Fitting a freelance career around a full-time job is challenging, but when you’re just starting out it’s also your safest financial bet. Because your time will be precious – it pays to become an efficiency expert.

Here are 3 tips for optimizing your time while pulling through the launch stage:

Wake Up Early

Set an intention each day by rising early and working on your business. The morning offer you uninterrupted hours and by making a practice of working on your business first thing each day, you psyche yourself into treating it as a priority. This will come in handy in the evenings when you’re debating between putting in more time or unwinding with Netflix.

Stop Saying ‘Yes’ To Everything

It can be easy to persuade yourself to say yes to every meeting and catch-up. You’re only as good as your network, right?

But during the launch stage, it’s very important to be selective with your time. Only take those meetings and “quick coffees” with people who bolster your motivation, rather than drain it.

Create Systems That Streamline Your Work

I wish I knew about all the tools and hacks I use now when I got started.

One of the tools that I have been using since day one is Freshbooks. It’s a bookkeeping tool with invoice management.

Another tool that has helped me is Boomerang by Gmail. I’ve since been going back and forth between Streak and Sidekick as my Gmail plugins. Both of these tools are CRM systems that integrate directly into Gmail and allow you to schedule your emails in advance.

Another great tool for optimizing your productivity is Crate + Buffer. Crate gives recommendations surrounding the types of content you should share online and Buffer allows you to optimize the time in which your content gets shared for clicks and engagement on social media.

Now I want to hear from you…

If you’re planning to start a freelance business but haven’t made the leap:

What’s slowing you down? What’s stopping you from making the jump?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Interested in learning how to make your first 100k as a freelancer? Be sure to check out my latest guide – 100 tips for making your first $100k.

Ross Simmonds is the founder of Foundation Marketing, and he writes at He's worked with Fortune 500 brands and startups on content marketing.