Saturday, January 19, 2013

Learning Time Management - Part I

Time management is a valuable skill that every freelancer and career-oriented person should learn. We probably know the concept but it takes a lot of effort to implement it and to consistently make it work.

Since mid-October, I've been relentlessly pounding my fingers on the keyboard, straining my eyes in front of the computer, and suffering from less sleep and almost no social and love life. I have to work 50-60 hours every week for a couple of online projects and, at the same time, work on some business. Came the holiday, which kind of slowed me down a bit; hence, I have to come back with a vengeance to make up for the losses. I am pretty sure that freelancers reading this post can relate to what I am saying.

When you are a freelancer and typically work on a per-hour projects, you can't avoid putting a dollar value of your hours. Every idle time, is a time wasted. 

Time management made me survive. With my background in production planning and in sales, I somehow know how to write my activities for the day. Yeah, somehow...because honestly, I am not pretty good at it. 

Typically, what I do is write my activities for the next day and the hours I need to spend for each of those activities. Here comes the problem. Comes the next day, I receive some surprise phone calls, email inquiry or some friendly message. Depending on my personal assessment on its urgency, I may answer back immediately but sometimes I need to get back to them. However, there are times that accommodating some of those emails or other unplanned activities can take more of my time. And before I knew it, it has taken a lot of my energy and hours. With this scenario, I know that what I really need to learn is to prioritize my activities and let go of the distractions. And that may mean turning off the phone and setting a schedule for reading and responding to emails.

This post is a sort of an introduction. In the second part about Learning Time Management Skill, I will be sharing to you what I've learned from my experience and the best practices and advice from well-known authors and public figures.

Til the next.

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