Being a freelancer means that you are in charge of your own schedule. That may sound like an easy task, but it can quickly get complicated if you don’t have a plan and the discipline to follow it.
What does the professional freelancer do when his dream contract lands upon his desk, but with all the other projects he’s currently working on, he just doesn’t have the time? Most grumble about the way the world works and so on and so forth, reject it and go on. Quite a few go ahead and accept it anyway. They’ll figure out how to do the time-juggle, no problem. And yet others drop a steady, if somewhat low-paying, project to make time for the bigger, more lucrative one. So who is right in the above scenario?
For a freelancer, having work is really good. Having too much work isn’t. Deadlines are good. Too many at once: Not. How does a good freelancer maintain a flexible schedule while controlling the amount of work he takes on? Most freelancers have one mentality: To take on as much work as they can finish within the deadlines. However: This method has distinct disadvantages: It doesn’t allow for creativity and emergencies.
Schedule flexibility is one of the factors that separate good freelancers from great freelancers. Good freelancers always have plenty of work, and are very well-known in their individual fields, since they take on many jobs and do them well. Great freelancers aren’t that well-known, since they don’t take on many jobs. The jobs that they do take on are always exceptionally done, with a more creative bend of mind, and have the feel of a top-notch polish.
Basically, freelancers ought to do some calculations before taking on work, especially those whose work requires creativity and passion, such as freelance writing or freelance photography. They ought to work out how much work they can get done per week within the comfort zone. If you’re working by the hour, you obviously want to work more hours that you can bill your client for. However, this tactic leads to breakdowns a lot more than does staying within your limits.
Having a flexible schedule also helps when you have emergencies. Your mom’s sick and you need to visit her, but you’ve got three deadlines the next day. Now what? Always have a fall-back option. And fall-backs are only available to those that guard their time wisely and complete their projects within comfortable reach of deadlines.
Although it may look like rejecting work will affect the money that you earn, this isn’t true. Doing a more thorough and top notch job means that you can ask for higher rates, and get them too. So keep that schedule uncluttered. It could be worth your while.
Get more freelancing tactics and tips at FreelanceSprout.com.