Managing Your Workload As A Freelancer
Early on in the freelance world, you might find you happily tick along with a project or two, but with each passing month of your success, you find you have more people wanting to work with you. You have regular clients, ad-hoc work, and landed a bigger project.
But there is only one of you. And it is hard to turn down work that presents as a challenge and will add to your portfolio.
Your time is valuable, whether you have 1 client or 100 clients. And using some simple apps on your mobile or across your computers and mobile phone might just help neaten up some of those messier days.
nTask is a productivity app that comes highly recommended. It has online task management, which means you can set up your week or month in advance and keep checking back and ticking things off your to-do lists. It has the option to monitor your progress with Gantt charts too. And, because communication is incredibly important, you can convert Slack comments into tasks. As well as producing a timesheet for your clients and for your own records.
While you are a one-person show, you probably can do with some extra hands. And, since you can’t clone yourself just yet, you need to look for the next best thing. A virtual assistant is like have you twice. You will be able to delegate a range of tasks from email management to social media scheduling and even research and data mining.
That takes care of freeing up a lot of your time on the admin types of tasks that typically take up a lot of time.
Next on the list is someone to handle your calls. A quality answering service does two things for your business. It gives a very professional appearance and means you can pick up messages when you have time to do so.
When you have more work than normal, even with the extra hands-on-deck from a virtual assistant, you are going to need to manipulate your working hours to accommodate the extra load. Before you start your workday, make a list of everything that you have to do. And make sure that the priorities are at the top of that list. When you see everything that you have to do, add a time allowance next to it. This will take the risk of Parkinson’s Law is against you. A task takes as long as the time allowed – unless you dictate the time.
If you have a potential client that really wants to work with you, but you don’t have the capacity – don’t be tempted to say yes or no straight away. Instead, look at your calendar and see if you have some realistic options in the coming week or two that you could allocate to them. Offer them an alternative arrangement, and you might just find they are willing to wait for the right person (you).
Being freelance gives you the flexibility to move your working times around and see what works, so take the time to try out different things, and in no time at all, you’ll manage your workload with ease.