I will be the first one to admit it: I donâ€™t mind biting off more than I can chew. Sounds crazy, right? Before you start thinking I went off the deep end, let me explain.
First and foremost, being busy is like a drug to me. I hate sitting around, doing nothing, when I could be working. No matter if I am writing an article, building a website, or putting together a marketing plan, if I am busy working I usually have a smile on my face.
Just because I enjoy working as much as possible does not mean you are the same. Even if you are like me in this regard, donâ€™t underestimate the importance of regular breaks. You know your body better than anybody else â€“ donâ€™t burn out.
Biting off more than I can chew means I am forced to hunker down and really focus. As you can imagine, this increases my level of performance and allows me to learn at a higher rate of speed.
I know what you are thinking: what if you get in over your head? What if you have a deadline you just canâ€™t meet? Even though I tend to take on a lot of work, I always know where to draw the line.
In my opinion, biting off more than you can chew is one of the best ways to grow your business, learn more as a writer, and of course, increase your income.
When you are up against the clock, it is essential that you stay organized, focus on the task at hand, and complete one job after the next. When all is said and done you can look back and realize that you faced off against a giant responsibility and came out on top.
Over the years I have found that time management is one of the most difficult parts of being a freelance writer. No matter if you are just getting started or have a full list of clients, managing your time is essential to long term success.
Below are several time management tips that can help you keep a better schedule:
1. Make a to-do list. Every morning before I get started I check my to-do list to see what is on the agenda, as well as which projects should receive my attention first. Hands down, without this list I would be lost. Even if you think that to-do lists are a waste of time, I urge you to give this a try.
2. Donâ€™t take jobs that you cannot comfortably complete by the deadline. I am just as guilty of this as the next freelance writer. While it can be difficult to turn down a job, it is often times in your best interest. The worst thing you can do is take a gig, get behind, and be forced to tell the client that they are not receiving the work on time.
3. Plan for days off as well as the unforeseen. As some of you may have noticed, the last time I posted on this blog was eight days ago. The reason for this was simple: I was called out of town on two projects â€“ one at the beginning of the week, one at the end. As you can imagine, this prompted me to prioritize the projects on my to-do list while also making the most of any down time. Had I better planned for this time out of the office, I could have better kept up with my blog while also cutting back on a lot of stress.
At the very least, I hope these three time management tips make your career as a freelance writer more organized.
Most clients realize that the writing process can take a long time. This is particularly true if the project is complex and full of details. On the other hand, there will always be clients that expect you to work at the speed of sound. Dealing with a short turnaround time is never the easiest thing to do. That being said, it is far from impossible.
Here are three tips that can make your life easier if a client requests a rush job:
1. Negotiate as much time as possible. Even if you â€œstealâ€ yourself another day it is better than nothing. You know better than the client how long it will take to complete the project. If you can negotiate extra time you should most definitely do so.
2. Donâ€™t bite off more than you can chew. As I have said in the past, customer service is a big part of becoming a successful freelance writer. Although you want to be accommodating, you are only one person. You never want to take on a project that you have no chance of completing on time. Rather than do this, tell the client upfront that their timeline is unreasonable. You may be surprised to find that they are willing to change things around for you.
3. Get all the details before you agree to anything. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting caught up in the timeline, thus forgetting about all the other details of the project. Although deadlines are important, if you donâ€™t complete the task to the exact specs the end result is a lot of wasted time for both parties.
It is never easy to take on a rush job, but this is something you will eventually have to become familiar with. To best deal with this situation, use the three tips above.