7 Tips to Cope with Your Freelancing Workload

As every freelancer knows, freelancing is hard work. Ok, it has many advantages, such as working from home, setting your own schedule (most of the time) and having considerable control over the salary.

Of course there are also many disadvantages, such as long hours (most of the time, especially in the beginning when you try to establish your name in freelance community), when you can’t find a new client than there is no income and many more.

Also many freelancers try to do everything themselves (they don’t outsource any task.)

In fact they are trying to be a one person team. They try to be the marketing person, accountant, administrative person, sales manager and of course the production team.

If you are such a freelancer, a freelance beginner or your workload is too high, and then take a look at the tips below:

1. Just say No

Don’t accept every job that is offered to you. Take only the jobs that fit your skill set and that fit your agenda. Many beginning freelancers make the mistake of taking on to much work. They can’t or dare to say no to a client (especially returning clients) in the fear of loosing the client for ever and thus loosing the money. But if you miss a deadline or produce shoddy work (because you took on to much work) then this will heard your business and your reputation as a reliable freelancer.

2. Setup a Network

Every freelancer knows this, freelancing can get lonely. So try to setup a network of other freelancers in your field. This can be very helpful, when for instance you need some advice. Another thing you can do is revering clients to each other when you or the other freelancer doesn’t have the time to take on a specific project.

3. Use Outsourcing

If you have an overload of work, then try to find a real life or virtual assistant to take care of some of the many administrative tasks. This way you have more time to work on the projects that you have taken on. In fact, you might even take on an extra project because you have more time leftover. (When you schedule is overloaded, you could always refer the work to another freelancer from your network, see 2. Setup a Network.)

4. Make a Schedule and Stick to It

Outline every task in a schedule. Make a schedule for things that have to be done daily, weekly, monthly. But you have to make sure that you include enough breaks (and with breaks we mean breaks, so go outside or something like that. Don’t take the break behind your computer!) Of course once you have set the schedule, then you have to stick to it!

5. Avoid Distractions

If you working from home and you have other people (children for instance) around you, then it is easy to get distracted. Another major distraction is web surfing. (Everybody knows this; you are looking for one thing and hours later you end your browsing session on an entirely different subject then where you initially started the session fore).

So make sure you a private workspace in your house and tell the people around you that if you are in that workspace you don’t want to be disturbed. Also keep your browsing sessions on the subject. You also use a separate telephone line in your office and ignore your private line, during working hours. Give this telephone number only to clients or to people that need to reach you in emergencies (the school of your children for instance.)

So try to keep focused, avoid distractions and get more work done.

6. Learn, Learn, Learn

This is a simple one; you have to keep up with new subjects in your field of business. Read a lot or do a course on different subjects. The result will be that you can offer clients the latest techniques and thus you can ask more money. Learning new things is the best investment for a freelancer.

7. Why you Got into This in the First Place

Remember why you got into the freelance business in the first place. You love the freedom, flexibility in working hours, and being your own boss. But you must manage yourself well and be a fair boss for yourself. Don’t over do it, keep a healthy schedule and perspective and your freelance career should thrive.

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One Response to “7 Tips to Cope with Your Freelancing Workload”

  1. CatherineL on February 7th, 2008 22:54

    Great tips – especially the one about not accepting all work that is offered to you. I learned that one the hard way.