If anyone is paying attention to my website blog, they may have noticed that my October post is I missing. There’s a very good reason for this – I never got around to writing it!
Between a ten day trip to San Francisco, catching up on work commitments on my return home, and a rotten cold, it just slipped through the cracks. And that got me thinking about the time management challenges faced by freelancers.
So for the times where there just aren’t enough hours in the day, here are some strategies for getting the work done without losing your sanity.
Embrace the to-do list
When my work schedule is over flowing, making a list of everything I hope to accomplish in a day helps me maintain a sense of control. It also makes it easier to decide which tasks to tackle first, and which ones could wait until later – or even another day. Sometimes I plan out a work schedule for the entire week. It may sound silly, but boy does it feel good to watch the list shrink!
Manage client expectations
If you don’t want to work 24/7 then don’t answer emails, or your office phone, outside whatever business hours you establish for yourself. (Of course it’s OK to check in and respond to emergencies, but most issues really don’t need to be dealt with on a Friday afternoon.)
Be honest with yourself and your clients
What if you’re already up to your eyeballs and a great assignment comes your way? Be honest with yourself and your client about whether you can get the job done in the expected time frame. If people really like your work, they might just be able to find some wiggle room – or perhaps you can push another project back to a later date.
Find more time in your day
Sometimes you just have to get up at the crack of dawn or burn the midnight oil. Suck it up and realize being super busy is a great problem for a freelancer to have!
Don’t cry over dropped balls – but choose them carefully
I didn’t manage to write my October blog, but I did meet the month’s other work commitments. Sometimes you just need to make a strategic decision about which ball to drop, and then pick it up later!
I’d love to hear about how you cope with busy times…