How to Manage Time as a Freelance Massage Therapist

The demand for massage therapist services remains stable, and freelancers can easily venture into these waters.

Moreover, professionals can earn great livings with incomes that average $47k annually.

However, freelancers must figure out how to manage and maximize their time.

Several tips and tricks for maximizing work hours exist, such as using an appointment reminder app to manage schedules and appointments.

After that, independent contractors must balance several factors, like:

  • Income goals
  • Self-well being
  • Expense management

The factors dictate how many hours massage therapists must work weekly, monthly, and annually to make ends meet and maintain a satisfactory work/life balance.

Some professionals opt to open their shops instead of working for establishments so they can establish their schedules. For example, students, parents, and entrepreneurs must work around their responsibilities and other projects.

What Is a Freelance Massage Therapist?

A freelance massage therapist is a massage therapist who works as an independent contractor. Like other freelancers, the therapist will file their taxes with a 1099 instead of a W-2 form.

The Internal Revenue Service views all freelancers as small business owners. Nonetheless, independent contractors can operate as solopreneurs.

Some professionals offer their services as consultants or rent spaces at health-related establishments, such as spas and gyms. Others operate mobile businesses or lease their own storefronts.

If it’s your time to become a freelance massage therapist, check out this guide from Selfgood.

What Is Time Management?

Time management is the practice of optimizing the day’s hours so that individuals and professionals maximize their accomplishments and optimize their well-being.

In 2023, technology has become an excellent medium for managing time. No shortage of software and applications exists. Users simply need to pick their favorite time tracking option.

Now, we combine the two topics and outline how to manage time as a freelance massage therapist.

Establish Working Hours

First, freelancers must decide how often they will work; it helps them establish their working hours.

Independent contractors can complete some research to figure out when their potential clients are more likely to schedule therapy appointments.

Many professionals start with a 9 am to 5 pm Monday- Friday schedule. Then, therapists adapt to the schedule of their most loyal clients.

Therapists in the massage realm fall into a few sub-categories, such as:

  • Hot stone
  • Acupressure
  • Medical
  • Sports
  • Deep tissue

Some professionals offer various massage types, while others focus on one specialty. Therapists who focus on rehabilitation clients might do well working standard business hours while others might benefit from offering early morning and evening appointments.

Nonetheless, determine when most clients will book their appointments to establish working hours.

Set an Income Goal

Next, set an income goal. Some freelancers don’t need to work 40 hours weekly if they reach their income goals in less time.

Others might work 40 hours or more to maximize their earnings.

Independent contractors must work smarter instead of harder. Otherwise, entrepreneurs risk burning themselves out too soon.

Realistic income goals help individuals outline how much they need to work. Then, it allows them to set the schedules accordingly.

Use an Online Appointment Booking System

With the intended work schedule and income goals in hand, freelance massage therapists can optimize the use of an online appointment booking system.

Input the intended availability into an online calendar/booking software, system, or app. Then, make it available to clients online and through digital marketing techniques.

After using the system for some time, assess income earned against hours worked.

Sometimes, too much time in between appointments exists. Thus, freelancers must determine if they need to change their availability or find something else to do during those hours.

Assess Self-Well Being

Once freelancers try an online booking system or another resource, assess self-well being.

Freelancers must avoid burnout since it will prevent them from delivering excellent services at a stable pace. Plus, independent contractors risk losing their motivation to continue working.

Massage therapists can experience physical fatigue from overusing their hands. Plus, standing for long periods can impact their legs and joints negatively.

Thus, it’s essential to assess self-well-being as a time management tool. Maybe breaks in between appointments serve a positive purpose after all.

Maximize Demand

Finally, freelancers can manage their time by maximizing demand. Every appointment equals income for independent contractors. Thus, it’s not wise to turn down appointments.

However, some appointment times will not work out for freelancers. With some creativity, therapists can incentivize clients to attend sessions on days and times more favorable to the therapist.

Consider offering discounts, group rates, or on-site service options to fill up the schedule and reduce stagnant blocks of time.

Savvy massage therapists will develop a roster of loyal clients who might pay premiums to receive the best services. The quality of client rosters can outweigh the number of clients and help freelancers manage their time better.


Like other independent contractors, freelance massage therapists must work smarter, not harder. Therefore, savvy time management skills allow them to maximize income and maintain favorable work/life balances.

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