I am not usually a fan for buying gadgets unless they are for a genuine reason. Buying something which will help you to save time is definitely a genuine reason to purchase it. I have discussed ten items which have helped me to save my time. There are probably more purchases you can make but these for me are the main ten.
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1. Filing Cabinet
I previously discussed the dire need to organise your desk and file all paperwork in a correct manner. This can potentially save you up to 2 hours a day. It is therefore essential that you invest in a proper filing cabinet which can hold all your paperwork and receipts etc.
2. A Second Monitor
Or third. My attitude toward monitors is, the more the merrier. For example, you could have your to-do list on the first monitor, your work on your second and a calendar on the third. Many successful freelancers have invested into a second or third monitor and find it impossible to go back to one.
3. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
For every freelancer this is an absolute buy. This will help you organise your time whether you need to attend meetings, submit projects or know when a deadline is, this is the perfect gadget for you. Whichever kind you PDA you go for, it doesn’t matter, so long as it helps you.
4. Office Speaker Phone
When a company puts you on hold, there is no point in waiting around with your hand to your ear. To save time use a speaker phone and continue to work on something which doesn’t require so much concentration. I was on the phone to a company this morning for twenty minutes and if I hadn’t used a speaker phone I would have wasted every minute of that time.
5. Paper Bin
I’m sure we have all been there when we are looking for one receipt which we have thrown in the bin. I would suggest purchasing a paper recycling bin so that all your receipts are kept safe and can even be accessed after being thrown away.
6. Post-it Notes
We all know how great those yellowy stickers are. They are cheap and for such a small price you get loads. Post-it notes can really help because they can be stuck anywhere, around your monitor, on a fridge, on a pile of notes as a reference etc.
7. An Wobbly Chair
No I have not lost my mind! When someone who is going to cost you a lot time comes into your office, place this chair down for them. They will not stay long if they aren’t feeling comfortable sitting. I find that this is a real issue for freelancers, especially those who work from home. Guests at home can be of many types and can come at any time and it may be detrimental to your time. For example, your neighbour comes to your house for a “chat” and you are not particularly fond of Mr. Blabbermouth. Sit him on the chair and I guarantee he won’t stay long.
8. A Real Phonebook
In the last two years I have dropped and broken two mobile phones. This has meant that I have lost contact with many business contacts at the time. Now I have a phone book, a real one, made of paper! This means that all the important people I need to call have an alternative place to be remembered and now I need not search my inbox and call random people asking for someone’s number.
9. A Notepad
Keep a notepad with you at all times, literally. When you are out and an idea comes to your head or someone tells you something etc, then you will waste valuable time trying to memorise what it was. Having a notepad can save you time. Even Einstein did this!
10. A Lock
This is for your office door. Children will not let you work in your home office and if you work elsewhere then distractions can have a field day there too. I would advise purchasing a lock which you can engage as soon as you sense trouble.
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