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    Discussion in 'The Leisure Lounge' started by Oilytrunk, Jul 30, 2018.

    1. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      This freelancing is sometimes great but sometimes it’s a terror. So how do you guys usually do time management. When I take multiple projects at the same time. I always want to just work on the one I am already working at. It kinda feels like I will forget what I have done and what I need to do, if I stop working at it. Also sometimes it just keeps haunting me and I rush to finish things up.

      For example today I was travelling to Berlin for Christmas, but every single free moment I got I kept on working on my projects. And the problem is I don’t think I will wait for the end of Christmas to start working on them again and my friends and family are going to be very pissed about it.

      I just cannot do the time management thing properly.

      Also is it okay to not finish a job? because I took the job but I got really busy the two weeks because this is the only time I took over 3 projects at the same time. And I have an approaching deadline and I don’t know what to tell the client!! What would you guys do in this situation. Except for ‘look for a freelancer’. Because I don’t want to do that ☹
       
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    3. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      The most important thing is communication! If you can't do something then tell the client as early as possible. They might be pissed, but at least they can organise something as a replacement.
      If you wait another two weeks then tell them you haven't done anything then they're sure to be pissed!
      This is the biggest problem I've found with aspiring freelancers - not lack of actual ability, just poor communication!

      In terms of time management - I personally have a massive spreadsheet where I record all of my hours, and I try to work pretty standard hours on Monday to Friday, but often that spills over into the weekend too. It's really hard to get motivated sometimes though, especially when you have larger, longer-running projects.

      The great thing about freelancing is that you can be flexible though - I worked loads at the start of the month so hopefully I can take most of Christmas off to spend with my family... but it's easy to just slip back into work.
      I have family members who get a lot of paid holiday and it can be a frustrating if they say, 'You're always working!'
      I would love to work less but if I don't work then I don't get paid! Sometimes I'd kill just for a week of complete holiday, with zero commitments!
       
    4. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      The massive spread sheet that you keep, most probably its like a log book. What are the most important data columns there? What information do you store in it?

      I would like to start making one for myself too. I was wondering if there is anything more than hours worked, project name and description of work done that should be in the spread sheet.
       
    5. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      It's pretty simple really - just the date, the job name, the rate and the hours worked. Then it's set up to automatically calculate the totals and add it all up.

      I used to add project notes too but I tend to just write them in my diary now (once I spent literally hours looking for the best scheduling app/online solution... then decided that a paper diary was the best thing!)

      One thing that I find really helpful - I've set up the spreadsheet so that each month I write in my monthly target - $1000, or whatever it might be - then each day the spreadsheet tells me whether I'm above or below the target so far in the month.
      If I'm above it goes green, if I'm below it goes red. It's just a small thing but really helps me get motivated.

      It's also nice when you're halfway through a month and 90% of the way to your target :)
       
    6. MSHOfficial

      MSHOfficial Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      That’s so cool. Thanks for sharing the information. I am planning to do the same now. Hopefully it will keep me motivated too

      Do you always get the projects you want? Especially the long term ones! Or whatever you are looking for? Or you just settle for whatever is available ?
       
    7. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      It depends how skint I am! If I'm really quiet then I get a lot less picky about what I'll apply for... but if I'm in the lucky position of being busy then i only chose the ones that are interesting me to me.

      Although a few times I got invited to jobs that I didn't want to do so I gave them what I call a "f%*k off quote" - a really high quote just to make them say no to me. But occasionally people actually say yes to these! So you're working on a job that's not really interesting but you're getting paid five times your usual rate, so it's okay!
       
    8. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Hey, I just saw this on the news - it might help you! Basically a stranger watches you work and tells you off if you start getting distracted!

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-46624137

      Personally, I don't think this is for me! It is really useful to use a website blocking app though, such as 'Stay Focussed' for Chrome or 'Leechblock' for Firefox. This allows you to block certain websites (for me it's Facebook and Reddit) at certain times and really helps you to keep concentrating on working!
       
    9. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      I find that a long walk with my beloved dog first thing in the morning and last thing at night resets my work/life balance, clears my head and allows me to be fresh wehn I hit the ground running next day. This is an interesting read:-

      https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/313590

      I have also tried the 2.5 hour split work times. Work 2.5 hours, break for an hour, work 2.5 hours, break for an hour and work 2.5 hours, break for an hour. It worked well for me until I got too busy.
       
    10. john12

      john12 Well-Known Member EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Yeah, I find that going fora bike ride or a swim really clears mine - because there's no distraction from my phone. It's just actually making the time to fit those into your day!

      I find that 2.5 hours is too long for me, unless I'm really focussed in on one job. An hour is my usual limit before my mind starts to wander, but then I can have a shorter break.
      I'm actually quite looking forward to the end of the Christmas and New Year period so that I can get back into a somewhat normal routine!
       
    11. tmark938

      tmark938 Moderator EngineeringClicks Expert

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      Here are some interesting ideas about how to structure your working day, efficiency v time spent and relaxation time:-

      https://www.entrepreneur.com/search?q=working day#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=working day&gsc.page=1

      I have in the past tried the 2.5 hour segment day - working 2.5 hours, 1 hour break, working 2.5 hours, 1 hour break, and working 2.5 hours, 1 hour break. Did it work? It worked for a bit then slowly I fell back into my old ways. I think I will try this again in the New Year and make a bigger effort to stick to it - it was actually working, I felt refreshed and the volume of my output was up :)
       

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