The life of a freelancer certainly isn’t easy. Many people are initially attracted to self-employment because it provides much greater freedom and allows them to become their own boss, but freelancing always involves huge amounts of hard work and a heightened sense of responsibility; with workers having to manage everything from their client base to their own tax returns.
This increased accountability means freelancers need to make sure they’re operating as productively as possible and making the most of their working hours. However, when you’re in charge of your own schedule and workload, the temptation to procrastinate can become almost overwhelming, particularly when you don’t have an angry boss breathing down your neck.
Fortunately, by following these simple tips from Brookson One, you can finally maximise your productivity and significantly increase your chances of becoming a successful freelancer.
Hire a Specialist Contractor Accountant
One of the scariest aspects of self-employment is the prospect of managing your own finances, particularly when you’re completely ignorant of modern tax legislation. In fact, the field of contractor accountancy can become so complicated, we recommend hiring a specialist accountant to take care of everything for you, since this will inevitably save you a great deal of time.
Freelancers need to keep on top of tax laws, important deadlines and chase client invoices, while also filling out and submitting relevant paperwork on time. When you’re also trying to juggle your workload and market your business, constantly worrying about your finances will always cause a significant distraction and hamper your productivity.
By hiring your own accountant, they’ll deal with all of the complicated paperwork and make sure you’re fully-compliant with the law; while some of the better ones will even advise you on how to maximise your profits and grow your business. Of course, this allows you to concentrate on other things and spend your time much more productively.
Create a Distraction-Free Workspace
A significant number of freelancers in the UK prefer to work from home. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this, your home is undoubtedly filled with all manner of tempting distractions; such as your television, games console or adorable pets. For every freelancer, the importance of separating your personal and professional lives cannot be underestimated.
You need to create a dedicated workspace which is completely free of these distractions, ideally shutting yourself away from your home comforts and forcing yourself to concentrate solely on work. Not only will this allow you to get more done and really make the most of the day, but it will also dramatically improve your focus on the task in-hand and potentially lead to much better results.
This idea actually works both ways. While some freelancers need to shut themselves away to remain focused, others need an isolated workspace to allow them to switch off outside of working hours.
A separate workspace is essential for this next step: remaining organised. As previously mentioned, freelancers typically have more (or at least different) responsibilities from normal everyday employees, and organisation is the key to keeping on top of all these important tasks.
Although it might sound incredibly simple, every freelancer should put a strict working schedule in place, which will reduce the risk of procrastination. When you’ve decided on set working hours, you can better prepare yourself for the day ahead and really make the most of this time, while it’s always important to set aside time for quick breaks and lunch.
But organisation isn’t all about time, and freelancing typically involves a great deal of planning and evaluation. Even something as simple as a quick to-do list can help you keep a handle on things, allowing you to focus on one task at a time instead of thinking about the countless jobs you’ve got to do that day.
When you’re more organised, free of distractions and have a comfortable office all set up, you’ve put the basics in place to become a successful freelancer.