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Managing Your Schedule: Tips for Freelancers Everywhere

One of the biggest benefits of freelancing is the fact that you get to set your own schedule. You can choose to work the standard 9 to 5 or work only when you have a project. Managing your schedule should be your number one priority.

If you don’t do that, you’ll notice several problems arise, including double booking, and this may not only affect your productivity but also create issues with project delivery dates.

Therefore, it’s super important that you develop a schedule to ensure that your productivity is on point. I’ve already talked about the importance of a morning routine for freelancers

So, in this blog post, I’ll give you a few tips that’ll help managing your schedule.

How to Manage Your Schedule

Here are some tried and tested tips that will definitely improve your productivity.

1. Understand the Importance of Your Schedule

While this might seem repetitive on my part, the reality is that it’s way too easy to underestimate how busy and rigid your schedule can be. Of course, one of the biggest perks of freelancing is that your working hours are flexible.

But beware! It’s a slippery slope, and if you’re unable to stick to it, you’ll soon find yourself falling behind with no way to get things back in control.

Managing your scheduling requires time, effort and commitment, especially if you’re not sure when you’ll get new projects. 

2. Be Realistic When Setting Deadlines

This brings us to my second tip: be realistic. I actually struggle with this, so trust me when I say: be realistic with your deadlines. When you first begin freelancing, or when your freelance account finally starts getting the attention it deserves, it can be very easy to say ‘yes’ to every single client.

Even if you’ve been freelancing for a few years and know that you can totally manage 3 or 4 projects in a day, it’s actually pretty easy to miscalculate.

Sometimes, projects seem simpler when you’re skimming through the requirements, but when you sit down to actually do something, that’s when you realize what it truly is. For these reasons, I always give my clients an estimate of when to expect and keep them posted on the progress every 8 hrs. 

Also, keep in mind that sometimes, you experience burnout, and there’s nothing you can do about it. That’s why I recommend taking on one project a day. As you get more experienced, you can move to two. But as a general rule, don’t go for more than three. Especially if you’re actively looking for new clients every day.

3. Establish a Professional Relationship

This tip is more for those who’re just starting out, but anyone can benefit from this, really. 

You need to maintain a professional relationship with your clients. Be honest. Tell them that you’re booked or can’t submit in a day. There’s a pretty high chance that they don’t even want the project in a day or two. Usually, employers expect you to submit work in a week. Not a day.

Part of managing your schedule is ensuring that your clients understand that you’ve got a life; you’ll work only at specific hours. Don’t let them message you every other hour, in the middle of the night, to see how you’re doing. You don’t need that kind of pressure in your life.

4. Remember Your Social and Personal Responsibilities

And with that, we come to your other responsibilities. Don’t forget that you have a life. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you’re going to want to step away from the computer after a while. 

So, don’t make freelancing your life. It should be a part of your life, the one that wants to make some extra money on the side. But don’t prioritize it over everything. There needs to be a work-life balance even when you’re freelancing.

Some people don’t take it seriously enough; others take it too seriously. A little moderation is perfect for this line of work. Just get your priorities straight, and you’re good to go.

You Can Do It!

Freelancing in itself can be very daunting. So, don’t feel as though you’re the only one struggling with meeting deadlines and setting a fixed schedule. Remember: freelancing isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing.

Depending on the services you provide, the length of your projects, client expectations and more, your schedule will vary from another freelancer’s. If you’re just starting out, you might want to be a bit more cautious about the projects you pick rather than saying yes to every client who comes your way.

In the future, I’ll write a bit more about red flags newbie freelancers should watch out for. So, stay tuned for that!

Sura x


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