Top Tips to Boost your Freelance Efficiency

Posted in Web Design • Posted on 7 Comments

Your efficiency as a freelancer can make or break you. Many times it can be hard to see how much more efficient you can actually be if you spend some time fine-tuning a couple of things. In this article we’ll have a look at some of my top tips on how you can give your efficiency a major boost. Let’s get started!

Why boost it?

  • happier clients
  • keeping deadlines easier
  • room for more projects/clients
  • earning better
  • more room for the family / friends
  • less stress
  • a healthier creative mind
  • and more!
Picture by Dominik Gwarek
As you can see, the reasons are many, which is why you shouldn’t take this lightly. I’m pretty sure that every single one of us can do some smaller changes in order to be able to produce a lot more during a week of work. If you’re very happy with how things are for you currently, you wont necessarily have to do a whole lot of changes. Still, if you can make a smaller change and make your week better – why not at least have a look at some of our tips?

Planning

Picture by Patrick Hajzler

If you’re able to plan well, a lot of the job is done. Get a planning app, a notebook or whatever suits you the best and get planning. This alone can make you aware of how to spend your valuable time throughout the week and stay ahead of things a bit.

Take your job seriously!

Picture by A G

Some people tend to think that freelancing is a walk in the park. These usually don’t make it for long, basically because they’re wrong. Make sure to take your job 100% seriously and do your best when you’re working. The second you notice you’re not giving all you can, your efficiency has dropped a whole lot. So make sure to remind yourself of why you’re doing this and do your best to stay focused while at work.

Stick to the plan

Picture by Dominik Gwarek

Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. If you’ve made a plan for the day, stick to it as long as possible. Once you start doing other things than those you’ve planned, it’s easier to keep doing it. Before you know it, you haven’t done more than a fragment of what you were supposed to do that day. Planning is obviously worthless if you’re not sticking to it.

Take breaks

Taking smaller breaks during the day can be a hard thing to remember, but it’s very important. This will make you perform better through a long day. It’s also important to your overall health. So remember to take those breaks, preferably at least five minutes for every hour.

Taking some time off

Picture by Faey Szeuw

Taking time off occasionally, will definitely make you more efficient when you’re supposed to be working. On one day off you’ll get your batteries charged and have a lot more energy when you’re back again. It can be hard to do this if you have a lot of ongoing projects, so try to include a day off or a vacation in your plans a couple of times yearly. It will do you good in many ways!

Look at others

Read up on blogs and forums. What do others do? There are thousands of freelancers out there who all have had their share of challenges along the way. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, you can harvest a lot of valuable information that’s already out there. There are also lots of articles on efficiency and on how designers make their websites, logos, brochures and so on to try be more efficient.

Efficient software

Picture by Carlos Paes

Sometimes it will definitely pay off to upgrade your software a bit. Depending on what you’re designing there could be alternatives out there that do certain tasks a lot quicker than what you are doing today. Adding a plug-in for example, can boost your work-speed, the same goes for creating actions/macros for tasks that you spend a lot of time doing over and over.

Know your software

It doesn’t help that you have the top of the line software if you’re using it the wrong way. Even though you may have spent years working with Photoshop, Illustrator or other programs, that doesn’t have to mean you’re effective. Remember to keep yourself updated regularly. I always give fellow designers the advice of checking out new tutorials on the software of choice and doing these. More often than not, you may discover new techniques and easier ways of doing things.

Knowing the market

Picture by Dominik Gwarek

Reading up on blogs and websites related to your field will save you a lot of time when it comes to researching. By knowing trends, new technologies and so on – you will have to spend less time researching as you already have a good clue about what’s going on.

Specific deadlines

By setting very specific deadlines, most of us can be quicker and more focused in what we do. Not only should you do some planning, as mentioned earlier, you should also break it down into specific deadlines.

Learning from your mistakes

Picture by Michaela Kobyakov

Take the time to evaluate your projects. Make a list of what is working in order to hold on to those things, along with listing what doesn’t work in order to eliminate those elements in future projects.

Conclusion

There are probably many things you can do to boost your efficiency. Check out some of these tips to see if they can be helpful. There’s a good chance you will be surprised by how much more you can get done in the long run just from changing what could seem to be minor things.

Have any comments or suggestions to other tips? We would love to hear from you in the comments section!

Good luck!

36 Written ArticlesWebsite

A girl with passion for design, photography, business planning, freelancing, inspirational art and Photoshop/Illustrator. She runs the website Designer77 and you can follow her on twitter here: @Hildy77

7 Comments Best Comments First
  • manuel

    Saturday, July 31st, 2010 01:31

    1

    Pretty complete entry, thank you for sharing!

    0
  • Maher

    Sunday, August 1st, 2010 09:00

    3

    Woooow terrific article thanks Hilde Torbjornsen,
    but please i have some questions to help me in working as a freelance ?
    – If there is a specific planning app ?
    – How can i get freelancers in specific field?
    – Sometimes i didn’t getting serious with my client “my client can be Kin or friend” so how to take it seriously ?
    – What do you mean by ” Even though you may have spent years working with Photoshop, Illustrator or other programs, that doesn’t have to mean you’re effective” i thinks there are most software’s designer must stick with it as “PS, Ai,….” !!!
    – Ok I’m a web designer/developer and i want to know what type of add-ons that I need to install it to save my time?

    I want to know answer of these questions,
    Thanks a lot for your valuable article

    0
    • Krzysztof Kotlarski

      Thursday, August 12th, 2010 00:31

      6

      1. OmniFocus, Things, Remember the milk, Nozbe and many many more
      4. That means there are many ways to complete your work and its good to look for improvements
      5. FireBug, Web Developer, CollorZilla and more depending on what you do and how you do it

      0
      • Maher

        Friday, August 13th, 2010 13:56

        7

        Thanks a lot @Krzysztof Kotlarski

        0
  • Vyom

    Saturday, July 31st, 2010 09:32

    2

    A Very Very Nice article it helps me a lot…..

    Thanx :)

    0
  • Anuja

    Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 12:45

    4

    Great article. All freelancers must read it.

    0
  • shilpa

    Thursday, August 5th, 2010 19:09

    5

    really good article. Thank you for sharing.

    0
  • shilpa

    Thursday, August 5th, 2010 19:09

    5

    really good article. Thank you for sharing.

    0
  • Anuja

    Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 12:45

    4

    Great article. All freelancers must read it.

    0
  • Maher

    Sunday, August 1st, 2010 09:00

    3

    Woooow terrific article thanks Hilde Torbjornsen,
    but please i have some questions to help me in working as a freelance ?
    – If there is a specific planning app ?
    – How can i get freelancers in specific field?
    – Sometimes i didn’t getting serious with my client “my client can be Kin or friend” so how to take it seriously ?
    – What do you mean by ” Even though you may have spent years working with Photoshop, Illustrator or other programs, that doesn’t have to mean you’re effective” i thinks there are most software’s designer must stick with it as “PS, Ai,….” !!!
    – Ok I’m a web designer/developer and i want to know what type of add-ons that I need to install it to save my time?

    I want to know answer of these questions,
    Thanks a lot for your valuable article

    0
    • Krzysztof Kotlarski

      Thursday, August 12th, 2010 00:31

      6

      1. OmniFocus, Things, Remember the milk, Nozbe and many many more
      4. That means there are many ways to complete your work and its good to look for improvements
      5. FireBug, Web Developer, CollorZilla and more depending on what you do and how you do it

      0
      • Maher

        Friday, August 13th, 2010 13:56

        7

        Thanks a lot @Krzysztof Kotlarski

        0
  • Vyom

    Saturday, July 31st, 2010 09:32

    2

    A Very Very Nice article it helps me a lot…..

    Thanx :)

    0
  • manuel

    Saturday, July 31st, 2010 01:31

    1

    Pretty complete entry, thank you for sharing!

    0

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