Time management is the key to success when it comes to completing freelance work, especially when working remotely. Procedures for managing tasks and projects can be one of the most important decisions a freelance worker makes. Tracking progress is more than just how many hours of work are completed each day, it's about keeping up with all aspects of your business, such as productivity, budget, scheduling meetings and everything in between. It can seem tricky to keep track of every progress detail, especially when you have time freedom to work from home or handle project management for several clients at once. Focusing on a few major progress measurements and the details that go with them will help you stay on track and thrive as a freelance worker.
Whether you charge per hour or per project, it’s critical to keep track of time spent on all your freelance projects.
How should I track my hours?
Time tracking tools are critical for knowing how much work is being put into a project. Per hour clients need to know how much time was spent on their tasks so they can pay accordingly. Some clients will require logging your hours on a spreadsheet and some will require using software for clocking in and out to prove you are working in real time. And while some clients choose the honor system of tracking hours, it's still necessary that all time worked is logged as a way of making sure all the contracted hours are being provided while helping to avoid going beyond the work hours you are being compensated for.
I’m not paid hourly, should I still track tasks and projects?
Absolutely! If you charge a flat rate for a project, you want to monitor how long it takes to complete. It's important to calculate the amount of money charged divided by the number of hours worked to find what your project rate comes down to per hour. The results may show you are not making the amount of money that is fair to you and can cover all expenses. This will also help you track areas that require personal efficiency improvement or need new systems developed if you find certain tasks are taking much longer than they should. Successfully managing work time leads to more free time, and who doesn't want more of that?
I already log my time, do I need to do anything else?
Yes, time is just the beginning of the recordkeeping you should be doing to track progress on freelance projects.
Manage Budget Spend
Depending on the work being completed, you may be managing budgets for clients. In addition, you should also be tracking all of your own expenses, especially as they relate to the client projects being completed.
What personal expenses should I track?
Every dollar spent on anything business-related should be logged in your budget. This includes everything— software costs, monthly subscription charges, office utility bills, the list goes on. This will help you build prices that factor in all business expenses.
Team Member Communication
Working with a team, whether on the client-side or internally within your business, requires dedication and time. Not only are you responsible for your own work hours, you are now in charge of tracking other people's and making sure everyone is completing the tasks and projects they have been assigned.
How do I monitor my team members' work?
Staying updated on team members' workload is important for making sure everyone is productive and not over-or under-worked. Have your team log their hours and provide project updates. Be sure to answer clients' and team members' questions in a timely manner so no one is held back on their work.
What are efficient ways for communicating with my team?
Scheduling meetings with clients and team members is a great way for remote teams to stay updated on what everyone is focused on, as long as the meeting is productive and not time that could have been better used on other tasks. Have a communication software platform in place that allows for easy chatting between team members. This is great for quick questions, checking in, avoiding long email threads and unnecessary meetings. Everyone's goal is a productive project management.
For maximum efficiency, use a tool, like Indy, that provides the ability to manage time, invoices, contracts, proposals, schedules and more all in one place meaning less time spent shuffling between softwares and more time saved.