How to Work Less and Earn More as a Freelancer

Freelancing is becoming increasingly popular as a career option. Freelancers complete projects or tasks for employers on a temporary basis as governed by a contract or agreement. A freelancer works from their own home and on their own flexible time. Thanks to this flexible feature, freelancing has become very popular among professionals.

Freelancing can be a full-time or part-time job option. People looking to work independently and from their own space can take up full-time freelancing whereas those who want to earn some extra money in their free time can take up freelancing as a part-time job option. Freelancers exist in various fields, meaning there is work for all tastes.

Despite these advantages, freelancing also has a few drawbacks. A freelancer needs to manage his or her career properly in order to succeed. Failing to overcome the challenges and drawbacks of freelancing can impede one’s success as a freelancer as the individual might end up working many more hours than expected, resulting in lower hourly pay. In addition, failing to manage their work as a boss can lead to frustrations and an inability to handle pressure from clients. A few months of such freelancing disasters will cause freelancers to question their decision to work on their own. Thus, freelancing is not as easy as it sounds. Turning the drawbacks of freelancing into advantages is critical for success.

The best to maximize the benefits of freelancing is by managing one’s career in such a way that one works less but earns more. Freelancers need to work methodically in order to work less and earn more. This article discusses how to enhance a freelancing career and find ways to earn more by doing less.

The Major Challenges of Freelancing

First, we will review the basic drawbacks of freelancing that increases a freelancer’s work. The major challenges of freelancing that freelancers need to overcome in order to reduce their workload are highlighted in the following list.


Freelancers work from their own comfortable space, be it a hall, study, bedroom, or café. However this benefit can create a major drawback for freelancers. Freelancers who think that they can work comfortably from any area in the house quickly find that reality is not as easy as it sounds. Not everyone has a spacious study to turn into a home office for freelancing. Most freelancers dedicate a corner of a room to their work. However, a corner cannot create a private space for working.

instantShift - Messy Workspace

To work effectively, freelancers need to focus and concentrate on their work, which is possible only with a private workspace. In addition, working from home often means working around family, which leads to disturbances from family and friends during the workday. A home also includes various entertainment sources such as radios and televisions, all of which can distract you from your work. A disorganized workspace can negatively affect your, thereby reducing work quality or preventing you from completing your work on time. This will lead to increased workloads. Ultimately, you end up creating more work while still earning the same.

Freelancing Time

Another benefit of freelancing is the flexible work hours. Freelancers choose when to work. However, as with the flexible workspace, flexible time can create a major disadvantage. By having a flexible work schedule, freelancers may choose to work at their convenience, which makes them somewhat less responsible toward time. They feel that they can work at any time and complete their work without maintaining a dedicated work hours. However, without defining your work time, you cannot complete your work on schedule. Without scheduled hours, you might think that you can complete the work at anytime. Yet what happens is that you tend to postpone your work when other issues arise, which ultimately increases your workload. In addition, disorganized time can lead to indulging in unproductive working hours. Working at different hours without following a schedule can cause you to lose your concentration, which eventually leads to having to do more work without creating any effective production and earning less.

Pressure From Clients

instantShift - Pressure From Clients

Clients often are not in direct daily contact with freelancers; consequently, they find it difficult to trust freelancers completely. Clients will often put more pressure on freelancers to complete the work. They may call repeatedly to ask about the completion of the work. Such pressure can significantly affect a freelancer’s work.

Pressure from clients can discourage freelancers from working properly. Their productive time is hampered as is their quality. As a result, they have to work more but earn less.

Work Requirements

Freelancers are responsible for managing their work requirements. In an office, the employer provides employees with the necessary system, software, network connection, and other important tools. As a freelancer, you must handle all these requirements at your own expense. Although it may seem like this is just a one-time investment, any problems that arise will need to be corrected. Such issues can disrupt your work as well as cause you to be less productive. In other words, they not only increase your workload, but also increase your expenses.


Effective freelancers must be able to deal with multiple deadlines on a regular basis. If freelancers promise too much to clients, it creates more problems in the future. Failing to commit wisely to submission dates and deadlines for specific tasks ultimately increases the workload and freelances need to work more and faster to keep up, thereby affecting the quality of the work. Looming deadlines can cause added stress.

Freelancers must manage their timeline effectively and commit to projects wisely because failing to meet a deadline creates a bad impression on the client. It is always better to speak directly to clients if the deadline seems unrealistic, and notifying clients as far in advance that a deadline cannot be met is better than rushing at the last moment or creating major disruptions in the client’s timeline.

How to Overcome Freelancing Challenges

The failure to address each of these challenges effectively causes freelancers to face increased workloads with less pay. As a freelancer, you need to make these challenges work to your advantage. The following section discusses how to do so in order to work less and earn more.

Organizing Workstation

Freelancers must organize their workstations in order to encourage productivity and quality. The ideal workspace is private to prevent interruptions and minimize unproductive hours.

instantShift - Clean Workspace

You cannot work amidst the hustle bustle of family or friends. If you cannot use a room exclusively for work, then choose a room where you can close (and lock, if necessary) the door to ensure privacy. Maintaining private working space will allow you to concentrate on your work. By working more productively, you can work fewer hours while creating quality product, thereby earning more. Your workspace should also be comfortable so you can focus on creative production. Therefore, the first mantra to be followed in order to work less and earn more is to organize the ideal workspace for your freelancing career.

Organizing Time

Successful freelancers organize their time in such a way as to maximize their productivity. Let’s look at the following example: You are working on a project and, instead of organizing your hours, you work one or two hours during the day whenever you feel like working. Because you work in such short spurts that are spaced far apart, each time you start on the project, you need to revise all the essentials where you left off. Therefore, you do more revising than is required. This increases your unproductive hours and your working hours; consequently, you end up working more and earning less. In order to overcome this problem, you need to organize your work time. Whether you like working in the morning or at night, create a daily schedule that works for you. Follow your schedule strictly in order to minimize unproductive hours. This will ultimately mean that you work less. Maintaining scheduled work time allows you to focus on your work and complete it ahead of schedule.

In addition, it ensures that you can maintain a balance between work and personal life.

Tracking Time

Tracking your time is also an effective way to succeed in freelancing. Tracking your work hours gives you a better idea about your pace. Especially when starting your freelancing career, you might not be sure about how much time is required for a particular task. Thus, you might not be confident enough when committing yourself to work. Tracking your time helps you determine how much time is required for a particular task, which enables you to dedicate your work hours as required.

You can use widgets or an alarm clock to record your time. You can also use online tools to track your hours. As a freelancer your time is money; therefore, tracking time is critical for managing your accounts and earnings.

Committing Yourself Wisely

Another way to work less and earn more as a freelancer is by committing yourself wisely. When accepting a project, always make sure that you are not making any overly unrealistic promises regarding the timeline, which might create problems for you in the future. You need to understand how much time is required for each task and should commit yourself based on this information, keeping some extra hours to deal with any unexpected issues. If you are not constantly worried about meeting your deadlines, you can focus on completely the project well. Be deadline conscious, not deadline tormented. By committing wisely you can work comfortably while earning more.

Communicating Well

instantShift - Communicating Well

Clear communication is essential for every freelancer. A lack of communication can create problems in client–freelancer relations. Failing to communicate clearly with your client can result in a loss of trust, which leads to more pressure from the client and decreased productivity for the freelancer. Therefore, you should always maintain regular communication with clients, including updates about the progress of their work via email, phone calls, or messages. This gives them the assurance that the work is in good progress and will be completed before the scheduled time. Some ways to improve communication with your client are:

  • Be active in your emails, calls, and messages;
  • Record voicemail messages to keep your clients updated about your status;
  • Keep your clients updated about work progress regularly; and
  • Contact clients at regular intervals to avoid miscommunication.

Effective communication with your client will help you achieve your goals as a successful freelancer.

Increase Your Value

Another important way to work less and earn more is by increasing your value as a freelancer. Skills that are in high demand are always paid more. To increase your freelancing value, you should be a quality provider. Three things should be always maintained when freelancing: quality, quantity, and time. If you are able to manage all three, you can consider yourself a good freelancer. Keep your skills updated with the market standards so that clients recognize your value. You need to provide nothing but the best to your clients in order to improve your position as a freelancer. Therefore, a major mantra behind working less and earning more is to work hard and improve your value.

Quoting Wisely

Be careful about quoting prices for a project. When first starting as a freelancer, you might need to work more with less pay. However, once your quality is projected and you are in a better position, you should always ask for the market value. Then will ensure that you earn more while freelancing.

Working Smartly

Last but never the least you should always try to work smartly, which is more important that working hard. Smarter work enables you to work less and earn more. You should distribute your work hours in a smart way so that your work is completed within fewer hours. Thus, you can work fewer hours but earn more.


Overcoming all the challenges of a freelance career and following the steps to success mentioned above can help you work less and earn more, becoming a successful freelancer.

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  1. Ya i really accept this because freelancing is not a cup of tea for those who dont want to follow these :)

  2. Awesome article with great inspiration.. thanks Nahid

  3. This is the great idea for freelancer, I can see my fault after read end. Can I translate to Thai language to provides my network? Woo, all challenges that i’ve ever seen them. And the critical challenge is Time management.

    Million Thx to author, Nahid and Organization

  4. Really useful tips. The work space should always be the priority.

  5. Nahid, thanks for wise advices. I’ll try to apply them. Btw, there is another thing that can improve freelancers’ lives – motivation. When you’re imspired and self-motivated you can create almost anythong. Otherwise, it’s hard to wake up and start working effectively. Take a look at this post – I guess there are good tips to supplement you article

  6. Awesome ideas, Nahid! Those are actually my challenges in my freelancing career. I really have to adjust myself and get rid of social media sites because it kills my time instead of working on a project. By the way, I hope you will have a list of some useful tools for freelancers someday so we can get more info from you again. Here are the tools I use though if I may contribute: Basecamp ( – for collaboration and project management, Skype ( – communicaton, and Time Doctor – for efficient time tracking. Thanks again for the advices!

  7. Great article, Thanks man.

  8. I like your article Nahid. There are a lot of helpful tips in it. Since I started tracking my time my productivity has much improved and I was able to reduce my hours.

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