Insider tips from the Bridgeworks freelance community
With no company-mandated schedule or boss looking over your shoulder, it can be challenging for freelancers and independent contractors to manage their workweek. Every client has different needs, communication styles, and not to mention schedules of their own. There are a few freelance hacks that the Bridgeworks community swears by though…
On time management
Start Monday with creating a week’s outlined schedule. No need to be too detailed or precise, just have a general idea of what’s on your plate. Wunderlist is great for a basic to-do list, then Google Calendar as a daily checklist. Start with your predetermined deadlines and meetings—client calls, weekly reports, etc. Then start filling in the gaps with when you’ll complete those tasks, roughly estimating how long each will take and blocking off the time (we suggest a minimum of 30 minutes per task). Placing tasks on a calendar provides a more tangible feel for what your day will look like and creates concrete goals to check off.
Try to fill up eight hours of work each day on your Google Calendar with tasks. Limiting yourself to eight hours of work time per day will force you to complete the most important tasks first, stay productive and (hopefully) not be in the office too late.
On staying organized
As your client based grows, so does the clutter in your workspace and on your computer. Stay on top of it and FILE. If it’s something you tend to procrastinate, put “file” into your calendar for a 30-minute time slot each week, and dedicate it to sorting paperwork into client-labeled folders—same drill goes for the desktop. Google Apps for Business is a great way to manage a calendar alongside documents, or Dropbox is a classic – to store and organize working files between clients. That way you can access anything from anywhere, on any device.
Arguably the most important part of freelancing—where there’s networking, there’s new clients! There are dozens of free platforms to market your services on these days. Platforms like LinkedIn, Dribble, Behance, Pinterest, and even Instagram can be used to promote your work, and bring you clients.
Attend as many events, workshops, and get meet ups in your area as possible. Coworking spaces are great for this. Not one week goes by without community member events for professionals and freelancers just like you, to make new connections. Having a flexible membership in a coworking space also gives you access to a buzzing professional community of likeminded individuals, on the daily. This not only gives you potential new clients, but also a community to keep you on track, brainstorm with you, and just be there in the same boat for all the daily stresses of freelancing.
On taking breaks
Breaks are important. But making sure they are regulated and not dominating your day is critical. At the start of each day, mark your calendar with a few 20 or 30-minute breaks. Allot yourself one lunch break and two more 30 minute breaks maximum to avoid losing motivation and productivity altogether.
One of the most important kind of breaks in the freelancing field are creative ones. Make time for things like inspiration—it’s not procrastinating if it’s part of your job to be inspired. Create a Pinterest board, read a good book, go for a bike ride on the boardwalk! It’s just as important as that client pitch.
Bridgeworks is a vibrant coworking space right by the beach on Long Island, NY, offering office space for rent, meeting rooms, networking events and much more. Bridgeworks Long Beach also features countless communal spaces, cafés, lounges and added bonuses like social bikes and ping pong. Corporate NYC commuters and digital nomads alike take advantage of the new creative hub to network, boost productivity, and of course, cut the commute time. Learn more at bridgeworkslongbeach.com.