• Are You Ready to Freelance?

    Full-Time to Freelance

    Have you noticed how much more common the concept of freelancing is today?

    What used to be a term seemingly reserved for writers—reporters, columnists, copyeditors, etc.—has now transcended across nearly every industry.

    (According to Merriam-Webster, the word “freelance” seems to have started in the early 1800s to describe a medieval soldier who would fight for the side willing to pay him the most. It was first mentioned in Ivanhoe, a novel by Sir Walter Scott.)

    Especially in an increasingly digital world, the demand for developers, digital marketers, and tech whizzes has skyrocketed. Particularly when it comes to specialized needs, experts can find themselves in a position where they are being paid top dollar without having to make a full-time, on-site commitment.

    Are you in a place in your career where going out on your own and “being your own boss” is something that feels right?

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  • 3 Mistakes You’re Making When Tracking Time (and How to Fix Them)

    Time Tracking

    Chances are that if you’re a freelancer or business owner, you are all too familiar with the practice of tracking your time.

    Whether it’s necessary to properly bill clients or is just a good habit developed out of the desire to be more productive, you already know that the minimal time it actually takes to track time (especially if you take advantage of helpful tools, hint hint) is well worth the payoff.

    And, if you work in an office environment and haven’t been required to track your time yet, get ready—it’s probably coming soon.

    That’s why it’s important to understand how to properly track time and avoid some common mistakes.

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  • 5 Successful Night Owls Bust the Early Bird Myth

    Because you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to be productive!

    I really wish that I could bounce out of bed at 4am, drink some lemon water, and be on with the day. In fact, I once did that for a week and was a crying wreck by 7pm on Thursday. My coworker made me promise I’d stop.

    Were I to believe many of the productivity articles and entrepreneurs out there, this flaw means I’ll never be successful.

    When entrepreneurs talk about their morning routines, I feel like I’m in a locker room conversation of everyone one-upping the next. “I wake up at 5am and spend 90 minutes working out,” “Well I wake up at 4am, run a 10k, then mentor underprivileged kids and found a new NGO before checking emails by 8am.”

    Sir Richard Branson wakes up every day at 5am and encourages everyone to do the same. Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo is up at 4. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30am and out the door for a jog. They’re not the anomalies. In an informal survey, 90 percent of executives identified as being early risers.

    Feeling guilty for sleeping in till 7?

    This guilt made me want to explore a radical concept: what if you can sleep in, but still absolutely crush the heck out of your day?

    Some entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk, seem to be both lark and owl — getting 6 hours of sleep a night. Other CEOs swear by 4 solid hours, and even advise on how to cut your sleep down to that little.

    The thought of only 4 hours sleep a night, though, is a little horrifying. So we talked to some real-life night owls, and guess what? They’re still getting loads done, and getting plenty of sleep in the process. Here’s why our successful night owls swear by the evening hours for their productivity.

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  • Time Scarcity is in Your Head: Here’s How to Break Free

    Do you say ‘I don’t have time’ too much? Here’s how to manage your time better with a change in mindset, and Mac productivity apps that will restore the hours in your day.

    It’s already July. Where has the year gone? For that matter, do you remember the millenium? Children born in the Millenium will now be graduating from high school and heading off to college. Where has the time gone?

    “I don’t have time” is said way. Too. Much. Period. Yet we all have 24 hours in the day, so how do some people seem to have so much more?

    Statistics are now showing us how “I don’t have time” is just blatantly wrong. We work less than we used to, and we have more free time. Yet that is far from the experience of most people.

    But why? There’s one simple explanation, which is that we’re spending too much time on our screens, even when we’re not working. In a 2017 Ted Talk, psychologist Adam Alter analysed why our screens are stealing our time, and the reasons why this isn’t good for our mental health.

    It goes beyond our screens though. Being busy has become fashionable, a badge of success. It used to be that having made it meant that you had leisure time. Now, it seems that the wealthy and successful have more jam-packed schedules than any of us.

    So how do you break out of this culture where being busy is a status symbol, and develop a mindset of time abundance, rather than poverty. From work time apps and Mac productivity apps to a change in the words you use in daily life, here are some ways to reclaim the hours in your day.

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  • Introducing Timing Sync: Now tracking time across all your Macs!

    Ever since we launched Timing 2 a year ago, this has been our most popular feature request:

    How can I combine all my tracking data to get a complete picture of what I’m working on?

    For a long time, we didn’t have a good answer to this.

    But now, with Timing version 2018.1, you can finally sync your Timing data across all your Macs.
    The update is free for all Timing 2 customers and available right now (with Sync included for 12 months after your purchase), so you can download it right away or wait for our automatic updater to offer installing it. And if you are using Timing through Setapp, the update should automatically get installed very soon as well.

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  • 9 Entrepreneurs Share Weird Ways They Manage Time Effectively

    Tired of the same old tips for how to manage time? We asked productivity experts to weigh in with what they consider their ‘weirdest’ tips.

    Want to be more productive? Get up earlier, work in small bursts, exercise, and drink water. If I had a dollar for every article on the internet telling me to do these, I’d be richer than a Kardashian.

    What about the things that you don’t hear constantly: the experiments, and the personal discoveries? The Eureka moments when those of us desperate to eke more time out of our day realize if I do this small thing I work so much better!

    Employing some lesser-known hacks might be what you need to transition from stress-preneur to entrepreneur. Don’t worry, though, we’re only advocating legal techniques, unlike micro-dosing LSD which is currently the trending productivity hack in Silicon Valley.

    To find some brand new productivity hacks, we asked some experts what they do to get the most from their day. Think you know it all already? You’re about to find out.

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  • Procrastinator? How to Manage Your Time With Micro-Progress

    There’s a new craze on the block called micro-progress, to help you just get stuff done and feel happier while you do so.

    I’m about to say something you’ll hate.

    You are not short of time. You have time. If you really wanted to, you could fit everything into your day. Exercise, work, a social life, healthy eating — all of it.

    What was your reaction? Did you make an excuse, or start formulating ‘reasons’, for why you legitimately have no time? If so, then you need to take that excuse out of your vocabulary. Now. It’s as much of a procrastination aid as cat videos … but with more guilt, and less fluff.

    If you want to procrastinate less — and do more — then you don’t need a grand master plan of how to manage your time. Actually, you need the opposite. It’s tempting to try and set yourself grand, unachievable goals, and then either never start of give up early on. Because changing enough to fulfil these lofty goals requires too many lifestyle changes.

    It’s not that you don’t have time. It’s that it’s not a priority to change your entire schedule and current set of habits to create the time. Or as entrepreneur coach Peter Shankman puts it:

    “If you want something to be a priority in your life, you make the time for it at the expense of something you deem not as important. It’s truly that simple.”

    Which is great, but again, what if that’s too much friction? What if you still procrastinate and don’t have time? How do you get out of this loop?

    If you’re thinking that this is just another article to guilt you into feeling bad about not doing enough with your day, then don’t worry. Micro-progress is a feel good method of becoming more productive, and using your time better. Better still, it’s something you can accomplish easily with a Mac productivity app — so no fancy equipment is required.

    Whether you want to develop a new app, launch a new business, get fitter, or just do more with your day, tracking what you’re doing in terms of micro-progress is bound to change how you’re managing your time.

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  • From Time Tracking Apps to Marketing — Where and Why Freelancers Should Invest

    When I used to work as a marketing consultant for a digital marketing company, I would talk to dozens of freelancers and SMEs every week. The main reason I heard constantly for not buying services was: “I just don’t have the money right now, I’m just starting out/short on funds.”

    Often, they would promise to ring me back the moment they had a few sales, or had found that investor, or the moment high season began.

    You won’t be shocked when I tell you that call rarely came, and I didn’t wait for it.

    Does that sound familiar? If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, every cent you make is to put food on your table — so investing it back in yourself and your new business might be the furthest thing from your mind. The key thing is, it’s just that — an investment.

    Take timekeeping software for your Mac, for instance. You could just use a clock, but you won’t get the same benefits of knowing where your time has gone. When money is so limited, though, you have to be extremely careful about just how you invest it… and just using a clock seems more appealing, but could cost you money in the long run. Whether it’s thousands of dollars on paid advertising, or fifty dollars on a time tracking app, the decision about where to put your money for the best return on investment is never an easy one.

    With years of experience of marketing, tools and apps, we’re here to break down what you should invest in, why, and when’s the right time to do so.

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  • Mental Health Challenges as a Freelancer — and How to Cope

    To celebrate May being mental health awareness month, we’re looking at the challenges faced by freelancers… and how to survive them.

    When you’re looking into the life of a freelancer from the outside, it can seem idyllic. No boss breathing down your neck, flexible hours, and the ability to make your own schedule. Who wouldn’t want to do that? So when you quit your job to finally work on the project or career you’ve been planning for years, there normally follows an intense period of euphoria… by the crash. You might put too much pressure on yourself and burn out or feel like you’re being ruled by Murphy’s Law.

    Freelancers are predicted to make up to 50% of the workforce by 2020, so it’s vitally important that awareness is raised about the mental health challenges that we face by taking our employment into our own hands. As a 2004 Australian study put it, “overall, self-employment was found to be associated with relatively few mental health benefits,” but why is that? What are the biggest challenges as a freelancer, and how do you make it a success while, most importantly, staying sane?

    As someone who’s been through possibly more than my fair share of mental health challenges, here are three of the biggest issues to be aware of when you’re considering going down the freelance route. If you’re already a freelancer, then now’s a good time to check in with yourself. Are your habits healthy, or are you heading towards a breakdown?

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  • Why Automated Time Tracking Apps Are the Ultimate Time Management Hack

    The best argument for why you should be using an automated time tracker: because life’s too short for being unproductive.

    If you’re even at all nerdy about how to improve your life skills, you’ve read articles saying that time tracking is how super-busy entrepreneurs stay sane, balanced, and become successful. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing though, isn’t it? Which came first, the personality of that really successful person you’re aspiring to be, or their organizational skills? Have you found yourself reading about one of your business idols, and their morning routines, and thinking you will never have the discipline to be that strict with your time management?

    If you’ve been following along with our articles recently, you’ll have noticed a theme of time management skills. We started with goal setting and deciding your motivation behind tracking your time, then structuring your day effectively, and lastly how to turn these new skills into habits. One of the pieces of advice in the last article is that removing friction is one of the best ways to keep your new habits rolling. Time tracking apps are an integral part in effective time management skills, so why are they a source of so much anguish? If you’re not yet automating this part of the process, here’s why you should be.

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