Working for yourself isn’t easy. It takes a plan, perseverance and time management skills to make it all happen. You need to focus on real results, which is what makes time management essential. Follow these tips to be successful in your freelance career.

  1. Make a Schedule

You need to make yourself a realistic schedule, and follow it. A realistic schedule takes into account all that you need to do for the day. You might be tempted to knock out a ton of tasks, but you have to understand that things can take longer than you initially planned. Unexpected problems can pop up. Even if you’re tempted to fill your entire day with work, you need to maintain a balanced life that allows for relaxation, time with family, time for yourself, your health and other matters. Failure to remain balanced will create problems that will spill over into your work.

  1. Get Rid of Distractions

You’re going to have some people who tell you that because you’re home, you should be able to do “x, y and z.” Don’t listen to them. You need to adhere to your schedule, which means you’re not available if you decide that you have something else to do. You need to take into account all other sources of distractions. If noise is a factor from kids outside, loud music or other noises, invest in some ear plugs or ear buds. Play instrumental music to help block out other noise. Find one or two private workspaces that are both comfortable and that can help you to zero-in on your tasks. Time is precious, and you need to be all about business.

  1. This Is a Real Job!

You’re going to come across people who will tell you that what you’re doing isn’t a “real job”. People who are self-employed have demands most people never experience when they work a standard nine-to-five, so don’t let this deter you from your dream. If you are persistent and have a “watch me do this” attitude, you have what it takes to be self-employed. You need to treat this like a real job because it is. This means you have to have the attitude that your time matters. You need to create deadlines and adhere to them.

  1. Take Breaks at Regular Intervals

To stay productive, you can’t allow yourself to become burned out. It’s really easy to fall into this trap, so make yourself take breaks. Also, your brain doesn’t enjoy being overloaded with superfluous information. A popular technique that many professionals use is the “Pomodoro Technique”. It doesn’t have anything to do with tomatoes, unless you’re a caterer. The Pomodoro Technique is a method of breaking up four tasks into 25-minute bits with five minutes of break time in between. You can take a walk, watch a funny video or whatever else you desire during your break time, but make sure you really take a break.

  1. Rewards

After you do a task or two, give yourself a reward. Your reward can be anything you want. If you use the Pomodoro Technique, your reward may come at the end of four hours of work. You might wish to take a nap or watch two of your favorite shows. Taking a dip in the pool is a fun way to give yourself the break you need while getting in beneficial exercise. Swimming pool loans can help get the pool you want to get. Be sure to follow through with your reward, and make sure to earn your reward. Don’t give half effort for the time you’re supposed to work, and don’t shortchange yourself on your reward. You need to honor what you have decided to do.

You’ll receive what you put into your business, so you need to focus on results. You can’t wait around for everything to happen “one day”. Today is the day to make it happen. Follow through.

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