficiency, do this the smart way. Try working in short, concentrated bursts of time. Set yourself a goal, say 35 minutes of non-stop working, without any distractions, then rewards yourself with a 5 or 10 minute break.

Remember that freelancing is just a job – What often leads to having no free time to spend with your friends and family is simply taking on too much work and being a bit too flexible with your schedule. When working as a freelance developer, you don’t always have to take on all the projects that would require you to work outside of your normal business hours. Learn to say ‘no’ once in a while and have a life outside of your job. It will keep you happier in the long run.

Having said all of this, we know that managing your time as a freelance developer can at times prove to be challenging. However, if you try and apply some of these ideas to your own freelancing career, you should find yourself being more efficient and more free to go see that play you’ve been dying to see with your friends for ages.

This story was originally published here: http://thisqa.com/blog/how-to-manage-your-time-better-as-a-freelancer

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