There is a popular saying that goes, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” This saying is correct, but in my opinion, it isn’t complete. Procrastination is not only the thief of time, but it also causes loss of opportunities. If there is one thing people admire about freelancers is the fact that they have more control over their time. However, this control sometimes comes with its downside. The thought of freelancers having the right to do jobs at their own time often leads to procrastination. How then do you avoid procrastination as a freelancer? And if you don’t procrastinate, how can you manage your time effectively to get jobs delivered right on schedule?
6 Ways To Avoid Procrastination As A Freelancer
- Make a weekly plan:
There is nothing as smart as having a schedule or To-Do list. It makes you very organised and also lets you know when you have too much on your plate. With a weekly plan, you will know when to fix the delivery for a client’s job so you do not feel overwhelmed and suicidal, and also when to outsource.
- Switch off your data:
If you are strong-willed and can resist the temptation of social media when your phone is on, by all means, be my guest. I won’t ask you to switch off your phone if you already consider that as an option. What if a call for a job comes in when your phone is switched off and the client finds someone else? That is equal to lost money. However, my advice would be for you to switch off your data or turn off your notification to avoid distraction. So be smart about your decisions and apply self-control.
- Don’t multi-task:
As funny as this sounds the truth is you get less done when you try to multi-task. It has happened several times yet I haven’t learnt my lesson. Focus on getting one job done at a time. If you are writing, for example, don’t edit at the same time. They are two different jobs you need to do separately. Trying to multi-task stops the flow of ideas while you work and since ideas are part of what builds up your content, don’t stop the flow.
- Learn how to outsource:
In this life, you cannot make it all by yourself. You need people to help you go far. When you have so much work on your hands, instead of you turning down a new job and losing that client, accept the work and give it to another freelance writer you can trust with the job. Both of you go home with money and you don’t get to break down.
Take regular breaks:
All work and no play make a freelance writer grumpy and fairly productive. When I do jobs and I lose interest, I take a break. I read a book, see a movie or chat with a loved one. I look for something to help me unwind. Sometimes I eat or even sleep. Fatigue can make your mind clouded so even though you want to make money, learn to take breaks.
- Know when to say “no”:
There was a time a prospect approached me to do a big job for him. I knew the job would be tasking, and I could take on the challenge even with my busy schedule but I said no to him. You must wonder why. I got chatting with him, and I asked him questions about the job just to be sure we were on the same page and he got irritated. I think he felt I couldn’t do the job because I was asking him “too many” questions. I explained to him I wanted to be sure what his expectations were for the job. Right then, I knew working with him would be a challenge so I politely turned down his offer.
I am not saying that every time you encounter a seemingly difficult client, turn down their jobs. All I’m saying is, if you don’t feel comfortable about a job (not because it is your first time doing it and you are nervous), do what gives you peace of mind. In this business, your sanity is important. Guard it well. To avoid procrastination as a freelancer, these steps will help you save time.
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