Top 7 Time Drains for Freelancers

Life is busy as a freelancer, so it’s important to ensure that you are making the most of your time.  To help you stay on track, we’re covering some of the top drains on your time and how you can avoid them.

Problematic clients

Thankfully, most freelancers don’t experience issues, but a troublesome client can be a big drain on your time. This could be problems with invoices or inconsistency with the work they’re looking for. Whatever the issue, uncooperative clients can cause a great deal of frustration.

You should set out rules from the offset which dictate what you expect regarding payment, communication and feedback. A contract, for example, is a good solution for protecting yourself. The Balance offers a number of templates, which you can adapt to meet your requirements.


There are a number of demands on your time as a freelancer so it’s not unusual for you to find yourself becoming overworked and feeling the strain. According to a recent study by SJD Accountancy, nearly 70% of freelancers and contractors admitted that doing their own accounts is a cause of stress.

Consider enlisting an accountant to help you to manage your finances. A professional accountant can take the stress away from something and give you more time to focus on your work.

Unclear briefs

An unclear brief from your client can leave make your job difficult to carry out and ultimately waste your time.  Consider creating a template to send to each client, clearly outlining all of the information you need from them. This will make your job much easier and will save you trying to decipher any ambiguous instructions.

You can find more information about how to compose the perfect brief here.

Marketing your services

This is especially true in the early days when you can’t rely as heavily on word of mouth to source new clients. Updating your social media channels and website each day can take a great deal of time away from your work each day.

Set some time aside to bulk update your social media channels and make sure there’s content going out all day. There are plenty of tools available to help you organise your channels – Hootsuite and Buffer are two good options.

Personal distractions

Working from home has its perks, but it can also be difficult to focus and you can find yourself guilty wasting time. Aim to dedicated a separate room solely to your work and during this time, switch off your phone, log off social media and make sure you’re not interrupted.


Whether it’s a slow computer or a temperamental internet connection, technology can be one of the biggest drains of your time.

Investing in a good, reliable internet connection will make a big difference to your work. There are a number of tools which allow you to compare the fastest and cheapest packages in your area, and though this may be initially costly, could save you a lot of time in the long-run.

Administrative tasks

It’s surprising how much of your time can be spent on the small things and before you know it, the hours will slip away.

As you take on more clients and your time starts to become stretched, you should look to automate as much as you can. With the right tools, you could streamline a number of processes including your email communications and appointments.