11 Tips for Time Management as a Freelancer While Working Full-Time

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“Normal” working hours in a day is eight.

But you’re a freelancer. That means you may lean into the 10 hours mark — especially if you’re trying to juggle freelance and full-time work.

This article covers how to manage your time well as a freelancer. We cover tips, hacks, and tools to help you focus so you can earn more, and with time, work less.

Hey, I’m Seth. I’m a freelancer with 7+ years of experience in digital marketing. I help you earn more and work less. Check out some helpful guides to assist with your workflow.

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Want some 1-on-1 freelance coaching? Schedule a free call. Don’t forget to follow on Instagram: @SethTheFreelancer.

Before we get into the list, we need to set the groundwork for how to stay motivated with some productivity hacks.

Gotta stay motivated — productivity hacks

I wrote an article going deeper into the productivity tips below. Doing these things will lock you in for focused work, better results, and longer endurance.

  • Create a clean, distraction-free workspace
  • Set a timer
  • Hydrate
  • Get the blood flowing
  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to focus music
  • Take short breaks
  • Use smells
  • Guard your working time

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Managing your time as a freelancer while still working full-time

1. Make realistic deadlines

If you’re trying to freelance while doing a full-time job, setting realistic deadlines is crucial. But make sure you don’t over-commit to clients and deliver subpar work.

Start by analyzing your workload and determining how much time you can realistically dedicate to your freelance projects. Most people dedicate 3-5 hours a week.

Be honest with yourself about your availability and don’t take on more work than you can handle. Communicate clearly with clients and inform them about your availability and limitations.

RELATED: 9 Productivity Hacks to Keep You Focused, Motivated, and on Task

2. Have a scheduling system

Having a dedicated scheduling system ensures you’re managing your workload properly.

Start by prioritizing your tasks and creating a to-do list for each day or week. I’m a big fan of Todoist and Google Calendar. They integrate together, so when I check one thing off my Todoist list, it. disappears from Google Calendar.

Others receive lots of satisfaction from a handwritten calendar. If that’s you, ensure it’s flexible and can bend to your busy schedule.

Remember to block out specific time slots on your calendar to work on your freelance projects.

By having a scheduling system in place, you can maximize your productivity and achieve a healthy work-life balance, and remember to schedule breaks and downtime to avoid burnout. Enjoy the weekends!

3. Stick to the schedule

Sticking to a schedule is crucial for freelances who are still working a full-tme job. Your main job is your first responsibility, but you also want to complete your freelance work on time, too.

Setting a timer will greatly help keep you on track. Allow for short breaks as well. Just remember to no deviate from the calendar you had set for yourself.

Be disciplined about following your schedule and avoid distractions such as social media.

4. Create a to-do list

Like said earlier, Todoist is my favorite apps to help me stay on track. I get a lot done in a day because of my to-do list.

I’ve treated “projects” and “filters” to help with my workflow. I notably look at “Today’s” 30-45 tasks and start knocking them out. I make it a game to see how many I can do before lunchtime.

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5. Prioritize tasks

Todoist reference again…I set some tasks to “Priority 1,” others to “Priority 2,” and others to “Priority 3.” The most important things I need to do get knocked out at the begging of the day.

It’s a no-brainer that your main job’s tasks should be done first!

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6. Have manageable chunks

Break out the day so you can handle it all in chunks. I start to get sluggish after two hours of sitting in my chair. I need to take a break at this point.

Block out “busy” times in your schedule of you work remotely so you can get your big tasks done.

I often pause my email inbox so emails don’t come in while I have my deep work sessions in the morning. This eliminates the temptation to check while getting my tasks done.

7. Switch up tasks (but not too often)

I recently spent four hours straight editing a video in Adobe Primer. It took too much brainpower (but I had to get it done on a deadline).

If I had more time to spare, I would have done it in chunks and worked on other things in between. This breaks up the monotony of one big project.

RELATED: 15 Basic Sure-Fire Tips for Beginner Freelancers

8. Track your time (to stay accountable)

I download Toggl, a time-tracking app, but admittedly, I haven’t used it yet. It’s been said by Rich Webster that it greatly increases productivity.

You know what needs to change when it’s tracked. Tracking your time is the first step to accountability — and productivity!

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9. Have templates and automation

For me, this looks like a general Google Doc that can be duplicated over and over again. Another option is using Zapier to do hundreds of things. Track your time, manage email signups, optimize calendaring.

10. Delegate to someone else

Of all the things you have in your freelance business, there are many you can delegate or teach. Blog writing? Hire a writer. Graphic design? Hire a designer. Email marketing? Hire a copywriter.

RELATED: 9 Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Blog [and Where to Begin]

11. Ask others how they do it

Is something taking a long time? Maybe someone else figured out a system for quicker creation or faster production. Ask around to learn how others do it and learn from their strengths…or their mistakes.

I’m here if you need help

I’m passionate about supporting newly-starting freelancers. Check out some guides to help you in your workflow. Need some 1-on-1 coaching? Schedule a free call and let me help you build your freelancing business.