Just like employees, freelancers have projects to complete and deadlines to meet. But unlike employees, they run a one-person business with invoices to bill and clients to please. No projects, no income. Time is even more precious for freelancers. That is why time tracking for freelancers is crucial.
There are many reasons freelancers like you should use a time tracker app. They all boil down to working more and earning more.
Anyone who works faces the same challenges to their productivity: inefficient workflows, distractions, procrastination, multitasking, doing too much, and losing motivation. These are some reasons you should use time-tracking software to be more productive in your freelance work.
1. Become More Efficient
Using a time tracker gives you a visualized overview of how you use your time, helping you pinpoint problems you can resolve. If you spend too much time sending out email newsletters or tinkering with your website, you can set limits to work on your client projects. You can also streamline your workflows by automating specific tasks and simplifying your processes. Increasing your efficiency allows you to do more for less.
2. Get More Focused
As a freelancer, you probably work at home where there are many distractions and no one to check on you. Your comfy bed beckons. Your kids are running around. A new season of your favorite TV series just dropped. You are not immune to tempting diversions even if you are in a co-working space or café. Tracking the amount of time you waste will give you a wake-up call. Time Tracker by eBillity reports can play on your guilt over wasted hours. And it can drive you to beat your record for productive time. This might be the nudge you need to do deep, focused work during windows of time when you are most alert.
3. Stop Procrastinating
It is too easy to procrastinate if you need to work on something you do not particularly enjoy or do not feel your creative juices coming. You might not do anything when you are overwhelmed with too many things to do. Procrastination is all about avoiding unpleasant things. A time tracker will show you how much time you previously spent on those tasks, giving you a realistic picture of long – or how quickly – it would take if you get on and do it.
4. Avoid Multitasking
Time tracking software for freelancers helps prevent multitasking, which is inefficient and unproductive. Since you can only track tasks one at a time, you can eliminate this habit of multitasking as you go into focus mode. Once you start your timer to work, you are less likely to succumb to the temptation of switching to other activities like checking your email or going on social media.
5. Delegate More
A time tracker will help you identify how much time you spend on non-essential tasks or administrative work. As a freelancer, you should be allocating more hours to working on your projects. So, if you realize from time tracking reports that this is not the case, it can help you decide which activities to delegate. Even with tasks within a project, there may be activities that you are spending too much time on. For example, if your strength is running digital marketing campaigns and not creating graphics or writing copy, consider outsourcing those to specialists who can do them faster or at a lower fee.
6. Track Your Progress
It is easy to get lost in working on specific tasks for a project that you could go beyond the schedule and miss your deadline. Tracking time enables you to have an overview of your project’s timeline and track your progress. If you spend too much time on one task that could derail your schedule, you can get back on track. Showing your time tracking reports to clients will also give them an idea about your progress and even prevent them from asking for more revisions or additional work that can delay their project.
Time tracking for freelancers not only means higher productivity. It also enables them to make better financial decisions on how much to charge clients, quote for projects, select better clients, and change their business model. All these contribute to a better bottom line.
7. Bill Clients More Accurately
It is easy to underestimate the time it would take to finish a project. As such, freelancers often underquote, resulting in lower revenue. A time tracker will help you track the actual hours for every task required to complete a project. This makes your billable hours accurate. If you are paid by the hour, this is critical. Even if you are paid per project or are on retainer, showing your clients the hours it takes to work on their project is essential in justifying your fees.
8. Give Better Estimates
You often send a quotation to potential or existing clients or bid for projects as a freelancer. You can lose money if you underestimate the quote. Or you can lose the opportunity if you overestimate. Time tracking software will help you better estimate how long a project will take based on data from similar projects you did in the past. Accordingly, you will be able to give a fair and accurate quote.
9. Select Better Clients
With time-tracking software, you can compare clients who hired you for a similar project. You may be spending too much time on some clients that are over-demanding your time or asking for too many revisions. And if you are charging based on the project and not billable hours, those clients are costing you money. You could charge more for the extra time you are spending on them. If you can afford to, drop them and focus on clients who are easier to work with.
10. Change Your Business
Another way time-tracking software can help you earn more as a freelancer is to help identify services costing you more in terms of hours spent and making you more money in terms of the rate per hour. If you are a freelance accountant, your time tracker could reveal that filing taxes takes too much time and is not worth the money it brings in. On the other hand, giving tax advice lets you charge more for a lot less time. You might consider focusing on the latter and stop offering tax filing as a service.
A time-tracking app is essential for freelancers. TimeTracker by eBillity offers a complete set of features enabling you to track your projects, bill your clients accurately, and increase productivity.
Start your free trial today.