This One Skill Helps Me Earn More Money as a Freelancer

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KEY POINTS

  • Being successful as a freelancer often means having to juggle a lot.
  • Learning to do that well has allowed me to boost my income.
  • Becoming adept at time management has improved my earnings significantly. 

It often comes with enough practice.

As a full-time working parent, I like to say that my life is one big balancing act. There's always something on my to-do list, whether it's finishing an article, editing a presentation, folding laundry, cooking dinner, or consoling a child who's upset because they didn't score a goal at their last soccer game.

Needless to say, my schedule can get really jam-packed. But I've also, through the years, gotten increasingly better at juggling my various obligations -- work and otherwise. And that's actually allowed me to boost my income nicely.

Don't underestimate the importance of time management

I like to think that I'm a decent writer who's well-versed in the personal finance topics I cover often. But that's not the key to being able to maintain a decent workflow -- and paycheck -- as a freelance worker. Rather, I think it's my ability to manage my time well that's allowed me to boost my income and pad my savings account through the years.

Now to be fair, the fact that my kids have become increasingly self-sufficient through the years has helped, too. But in exchange for children who can take their own showers and put away their own laundry, we also have more activities to run to, tests to study for, and social obligations to meet. So I can't really say I've gained a lot in recent years in terms of free time.

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What I have gained, though, is a better understanding of how to use my time well, and how to balance all the things I need to get done in a given week. And not only has that helped me earn more money, but it's also helped me carve out more time for important things, like seeing family, pursuing hobbies, and, oh yeah, sleeping (though I still need to work on that one).

My top time management tips

Learning to better manage my time is something that happened over time, and through trial and error. So if you're starting out as a freelancer, it may take you a little time to get into a nice groove. But here are some tips that might help you get there sooner:

  • Make a schedule at the start of the week. It will help you stay anchored and, just as importantly, keep you on track for work-related deadlines.
  • Set priorities. You may want to be that person who takes on extra work, drives your kids to baseball games, and has a gourmet meal on the table every night. You probably can't do all of those things, so decide which ones get to take up your time first.
  • Make the most of small periods of downtime. I'm known as that mom on the soccer field who will type on a laptop while her kids are at practice. And I've been known to do research on my phone while waiting for my children to get dismissed from school rather than scroll through social media. Taking advantage of those opportunities helps ensure that no minutes in my day go to waste.

Being able to manage my time well has definitely helped me professionally and as a parent. And if you're looking to boost your income and freelance career, it pays to think of the different ways you can make the best use of your time.

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