If you are a freelancer or you own a small company, you might be of the mind that you do whatever it takes to get the job done. And in the early days, that can work pretty well. You need time to learn how and when you work best, where the projects or content ideas come from, and how to piece it all together. Here’s how to create a smooth workflow.
When you work alone, you have to know how to maximize your time. Learning how to create a fast and efficient workflow doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it takes years. But here are a few tips to get you started.
Don’t go crazy when it comes to buying and trying software. There are hundreds of software options and more hit the market every day. Which is good – and bad. It means that while you are finding your feet with one type of software, the chances are you will be advertised to a lot. Jump ship and get to the same place again. Free trials are fantastic, and sometimes it is nice to have a little go. But, it is better to spend your time learning one or two really well. The hours spent trying new software out (when they almost all do the same job) can be huge.
It pays for you to learn the shortcuts for your computer. How to transfer files from Mac to Mac, or from your phone to your computer without the use of wires is going to spend up to the rate at which you can have what you need on all of your computers.
This is even better for people who work on the go. Making notes on their phone or tablet, and then moving things across when they get home. Of course, there are many software options for this too, but you might like to consider an app that will work with everything you use. Evernote is a good shout – although there are many other options for workflow management.
Freelance life – Create a smooth workflow
You have the same amount of time as every other entrepreneur or content creator. It will all come down to how you use it. Once you have the software you like in place and can use the shortcuts during your work to speed things up, you are left with the daily tasks. Rather than handle all of the daily tasks yourself, learn how to automate.
Or hire a VA.
Following on from that, quit task jumping. Set a focus period for each task and work on it until completion. A great way to do this is to get something like a Pomodoro. It will allow you to set up many jobs, and allocate your breaks too. You will become more productive when you are working within strict timers. Parkinson’s Law comes into play heavily here, but there are other time management apps that work very well too.
Once you know how you work best, you can build a workflow around yourself. Ensure that you only work with software that has the functions you need (even if it is just the free version), and know that if you don’t set deadlines – things rarely get finished!