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How to More Effectively Work For Yourself | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

How to More Effectively Work For Yourself

Date February 7, 2009


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As a business owner, it is likely that you will create many a to-do list in order to stay on task through out every day. Whether you chose the electronic or pen-to-paper route to create this list is of little consequence to your life. It is all about what makes it the most effective way for you to stay on task that counts.

In light of that matter of productivity, there is another list that freelancers should create and tack onto their pegboard or Google spreadsheet immediately. This list is comprised of all of the little things that you should not be doing during the day if you wish to remain efficient and productive - two key ingredients for anyone who works but especially for those who work for themselves. Finding focus when you are working from your own home is not always easy. It can be hard to stay on task and remain productive each and every day.

Here is a few ideas to get you started. These are just some examples of some of the most common time wasters you can encounter as a freelancer:

Avoid Email Until Later

If your routine each day starts with a visit to your email box, start changing your habits now. Email is one of the biggest distractions you are faced with on a daily basis. It can set you back time-wise on your to-do list and skew your priorities for the day. As painful as it sounds, unless you answer emails for a living, you need to develop some control when it comes to your inbox, even if that means checking it only a few designated times a day.

Check the Caller ID

If you are getting phone calls throughout the day from blocked numbers or unrecognizable numbers, let them go to the machine. The last thing you need is an interruption of a good work flow by a telemarketer who doesn’t know when to get off the phone. When you do answer a call from someone, work them towards getting right to the point. Don’t be afraid to say that you are in the middle of doing something important and can’t talk freely. Don’t let callers go on and on about something which wastes your work time. Keep the call as brief as possible and return the call at a later time if it needs further attention.

Have a Clear Meeting Purpose

If you are requested to attend a meeting or a scheduled telephone conference, inquire from the requesting party the vital information you need to know, such as how long the call/meeting will last, what agenda is being covered, and what information you will be expected to bring to the table. This will enable you to be prepared all the way around and be able to effectively work it into your current plans. If the requesting party can not give you any solid or confirmed information about a meeting or call, don’t make the commitment until they can.

Deal Effectively With Irrational Clients

If you have clients or customers that are a bit high maintenance, it is important that your learn to deal with them in an efficient manner. In some cases, it may take some minor appeasing before your client will move on to other things. In other cases, when a client can not be satisfied with anything you say and contact becomes harassing, you might want to consider being more straightforward and laying down some guidelines for contacting you in the future. If you lose the client in the long run, it may be a better for your business.

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Related posts:

  1. Starting a Freelance Business? Need a Boost?
  2. How To Effectively Handle Rejection
  3. 10 Tips for Working Away From Home 

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