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The life of a freelancer has its pros and cons. The obvious advantages are the same that typically come with a self-employed career. Flexible work hours, open opportunity, and most of all creativity. In my opinion the advantage of working alone also has its faults. Without anyone to keep you on track like coworkers or your boss it’s often difficult to stay focused. Luckily for you there are plenty of freelance strategies that have been proven to keep you on track.

Here are four freelance strategies you should use to stay productive:

Create (And Follow) Daily Schedules

Time management is something that even the most successful people struggle with today. In fact, managing schedules is a full-time position for many. Hence why the majority of business executives have an assistant or secretary.

If you’re a freelancer you’ll likely need to manage your own schedule. That said it’s extremely important to be disciplined around this. It’s common to view a schedule as unnecessary in a one-man operation. This is simply not true.

As you prepare your schedule you need to determine your daily working hours. A typical workday is around nine hours. As a freelancer you should determine which nine hours of the day you’ll dedicate to work. Then, make sure your schedule adheres to that time slot.

Group Work Types Into Time Blocks

As a freelancer it’s common to engage with multiple clients at once with tons of crossover with types of work. Whether it’s blogging, web design, or social media management you should organize tasks by the type work rather than the client. Once grouped you should use a time blocking strategy to complete each task.

For example, you can block out three hours to finish all blogging, two for social media posts, and two for web design. Instead of going client by client you should focus on the type of work needed to be done. This way you train your brain to stay focused on a single task rather than doing all three at once.

Always Finish The Most Difficult Tasks First

As we begin our workday we typically like to finish the trivial tasks first since they require the least amount of effort. If you want to maximize efficiency you need to do the opposite.

When you start the workday check your calendar and take a look at what needs to be finished. Especially early in the day you should aim to tackle your most difficult tasks first. If you save these items for the back half of the workday you’ll actually spend more time finishing them. Naturally we’re more energized earlier in the day so make sure you hit the ground running with the hardest tasks every day.

Automate Your Finances

When it comes to freelancing you’re in charge of every aspect of your business. The one that typically gets forgotten is your finances. Freelancers often overlook the time it takes to run and manage client billing. On top of that it can be frustrating when you spend hours invoicing clients and chasing down payments when you should be focusing on scaling your operation.

The best strategy is to use an online payments solution that offers online invoicing and expense management. That way you can create a way to seamlessly bill customers and collect payments. With all your accounting kept online you’ll be able to easily track and manage every single payment that comes in and out of your business.

Final Thoughts

Freelancing is a tough line of work. Most of all it’s tough to stay productive when it’s a one-man army. That said make sure you use the four freelance strategies listed above so you can stay on track at work!