Finding work as a gig worker is easier than ever today, with access to the internet giving you the ability to land clients from around the world while you work from home. Apps like Upwork, Jobble, and others can easily connect workers with businesses or individuals that need their services. And while most gig workers would agree that more work is a good thing, it comes with challenges when you’re working through multiple apps.
Most freelancers and gig workers have several sources of work. Balancing jobs across apps, along with any direct clients you land through word of mouth or referrals, is one of the most challenging parts of being a gig worker. How can you organize all the work you’ve committed to and jobs you’ve picked up when you are using multiple apps? And how can you properly track and manage your income when it comes from several sources, without losing your mind or getting slammed by an unexpected tax bill?
Thankfully, there are several ways you can make managing your work easier.
Limit your app availability
After you’re established on multiple apps, it can be tempting to leave your availability open. After all, you don’t want to miss out on work when it comes up. But running in all directions at once can end with you pulling your hair out instead of bringing in hard-earned cash.
Instead, focus your efforts. When you’re working in apps like DoorDash or Uber, consider limiting your availability to times you know you’ll stay busy, like mealtimes, rush hour, or weekends. You can leverage the less-busy times with apps like TaskRabbit, SudShare, or others that are more task-focused. This approach can keep you from spreading yourself too thin while also maximizing your income streams.
Constant task switching is a productivity killer, so all those pop-ups and notifications on your phone can have a major negative impact on your finances as a gig worker. When possible, schedule part of your day for responding to emails and notifications. Then, once you’ve gotten through them all, turn off notifications (or hide your phone!) until it’s time to check them again.
It can take as long as fifteen minutes to get back on track after an interruption. Planning your schedule and minimizing interruptions boosts your productivity, which gives you the chance to get more work done!
Choose where to shine
When you started out as a gig worker, you may have signed up to do anything and everything. Driving? Yes. Laundry? Sign me up. Putting IKEA furniture together? For sure! Now that you’ve been doing it for a while, you may have found that you like doing certain types of work more than others, or that you’re making a good income on only two or three apps.
Part of balancing your gig work across multiple apps might actually mean deleting a few of those apps. Maybe you’ve found you don’t love the work that platform offers, or you’re too busy to do much work there anyway. Narrow your focus and spend more time doing work you enjoy!
Track income and expenses in one place
Gig worker platforms often come with built-in invoicing and payment systems, which makes client billing simple for freelancers and gig workers. But if you have work outside of the platform, you need to bill your clients and accept payments another way. And even if you receive payments through a gig worker app, you’re still responsible for tracking and paying taxes, which can get confusing when your payments are coming from multiple platforms.
Using one system to manage your finances is key to maintaining good financial habits — and your sanity — as a gig worker. With indi, you can keep all your finances in one place. No matter where your income comes from, you can use indi to keep track of your income and expenses, as well as stay on top of your estimated taxes. Your clients and gig platforms can deposit your earnings directly into your indi account too, making it even easier for you to track your income.
Working on multiple apps has the benefit of adding possibilities to your work, whether it’s connecting with new clients, expanding your skills, or finding a new niche that perfectly fits your background. Doing a bit of planning will help you streamline your workflow and give you more time to work and enjoy the flexibility of gig work.
Upwork, Jobble, DoorDash, Uber, TaskRabbit, SudShare, and IKEA are trademarks of their respective third-party owners. Unless specified otherwise, indi has no affiliation with these applications or their owners. Learn about the indi for Jobblers debit card at https://jobble.com/banking/debit-card. Banking services provided by PNC Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.