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Tips for working as a Contractors – Make 2018 your best year yet!

Tips for Working as a Contractor – Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet!

Whichever career path you choose in life, it’s important to recognise the importance of establishing a healthy and happy work life balance. Many people choose working as a contractor due to the flexibility it provides when it comes to making time for work, rest and play, and this is one of the main reasons why this career path has continued to rise in popularity in recent years.


From not being tied to regular working hours through to choosing the holidays that work for you and your family, being your own boss comes with a whole host of perks. However, while there are many advantages associated with contracting in terms of balancing your home and work life, if you do not manage your time effectively you can easily end up working long, unsociable hours.


And if you’re already forming big plans for 2018, making the most of your contracting situation is vital. After all, it’s often the case that many contractors end up resenting too much work when they are unable to get the down time they need. So here are our top tips for planning time to work, time for holidays and even booking clients.


  1. Keep your contractor and home life separate


Although it’s not always necessary, many people invest in their own or shared office space in order to separate their home and work life. This means that they always have a base to work from when it comes to completing admin or hosting client meetings.


But most importantly, many contractors find that they are far more productive during their working day when they have a base to retreat to, especially when it comes to getting away from the many distractions that often-come hand in hand with their home life. If you do not have the luxury of separate working space, then try and keep contracting work to the set hours of the contract (where possible).


  1. Learn how to balance your hours


Depending on the industry that you work in, many contractors find themselves working extremely long hours, especially if they are working to a tight deadline. At the same time, a lot of contracting work requires contractors to work away from home which can then put a significant amount of strain on family life.


With this in mind, if you do find yourself in a position where you have taken on projects where you are away from home for long periods of time, or you have had to work long hours for weeks at a time, make sure you take a few weeks off once you have finished the contract.


  1. Learn to say no


It’s important that you learn to say no. Although this can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you don’t know when your next contract will be, it’s important that you don’t land yourself in a position where you are completely over worked and over stretched.


This could not only potentially compromise the quality of your work but it will also leave you little time for down time, holidays and quality time with the family.


Before signing up to a project, think about its long term benefits, value to your career and the value you can bring to your clients. Aim to filter out anything that might be too time-consuming but does not work strategically for you.


If you do decide to take on more work, set a realistic timescale and manage expectations well with the clients from the start.


  1. Unplug


In today’s technology obsessed society many of us are permanently attached to our smart phones and devices making it increasingly difficult to switch off during and after the working day.


Responding to emails as and when they come through cannot only have a huge impact on your productivity throughout the day, but it can also consume your time out of working hours too.


Instead switch your email alerts off and only check and respond to emails at certain points during the day. Trust us, this will save you so much time and increase your efficiency long-term.


  1. Delegate


A great way to free up more time in 2018 whilst working as a contractor is to delegate the tasks that are consuming your time.


For example, it might be worthwhile sourcing accountancy support or delegating some of your financial tasks to an outside provider, including invoicing, tax payments and the admin side of working as a contractor.


If you currently operate as a sole trader, working via an umbrella company or a limited company may not only save you money in the long term, but also free up your time to develop your skills further and land more profitable contracts.


If you are a contractor looking for additional support from either an umbrella company or an experienced contractor accountant, or you are thinking about becoming a contractor in the near future and want to know what your best options are, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our friendly and helpful team is always on hand to answer any of your questions.


For your free consultation, get in touch today.

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