Data entry requires you to source a particular type of data and input it into a system. This can be overwhelming if you are dealing with a large amount of data. If you are working on data entry as a freelancer, you need to understand that it will not be any easier – except you will be doing it from the comfort of your home.
Data entry work requires both speed and accuracy. Accuracy is paramount because it affects key decisions in the organization. The data has to be up to date, or the time put into the task will be a waste of time. There are many ways you can speed up your freelance data entry jobs. Here are some of them:
1. Increase the speed at which you type
As a freelancer, you will be dealing with deadlines, and clients will lose faith in you if you do not meet them. One of the ways you can meet a deadline is to increase your typing speed. The load will seem lighter if you speed up – and you will have enough time after inputting the data to make sure it’s accurate. Increasing your typing speed will also help increase your income, since you will be able to work on more projects. You can use software to increase your typing speed - the most common one is Mavis Beacon.
2. Use hotkeys rather than mouse
Precious seconds are lost when you use the mouse. This accumulates into minutes, and then hours. Every second is precious in data entry, you can make them all count by using hotkeys. Hotkeys are often called shortcuts and all data entry software has strings of shortcuts. Learn the hotkeys to improve your efficiency, so your hands won’t have to lift from the keyboard. To view the list of hotkeys, go to your toolbar and choose Navigation Help. List the ones you use frequently and try to memorise them, or tape the list to your monitor where you will see them as you work.
3. Have stipulated working hours
Working as a freelancer gives you the privilege of working at your convenience. The flexible working hours can be the secret of your success in your data entry job - or your failure. When you’re assigned work you may put off starting, telling yourself you can begin later - and when you get back to it, you will be racing against time. Scheduling working hours will avoid this. Make sure you bid for data entry work at times when you are most relaxed, and you will witness a spike in your productivity.
4. Organize the files on your computer
Data entry tasks are cumbersome and time-consuming, as you will need to gather the data yourself. Staying organized is the key to finishing on time. You would not want to be searching your computer for missing files, so have a separate folder for each task. Keep all resources you need for that task in the folder, so that you can easily reach them. This also makes it easy for you to find and replace a particular file when an updated form of specific data is needed. Every file in the folder should be labeled in accordance with its content. Staying organized is the key to enhanced productivity.
5. Spend time in research to improve your accuracy
Good research breeds better results. When your research is vague, your data set will not be as accurate, leading to your client rejecting your work or asking you to amend it. If your customer rejects your work, you’ll have wasted time and energy. Amendments are not easier, because you will have to do more research in other to replace the erroneous entries. The accuracy of your data source can also affect your overall accuracy. If you acquire data from a unreliable source and do a good job with it, your customer may still reject your work. Only proper research will give the most accurate data. Remember, getting it right the first time is always more convenient.
6. Learn to multitask
Multitasking is working two or more tasks simultaneously. Waiting to complete one task before starting another is not the most efficient use of time. You risk missing your deadline if you wait to finish your research before you start your data entry, especially if you have a large volume of work to handle. The best way to fix this is to split your window in two. Open your browser in one half, and your data entry sheet on the other. If you are told by your client to find a particular list of item – let’s say names – it will be easier and faster to copy them from your browser into your data sheet. If you wait to finish your research before entering your data, there is also the risk you will forget some of your sources and have to go back to get them. Copying from your browser directly into your worksheet will take care of the errors that would have arisen from typing them yourself.
7. Embrace activities that will keep you mentally alert
There are lots of erroneous articles on the web that portray freelancing as a get-rich-quick business where you can earn millions within minutes. All those are scams. The problem with believing them is that when faced with a daunting task like data entry, you could be tempted to cut corners. This mindset makes you burn out quickly, and when you are not mentally alert, you can spend two hours doing a task that should have taken 30 minutes. Regular exercise can help you boost your concentration. Regular coffee breaks can be helpful too, because coffee contains caffeine which is an excellent stimulant.
Research has shown that most of the Fortune 500 Companies outsource 99 percent of data entry jobs. As a freelance data entry expert, you have a wide scope of job opportunities available to you. Finally, it is important to do what you love and love what you do. This gives you some mental calmness when approaching data entry tasks.
Let us know what other measures you have been employing to hasten your data entry jobs in the comment box.