Double Time: How to Ethically Double Freelance Work Hours4 min read
When freelancers make a wish on their birthday candles, 99% of the time they wish for “MORE TIME.” If you’re focusing on the facts behind that statement, stop doing that. Instead, focus on how when you’re a freelancer, your best friend is time management. Once you’ve learned how to efficiently manage your time, you could (ethically) sell your time twice and get away with it. This is what we in this biz like to call “double dipping”.
Make Your Workspace Work For You
Ever sit down to work and two hours later you’ve cleaned your whole apartment but haven’t started on the project? That procrastination could be a symptom of having an inefficient workspace. Some people work wonders in their homes while others need a completely separate space to get the job done. Find the surroundings you need to work efficiently and make sure it’s ready to go before you’re on the clock. If you are working on-site for a client, well than that’s a different story…see below.
Nothing zaps the time away like working on-site at a client’s office. Your client having access to you at all times can lead to a number of distractions, not to mention being pulled into meetings you may not need to be in or into office chitchat you most likely won’t remember in a week. So, if you have the option to work remote, do so. That way you can work on other projects in the time it takes to get some needed feedback. Your double dipping will thank you.
Different Delivery Dates for Each Project
Freelancers can make it easy for themselves by keeping their due dates for each project on different days. If you meet your deadline early, great! You now have that time to allot to a different project you had slated for later in the week. But, if you submit multiple projects on the same delivery date and multiple clients reach out to you for various reasons OR something out of your control keeps you focused on delivering only one of your projects on time, there goes whatever double dipping you may have been graced with. So, sell your time twice instead of cutting it in half by using different delivery dates.
Let Organization Steer The Ship
Similar to needing to clean your desk every time you sit down to work, having to re-acclimate with every detail of your assignment each time you re-open your computer is a real time killer. Implement whatever organizational method works for your brain. For example: If it’s a list, take time to do the heavy lifting in the beginning of the assignment and list all the pertinent details on one document. If a relevant email comes in, feel free to add the details or summary of that email as a bullet point. Then, double check you have updated everything on the list at the end of those working hours, so that you can come in next time ready to go. Whatever is the best method for your work-life, implement ASAP so that you the clock doesn’t spin while you search for an email lost in your inbox.
Become an AND CO Member
With AND CO, you don’t have to spend time creating invoices, filing expenses, or managing your projects. You can use that time to bang out another assignment before the client even knows what hit ‘em.
If you feel confident you can finish a project in two hours, might as well allot yourself four hours to do the project. Giving yourself buffer time can take away undo stress if unforeseen circumstances arise. If you finish in two hours, great! You can start another project with the two remaining hours you allotted. Or, if something does go awry, you’re now not behind schedule. Either way, you win with buffer time. (Just never bill for buffer time you don’t use).
Figuring out a way to sell your time twice is key for a freelancer. We are entrepreneurial jugglers running against the clock. So the sooner you take on these practices, the faster your will master the art of double dipping.