3 Ways Your Lack of Organization is Holding You Back as a Freelancer

In an age where many of us have been working from home for over 6 months, the lifestyle of a freelancer may seem more appealing than ever. After all, you’ve probably (by necessity) already mastered the skills that are necessary to work productively from home. Why not take advantage of the extra freedom, autonomy and sense of purpose that freelancing affords? Nonetheless, while you may think yourself perfectly equipped to make a rewarding and lucrative career as a freelancer, living this way is to truly take the training wheels off. You will either survive or thrive based on your productivity. It’s your responsibility to wring the most out of every working day and remain consistently productive. No boss will be checking up on your work. No line manager will brief you with the day/ week’s work. You’ll be solely responsible for sourcing your own work, building a strong client base and delivering the operational excellence that keeps them coming back.

And that means you need to be at your peak in terms of organization, both digital and physical. If your working days as a freelancer are long, frustrating and less profitable than they should be, it may be because a lack of organization is holding you back. More specifically…

You’re not making use of automation tools

As a freelancer, you need to spend as much time as possible doing the things you get paid for. But at the same time, you know that your responsibilities do not end there. You need to invest in advertising your brand and building a reputation upon which you can build a client base. You need to do your own book keeping and other admin to keep yourself tax compliant. You need to create, send and chase invoices. And all of this administration can seriously eat into your billable hours. Fortunately, there are a wealth of digital tools that allow you to automate your way to more productive, more focused and less stressful working days. For instance, you can save time every day with Google Ads scripts, so you can get your name out there without giving up your valuable time. You can use all kinds of automated bookkeeping and accounting tools to make tax compliance easy. You can use the same solutions to generate faster and more uniform invoices. So you spend less time working hard and more time working smart (and profitably).

 

Your desk is disorganized 

Even something as simple as the state of your desk can have a prodigious effect on your productivity as a freelancer. And you may be able to convince yourself that it’s actually your highly idiosyncratic filing system… but honey, I’ve heard it all before. And what you have on your desk is clutter-plain and simple! Clutter is never conducive to a productive, harmonious and profitable working day. It’s visually distracting, for one thing, constantly interrupting your train of thought. It can slow down your working processes (be honest-how long have you spent looking for the piece of paper you were sure was under your coffee coaster?). Furthermore, clutter can actually exacerbate stress and make it harder for you to stay focused. Something as simple as a desk tidy, in out tray or some sort of filing system for your paperwork can make a huge difference in how productive (and profitable) your days can be. In short, there’s no way a freelancer can have an optimally productive working day with a desk that looks like a bomb’s hit it!

 

You’re not organizing your time effectively

You start the day with the very best of intentions. But in your zeal, you make the mistake of diving headlong into your work every morning without the slightest idea of how you’re going to spend your day. You just plough into one task after another after another until either your workload is finished or your partner calls you away from your desk because the work day was over 3 hours ago and it’s time for dinner. The last thing you should do every day is plan the day after. Work out what you’re going to do in 2-3 hour increments, and ensure that you plan meaningful breaks throughout your working day. Your brain is just like any other part of your body. It gets tired and needs to rest. You wouldn’t spend 2 hours at the gym doing nothing but bench presses, right? So make sure you make time to put your brain on ice while you enjoy a walk or a coffee. You may find that using software like Asana helps you to break your day down into discrete tasks and mark them down as you go.

 

When it comes to making the most out of your days as a freelancer, a little organization can go a very long way!

 

3 Unique Investments To Try Your Hand At

If you enjoy the thrill of trying to make your savings account work more aggressively for you, the chances are that you are not happy with the woefully low-interest rate on your savings. You want to be proactive and find new investment opportunities that can see your retirement fund or nest egg grow faster. Spreading your investments to create a diverse and less risky portfolio is crucial. The tried and tested methods of investing are viable, but you should also check out these more unique and exciting ways to invest your hard-earned cash.

Stocks And Shares

If you thought the ‘buy, buy, buy!’ and the ‘sell, sell, sell!’ were just for suited and booted professional investment bankers, think again. In the twenty first century, trading has become more accessible to the masses. If you have a laptop and a WiFi connection, you could try your hand at trading currencies, investing in the stock market or buying commodities. If you don’t know where to start, consider share CFDs, allowing you to hook up with a broker and trade the shares that they offer. You have a huge amount of flexibility, choosing when to your leverage or whether its a long or short position. 

Alternatively, you might fancy a foray in Forex, buying yen against the dollar and selling sterling against the krona. You need to keep an eye on the markets and work out the trends and market forecasts. If you don’t have any experience of this sort of trading, you can open up a dummy account and have a practice before taking the plunge for real.

Wine

If you love a tipple of the latest fashionable chardonnay or rioja, why not consider investing in some vintage labels? Find a label and vineyard that has produced some excellent quality tipples. Do your research and see which years produced the best wines. Buy a fine vintage and keep it. You need to think of wine like antiques or art – the more scarce they get, the more desirable and sought after they become. Store the wine in a cellar or ask a professional to store it for you. Before long, that 1989 vintage shiraz that you have locked away could be worth a small fortune.

Property

While property has been the go-to asset that amateur investors have sought to accrue more money from for their nest egg, you don’t have to go down the buy-to-let route. While purchasing a second property to rent out long term is viable, you might be in for a more lucrative return if you purchase a potential holiday home. Opt to purchase a pad in a desirable location near the coast or near a tourist hotspot and you could charge a premium in the height of the summer season. In just six months you could earn over double what you would with a simple buy to let near to where you live over twelve months. Consider it as a double asset as when it is not rented out, it is a readymade place to head to relax and unwind for you and your brood.

Investing needn’t be boring. Take a look at these unique investments to inspire your foray in financial freedom.

 

Ways To Ensure Your Website Stands Above Competitors

In this day and age, we’re constantly surfing through websites. They’re such a big part of the way we live daily life now, that a lot of us don’t even think about how they were created or the work that goes into them. We just kind of expect them to be around in order to give us the information we need. That’s the standard of the internet in the year 2020. 

If you’re looking to create a business or start your own personal project, then you’re probably going to need a website to accompany everything. Now, you could just create some random space that has information on it, or you could actually put in some effort and make it look as perfect as possible. You’ll know full well that opening up a subpar website is one of the most tedious activities in the world, so the chances are that you probably don’t want to create anything like those monstrosities. If you’re just starting out in the web design world and want to know quick, simple ways you can make your website stand out positively, then here are a few pointers:

 

Watch Tutorials And Lessons Frequently

New techniques and skills are being utilized every single year, so you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled just in case something needs to be picked up. In general, you’ll want to watch tutorials and various other pieces of content just so you can get the overall idea of web design into your mind. While it’s not rocket science, you’ll still want to cover every corner and outperform those around you.

 

View As Though You’re Visiting 

When you’re designing your site and figuring out what should go where, you need to view it from the outside looking in. Take the approach of someone who has literally never heard of you and is visiting for the first time. When you do this, you’re able to get a new perspective. You stop overthinking and trying too hard.

 

Work With IT Professional And Get All Kinds Of Advice

If you don’t really know what to do in this regard, then you could always get expert advice. Web designers will lend their hands to you at a price – as will graphic designers. You could also visit www.nquest.com and similar other IT firms if you want any guidance with regard to your computer systems. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction. The best and most successful people have the right contacts – they don’t do it on their own, even if it looks that way.

 

Give People Space To Breath 

You need to make sure you’re not bombarding your visitors with content. While having great items on your website is important, shoving it in their faces is a terrible idea. Have you ever visited a website and been annoyed by how many pop-ups invade your space? What about when you click onto a website, and there’s very little order – just lots of different articles, adverts and pictures scattered all over. It’s not fun, right?