Time management tips for a freelancer

So i guess you are a freelancer and you are eager to save time and want to learn how to handle your shit as life, relationships, work and hobbies are getting too much to organise sometimes. I am a freelancer for the past 3 years so I know what you are going through. I sometimes lose my sanity trying to balance everything. But when I get anxious, there are some tips i follow in order to put everything into place and manage the time in my life to get the most of it. Let’s dive in the tips, shall we?

Prioritise YOURSELF

Please, before doing anything else note this: time with yourself is the most precious time you are spending right now; if you are not feeling well, how on earth would you handle all the issues in your life. So time management starts with you, how you handle your routine, how you respect your body with healthy habits in eating and exercise, what time you wake up and how you ground yourself. What is working for me and this can be adjusted to anyone of you who might be reading this:

  • I wake up at 6-7am everyday
  • I drink a glass of water as soon as I get up (throughout the day I drink more than 2L of water)
  • Everyday I eat breakfast before 9am and i keep the rest of my meals light and enough to allow me to be energetic not lethargic.
  • I exercise once a week at a gym (circuit or pilates) and I aim to walk everyday or at least 3 times per week for about an hour or so.
  • I really love Hiking – it benefits my walking as i do more than 5-7km everytime and spending time in nature helps me be calm.
  • I usually ground myself by walking barefoot at the beach or in the garden or by hugging trees 🙂
  • I am listening to calming music to help me focus – Try out Ludovico Einaudi, he is scientifically proven to help with focus and anxiety.
  • I work on my healthy habits with professionals: I have my nutritionist that I get to see every month so she keeps a track of my progress – she was the one to find that I’m lactose intolerant and I had to cut off milk products and by doing so, bloating stopped and I’m feeling sooo good atm! I also have my fitness trainer and she respects my limited time, she even took notice of my injuries and she makes specific exercises that make me feel better as we go ahead.
  • Special tip: Before every month begins, take your calendar and note the dates and times off for yourself. Then it will be clear how much you have left for the rest things to do. When you’re a freelancer the biggest blessing is you are your own BOSS. That doesn’t mean you are not working a lot, but that means you can be flexible with the timeframes.

WRITE everything down

Writing is powerful, to me feels like a contract with myself: if i write it, I MUST do it.

  • Carry a small notebook everywhere you go to take notes. What works for me truly though is my voice recorder on my phone – always there to listen to me, my ideas and my thoughts 🙂
  • Before going to bed write down a brief of the next day to help you save time.
  • I bought Remarkable 2, a paper felt tablet that helps me organise all the work I have to do with separate notebooks on each client and brand I need to deal with as a Social Media manager. With this tip I urge you to find the right tools to help you be organised. It’s chaotic to have papers everywhere and when deadlines hit, the last thing you want is to search for the notes you were taking on a meeting somewhere in one of your 10 different notebooks.
  • List your tasks with a certain time next to it – just like the example I wrote for you below. When you have a time limit, it feels easier and clearer to complete the task.

Create MORE, fear less

As a freelancer, under the umbrella of the brand I created, I use the slogan ‘Create More, Fear less. Creating more doesn’t necessarily means that it won’t be good enough, it just means even though is not perfect, you still can go ahead with it. In previous jobs I noticed that I had to put things off due to perfectionism and it was hard for me to finish something I had started. But when time is limited, instead of creating all this drama, you have to convince yourself to take the plunge, complete the task even imperfectly, and come back later to improve. Don’t let the fear of failure to keep you from creating things. Keep creating.

BE FULLY in the moment

When I am on my laptop, I tend to be fully present there. I don’t allow calls, texts or social media to interrupt me. Same happens when I go for a dinner with family. Same applies when I’m hanging out with my friends. When you are present, BE FULLY there. Your people will appreciate you more for that and your work will love you for that, as the time you offer to them is not distracted by anything else and thus feels more precious.

Multi-tasking is not a compliment anymore. In this hustle culture of today, the real game changer at work is focusing on one task at a time. Pair it with your favourite music and you will have a deep concentration to allow you work just enough to complete the tasks of the day. Don’t try to do everything, just what is on your calendar. Special tip: Always allow an hour free in your schedule – if something pops in unexpectedly you can fit it in that free time.


As a freelancer I thought if I say yes to all the opportunities that came in, I would be successful much faster: WRONG! This is just the quickest way to burnout. Be careful with this and learn the art of saying no to things you don’t really want to do as this will allow you to be authentic, allow the right things to flow in your way and to be extra giving with the things you want to actually do. This applies to personal and work life. Balance is the ultimate purpose in every person’s life and thus highly difficult to achieve it, so never give up and when you face a difficult circumstance always ask yourself: by doing this, will i feel better or feel anxious?

Work around YOUR routine

When you see how others work it’s easy to compare yourself. In reality what actually worked for me was to take the time to understand what I really like doing and when, and that allowed me to organise my work depending on MY routine, not others. So how do i do it? I dedicate each task to a specific day: for example every Monday and Thursday is a laptop day – meaning I will dedicate my morning hours on editing photos, videos and uploading content for my clients and answering emails etc. Every Tuesday is free for work meetings and personal matters (such as a visit to the hairdresser, nails etc). Every Wednesday or Friday is a production day, meaning I will go to my clients and take photos and videos. And if work is less I will give myself a free day to learn new things or explore around my island.

As I am a mother, I try on weekends to be present but if i have work, i’ll take him with me, so he can help too and I pay him to understand how money comes in the house and appreciate everything he has. On weekdays though, afternoons is all about him most of the times, as I’m his taxi driver:)

Regular BREAKS work miracles

Imagine you work non-stop for a day. I bet at 5pm you will feel super tired. What works for me: 5-minute breaks after 30 minutes of FULL UNINTERRUPTED FOCUS – drink water, walk around, listen to a podcast for motivation, grab a healthy snack. As long as it includes movement and nourishment it’s good for you and will keep you going throughout the day.

If you work non-stop for a month or so, plan ahead a trip or a big reward – at least you will be working with that in mind and you will know when the hard work is done, it will definitely pay off. I remember when I was working full time for a festival with only 6 hours of sleep in 7 days (i was like a zombie), I couldn’t see my son on day time and I could only kiss him when I was coming home late at night. What kept me going, was the promise I made to him: ‘Once the festival is gone, I’m taking you on a 3-day road trip, where you decide where we go and what we do.”. Now you can imagine, what happened after the festival. One of my most memorable weekend with him up until now, such an adventure.

”less mindless hustle, more mindful magic”

make that promise to yourself.

Stop WASTING time

Stop scrolling.

Stop the meetings which could have been 5-minute calls.

Stop critisizing.

Stop wishing to be someone else.

Stop overthinking.

Stop daydreaming all the time (daydreaming sometimes is actually beneficial to your creativity so distinguish that)

Stop blaming others for your responsibilities.

Stop being hard on yourself.

Stop wasting your time.

Respect time and time will respect you.

If you liked this blog post, share it with a friend in need.


Marianna xoxo

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