Freelancing gives you the flexibility to choose whom you work with and how many projects you take up. Freelancing is a business where you use your skills. For any business, client relations and timely delivery of projects are essential to building goodwill.
The freelancer’s nature of work is such that they may be idle one day, they will have more work than they can handle the next, and everyone's work is urgent! It may be difficult for the best of us to juggle freelance work schedules on some days.
1 An organised schedule
Add deadlines and key delivery dates, meeting dates, and all work-related schedules to your virtual calendar, or physical calendar if that is how you like to do it. Every day review the calendar and try to keep achievable targets. Even when you talk to clients and give them delivery dates, make sure they are conveyed transparently. When you are deciding these dates, factor in personal time and time for that one project that nobody wants to pass up if it is offered to them.
While personal time is non-negotiable, that “coveted Project” is aspirational and may or may not come every week or every month.
2 Realistic project tracker
Set reminders for priority tasks and meetings with clients. Create a separate section and account for each client where you record meetings, review essential conversations and stay updated on upcoming deliverables. Avoid doing multiple tasks at a go. Keep a realistic schedule on which tasks you will tackle first. Also, in the period where you are working, you must be only working and not binging on Netflix on the side.
3. Make time for the client’s collaboration and communication
When you are working a client may message you for a quick call or meeting. Allot them time when you won’t be engrossed in any other work. This way you will be able to give them complete attention and set boundaries for professional and personal time. If you are dealing with international clients from different time zones, then it is important to assign them accurate times for meeting and share the meeting timings of their time zone.
4. Make time for yourself
When you start planning your schedule, consider the following aspects –
You have to accommodate all these project sources in your schedule. Hence, it would be feasible to set daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. in all this melee, ensure that the time you have set aside as “personal” is not breached. So, set your work time like 9 to 5, or strict “no” to late-night phone calls or urgent work aft 5 pm. If you are compelled to make an exception for a client, let them know about the same.
5. Learn to say ‘no’
As tempting as it is to say yes to every work that comes your way, it is important to learn to say ‘no’. it is also important to say ‘no’ when clients get too pushy asking you to accommodate their work and deliver sooner when you have agreed upon delivery dates. Saying ‘no’ is also a professional skill that shows that you value your work.
Like any business, to grow, the main businessman must be married to work. The same applies to a freelance career too. However, the whole point of freelancing is to find a better balance in one’s work and life. You have to walk the fine thread, and set boundaries, by prioritising properly.