Each day I wake up and while I am brushing my teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, and getting my coffee I am mentally taking stock of what needs to be done that day. For me, and probably for many other freelancers, my day usually consists of project management, marketing, little tasks, and a main project to work on for that day. This isn’t even including side projects that are usually always on my mind.
It’s a lot to juggle.
For years I kept track of everything all in my head. I was really stupid to believe this was a good system, but at times it worked. The problem was though that when it didn’t work it caused big problems. We all know we need some sort of system in place to manage all of our products. I have 5 tips on how to help your project management system. The single thing that has kept me more organized as a freelancer is actually using the system I have in place.
Maybe it is just me, but I have a feeling you suffer from this as well. Project management systems are nice and shiny and you get really excited to use them, but instead of your life improving and having that feeling of weightlessness that comes along with having an organized work life you still feel scattered. The promise of that fancy tool is completely lost, not because the tool itself is bad, but because our discipline to keep our shit together sucks.
Like I said, the thing that has allowed this freelancer to keep his sanity is actually forcing myself to use my system. It takes patience and a certain level of dedication, but most days I make sure to take a look at my projects and tasks and update them accordingly. Sometimes that is adjusting due dates, completing tasks that have already been completed, or maybe it is just making some notes in a project. You gotta stay on top of your system, or else it becomes another distraction which is the last thing we need with all of this stuff on our plates.
It helps me out that I actually built my own project management system, but I still have to stay committed to using it. There is a lot of stress that comes along with being a full-time freelancer, but listen to me when I say this. I gain free clarity and direction by simply keeping my projects and tasks up to date and in order. Knowing that when I open up Hector what I see is up to date shaves time, stress, and the unknown away and lets me get to work on what needs to be done.