Feeling like you have too much work on your plate? Here are some simple ways to manage the time you have!

February 19th, 2009

Stressed OutDid you get excited about that client who came to you with new work? Do you like the feeling of getting that project deposit in your hands? Realizing now that you probably don’t have the time to complete it on schedule? Here are some tools that can help you take some stress out of getting the work DONE.

First of all… if you feel overwhelmed with incoming work, you probably shouldn’t be reading this article. But now that you are, let’s make the most of it by figuring out a way that will help you finish it with the highest quality and in a timely manner. Every freelancer is faced with this dilemma at some point and I will mention some tools that will help you and your client feel better about the situation.

- Take a deep breathe and think things through. Unless you plan on canceling the project and refunding the deposit, you are in it for the long haul so you might as well make the most of it.

- Write daily tasks for yourself at the beginning of the day. Get the easiest things done quickly so that you can create momentum for yourself and end the day strong. Check off the items as they are completed.

- Wake up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later (for you night owls). The extra hour can be an extremely valuable tool. More time = More work done = Less Stress.

- If it looks like you aren’t going to be able to meet a deadline, tell a client AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Most clients are going to understand a short delay and will appreciate knowing. The less a client knows, the more they begin to worry. This can get really dangerous because it is really easy to push work back further and further until something pops. If you use this, don’t make it a habit either because then you are just making excuses for unfinished work.

- Don’t take any more work! No need to make matters worse by adding more work to your plate. Get a couple of projects out of the way quickly and you can begin taking clients again.

- Outsource! This is a great time for you to find someone to help with the overflow of work. Find a local designer on a craigslist or find one online at a site like Elance, Guru or oDesk. This is a good way to take some stress off your shoulders and find a business contact that you can use later.

- Have you tried all of these methods and still feel like there just isn’t time? Contact the latest client and let them know that you don’t have the time to complete the project now. There are two things a client can say. Ok, please give me back my deposit and I will find another designer. Or they might just be ok with it and give you a longer deadline and/or later start time.

There are other ways to make things easier, these are just some ways I help manage my work. They don’t take much time to do, but can save HOURS of work later. Have another method that I didn’t mention? Leave a comment and let me know!

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 19th, 2009 at 1:22 AM and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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