One of the upsides of being a freelancer is being the keeper of your own time. You get to decide how much of your day goes into a project you’re working on and how much of your energy goes into other tasks required. However, as new projects start piling up, juggling your workload and keeping up with deadlines will be no easy feat.
The secret to success boils down to proper time and energy management. Still, learning how to prioritize tasks and how to channel your energy on the things that really require it is easier said than done. With a few hacks, you’ll get the hang of it in no time at all.
It’s time for you to get organized. It will be easy for you to miss out on a deadline if you don’t have a record of all your projects, so sort through your list of projects and keep track of the time required for you to complete them.
It also helps to break down big projects into smaller, actionable steps—this way, you also to see your progress as the days go by. This also encourages you to spread out the workload and not cram everything in one day.
One of the secrets to working smarter is to prioritize the things that require more of your energy and to strategically schedule your day to complete them when you work most efficiently. Some people work better in the morning right after their cup of coffee, and some people work best at night—try to think about your patterns.
Schedule most of the heavy lifting for your projects during your most optimum work time so you get more done. Brainstorming, writing, and ideating will take up most of your energy—so plan these activities when you’re at the best condition to work; and schedule things like admin work, timesheets, and answering emails later on. When you manage where you spend your energy, the less likely you are to get burnout from all your projects.
From the get-go, you and your client will usually work out a deadline that is reasonable for both parties. During this step, analyze and think about your timelines. Do you have other projects ongoing? How long will it take you to ideate? How long will it take you to execute? How long are you going to allot for revisions?
Don’t just agree with your client without thinking of these things and factoring them in when deciding on a deadline. Each project deserves your full capacity and your best effort—having ample time is key.
It’s important that you keep your client in the know regarding your progress. If there will be any hiccups down the line, it will be easier for you to ask for an extension on the project. Let your client know what the next steps are as well once they grant the extension, so they know how you are likely to approach the situation.
How much work did you get done? How much of the project have you completed already? What will you work on tomorrow? How can you efficiently work through your list?
Answering these questions at the end of the day will give you a clearer picture of what your work pattern is and what kind of pace you keep. Getting insights will help you stay on top of your game and learn to work better on your next tasks. Make time to think about the things that worked for you and the things that you can improve on.
Having a lot of projects all at once can be a good problem to have. It means you’re good at what you do and a lot of people trust you with their projects. It’s all about building healthy work habits.
Once you get into the habit of managing your days better, setting proper timelines, using up your energy efficiently, and discovering your pace, you’ll plow through all your deadlines in no time at all.
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