Everyday is different when you’re self-employed. When I first went solo I spent entire weekdays binging Netflix and twiddling my thumbs, but soon I was juggling photoshoots, social media management for multiple brands, and trying to stay on top of all my clients’ immediate needs. My plate was so full that I was lucky if I got to unwind by 10 PM each night with a quick episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (SO good, BTW).

It’s feast or famine as a freelancer, and the hardest thing I face is time management issues. So, over the past several years, I’ve learned to cut the things from my schedule that are too time consuming, and have discovered a handful of shortcuts that have helped me work faster.

Here, below, are 8 hacks to work smarter, not harder:

1. Use Boomerang 

It’s an amazing app/extension you can install in your browser which allows you to schedule emails. Haven’t you ever crafted the perfect email, only to leave it sitting in drafts for weeks because when you wrote it at 2AM when it was too late/early to send? Save time and look professional by scheduling your emails to be sent later.

2. Get Grammarly

Not a good look when you’re a social media copywriter that can’t spell. My last boss noticed my, erm, spelling mishaps and introduced me to this life saving google extension. It’s an advanced spell checker and has saved my but *butt 😉 so many times. ?   

3. Chrome Bookmarks

If you’re a Chrome browser lover, I’m about to rock your world. Go to your bookmarks manager and bookmark all the sites you use on the reg. Once you bookmark your favorite pages, they’ll appear below the search bar so you can quickly navigate to where you want to go. Game changer.

4. Google Tasks / Google Calendar

I 100% could not manage my workload without lists. In order to accomplish a task, I have to write it down so I can check it off once it’s complete (so satisfying!). If you don’t already use Google Calendar, start. Then take your Google Cal to the next level by adding Google Tasks. You’ll then be able to see your entire week laid out neatly, along with the tasks you need to accomplish. Amazing! And this is a list you can’t lose! Or spill water on!

5. Unsubscribe

Nothing wastes more time than spam mail. Instead of just deleting the junk, go to the bottom of each annoying email and unsubscribe. Nothing is worse than an important email getting lost in a sea of spam.

6. Know Your Worth

Know what you are worth, monetarily speaking, and don’t waver with your rates. By discounting your rate to work on projects that pay very little, you’re not only wasting your time, but you’re potentially missing out on projects and clients who WILL pay you what you are worth. Think deeply about each project before you take it on, otherwise you could end up working for pennies and feeling undervalued. You are what you think you are – don’t undercut yourself. ?

7. Clear Your Desktop EVERYDAY

At the end of each work day, clear off your computer’s desktop by moving things to the trash and into folders. You want to start each workday with a fresh slate and a clear mind.

8. Commit & Follow Through

This. Is. So. Important. Don’t be that person who bails last minute, who doesn’t follow through with that “dream idea,” or who drops off of a new activity after only a week. Be mindful of what you commit to! I am the queen of trying fads only to give up after three days, but I’m really trying to change this by only committing to what I know I can handle. If you stop being a flake, you will inevitably accomplish more, burn less bridges, and be healthier. So start small. Be realistic about your time, commit to a sure thing, let it become a habit, and learn the value of following through.

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