How to minimize admin tasks while working remotely?

I am sure a lot of you are fed up of (with) being cooped up inside. And while we have all got used to working from home, there is no need to get complacent about your working habits or productivity. Working from home can boost your productivity by 20% and we are here to show you how! 

I am sure a lot of you are fed up of being cooped up inside. And while we have all got used to working from home, there is no need to get complacent about your working habits or productivity. Working from home can boost your productivity by 20% and we are here to show you how! 

Keeping your work environment productive (This is different from establishing a home work environment - it is about keeping space productive and  current) 


I am sure you have got an established schedule in place, but just because this routine worked in April and May, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the only option for you. As freelancers, it is vital to mix things up. Changing your routine once a month can increase your productivity twofold and stop you from stagnating. Dull admin tasks can really slow us down, so when you are planning your schedule, rotate the times that you have to do your admin tasks.


You need to set boundaries and targets. While rotating your schedule is good, it can sometimes lead to delaying essential admin work. You need to monitor your work using apps like Trello, and reward yourself when you complete your tasks. One way to stay accountable is to ask a friend to check up on you at an agreed upon time every week/month.


However, when you work from home, you have got to remember that there are always false friends. For example, networking is an effective way of reaching out to clients, but it can quickly lead to hours of distraction and wasted time. Therefore, you need to set targets and set periods of time for these types of admin tasks. You should always commit to smaller, but intense, periods of work. You are more productive when you focus on a specific task for a smaller time period. Two apps that are extremely useful to get rid of online distractions are Cold Turkey and Forest. Cold Turkey blocks any distracting apps/websites for a set time period. Forest is an app where you grow a virtual tree every time you complete a set amount of work. These apps are great for creating a structure in your day and reaching your goals. Every hour you should take a short break. 40% of people working from home saw their productivity increase by taking regular breaks.


But let’s face it, no one wants to do their admin tasks, so changing your schedule can prevent you from getting demotivated at the same point every week. You need to ensure you reward yourself for the work you have done, and for the time that you have stayed focused. The scientific evidence suggests your brain will demotivate from doing admin work in the future if you don’t reinforce it with positivity. A great way to motivate yourself is to take a break or to communicate your success with another freelancer after completing a difficult task.


Even though most of us are confined to one space, I am sure you have all lost an important piece of paperwork at home. Especially if you have busy children around the house! One of the easiest ways to organize and protect your documents is to digitize and store them in the cloud. 

Digitizing reduces duplication of work and boosts productivity.  You will be spending less time searching for those lost documents and more time working, often giving you a competitive edge. Most freelance coaches, for example, take about 1.5 hours to write up their notes - so it is essential that these notes are always accessible and secure.

Equally, it is important that you move your schedule online. Forgetting or missing a meeting will, in most cases, stop a client from returning. But equally, if your client forgets about the meeting, you can end up losing even more time and money. Using an online scheduler and reminder, like MeetFox, is a great way to ensure you don’t miss a meeting.  For more task-based jobs, we highly recommend Trello.

Clients are twice as likely to return to you if you remember specific details about their problems.  Having all the information in front of you on the computer makes it far more likely that you will be able to deliver this. It will also allow you to have every file available on one portable laptop, ready to meet clients in person. The best apps to digitize your work are Google drive, Notion, and Trello due to their simplicity. 

Outsource and Automate:

We all have tasks that we dislike doing at work.  For most of us freelancers, it is billing and accounting. For tasks that are taking you a long time to complete, it might be more efficient and cost-effective to outsource or automate these roles. In order to find out what is taking you the longest time and what should be outsourced or automated, you can use an app like strides to monitor the length of your tasks. For example, billing and associated admin on average can take around 20% of your working week, so this is something you should consider automating.  

Repetitive and time sensitive tasks like cold email campaigns and posting on social media, when automated, can lead to massive time savings and boost your productivity. Around 94% of marketers who automate their tasks saw a massive improvement in their performance. It is amazing how much time scheduling meetings can take during your work-week.  Especially on top of your already busy schedule of reaching out to clients on forums and social media. A freelance consultant spends at least 10 hours a week on arranging and organizing meetings with clients.  This time could be spent earning money. So, it is essential to either automate or outsource these tasks. We have found the best apps you can use to automate your tasks, here.

  • Where to outsource?

If you are going to outsource, you must find someone that you trust and that has the necessary knowledge. A good area to outsource is your accounting, as it is time consuming and not a core part of your business. 

When choosing someone to outsource here is a crucial checklist of questions to ask:

  • Location:  This remote world has opened the possibilities of outsourcing any aspect of your business to any part of the world. However, when you are looking for remote outsourcing options, it is essential that they understand your business culture and your country's market. Furthermore, certain jobs need to be outsourced to people with registered qualifications in your home country.
  • Expertise:  You want to choose someone with sufficient experience. Sometimes your requirements are so specific that a service provider with special skills has to be found. In this case, you may need to find a recruiting agency or ask around on social media and forums.  There, you can find lots of useful reviews.
  • Price: You want to outsource to someone who is charging a competitive rate and the best place to find this out is by asking other freelancers. If you have not already done so, we recommend you ask questions and find reviews by engaging in online discussions and forums (like Quora, Linkedin, our community pages). Once you have worked out the price you need to compare that against the amount of time it would normally take you doing it yourself. 

Do the math: If you could save 1.5 hours every day by outsourcing and that costs you $200 per month, is it worth it?

Your hourly rate: $70/hr

Workdays per month: 20

Outsourcing cost per month: $100

$70 hourly rate x 1.5 (1.5 hours saved)

x 20 (workdays a month)

= $2100

In this case a $200 worth of outsourcing could save you $1900 every month

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