Want to Freelance? Setting and Sticking to Targets is Crucial.
Maybe you’re also one of those people who embarked on the full-time freelancing journey with great excitement, only to realise that there’s still room for growth when it comes to your self-management skills.
You set clear and achievable targets and they’re perfectly doable, but so far they’ve been achieved only in your head. If there was a book written on this subject, it would carry the title “The Doom of a Freelancer: The Art of Knowing What to Do but Not Doing It”.
There’s no point in beating yourself up though; self-control has always been the hardest thing for us humans to master. But if we can take control of ourselves, we can take control of anything.
Dip into the sea of productivity apps for freelancers
Clever people invented clever apps so that even freelancers can increase their daily productivity multi-fold.
Toggl, for example, keeps track of hours worked as well as gathers information to help you set your hourly rate. Touted as one of the best timesheet software available, time logging with Toggl is incredibly simple.
If you haven’t entirely grasped the meaning of time is money, Toggl will help you do so. With amazingly detailed reports, attractive visuals and cool overall design, it’s a delight for the eyes.
RescueTime will come to your aid if you think the reason behind your unmet targets is keeping absolutely no track of time.
The app lets you categorise your time into various activities (business, design/composition, social media etc.) so you can have an accurate idea of where your day goes.
How does the app know what you do? Naturally by keeping track of which applications and websites you spend time on.
Focus@will will help you rechannel your mind into the work groove by listening to music specially engineered to your personality type. You can identify your type by completing a focus quiz developed by neuroscientists.
(Bear in mind that your brain typically needs some repetition before it can fully trust a new input like focus@will. Once trust is built, though, you’ll get into workflow that much quicker.)
There are many more apps to choose from and new ones are being developed all the time. If nothing else, taking stock of your time gives you a chance to take control of it.
Take your targets seriously
One of the reasons people initially set deadlines and commit to goals, but then fail to follow through on them is that they don’t take them seriously enough.
Why? Most likely because they haven’t fully accepted themselves as freelancers/self-employed yet. The idea is sitting on the back shelf of their mind like a possibility rather than the real thing.
Plus entering new waters is always a tad uncomfortable; it takes an extra dose of self-discipline and self-sacrifice to get comfy out of the comfort zone.
Visualise how you’ll end up if you don’t stick to your targets
How bad would that be? If this imagery doesn’t propel you full steam ahead, then perhaps being a solo worker isn’t the happiest lifestyle option for you. (It isn’t for many, if not most, people).
Freelancing has been enjoying tremendous popularity over the past years, but few mention the amount of self-motivation and “self-mobilisation” one needs to harness in order to be able to live the freelance dream. Freelancers such as Eric Rosenberg have provided insight on why this career path might not fit every personality type.
The fact is, freelancing usually doesn’t provide steady work at the beginning and things can appear a bit unstable. Nevertheless, every new freelancer should see this as the crucible and, once passed through, all those initial struggles with setting and meeting first targets will seem laughable.