ferns by Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
Truth is, i’ve been avoiding this TFL by all means. It was so ironic of me to write a post about managing a schedule while i was completely drowning in my own. Yes, there is a method behind the way i lay out my working hours within the week or even month, but it’s so much easier said than done. Most of the times i’m a good girl and everything works perfectly fine.
There are those times though, you may overwork on one project, and then the whole days gets messed up. And by messed up, imagine me, starting work at 8am, and finishing at 1am with only lunch and dinner breaks, so the schedule won’t stay behind. Yikes.
Thankfully, when working loads of hours, my creativity and inspiration stay at the same levels. I’ve figured out that i work the best under pressure but my body completely abandons me.
You’ve probably understood by now, that with schedule, i mean your freelance client projects. The goal -for me at least- is to start at 8, with my emails already answered, and a clean inbox, and finishing at 5pm. That’s what i call a healthy day.
Have a good big organiser.
Lots of you use calendar from mac, and i believe it’s really helpful with all devices syncing etc, but i still prefer writing everything down – i’m a typical visual person.
Write everything down. And i seriously mean everything. When your daily / weekly / monthly to do list gets bigger and bigger, there’s no room to forget meetings, or turnaround times.
Calculate your time. As soon as i get feedback from a client, depending the project, i give myself the room of days. For example if it’s a logo, and the feedback is easy, i give it from 1-3 days, regarding the schedule. So on the 1st and 2nd day i note it down as a secondary project, so i can work on it for about 30 min. On the 3rd i write it as a primary project to be sent and calculate an hour.
That way, it could be Tuesday, and i’ll have a full week with scheduled days, on what projects i need to work on, when and for how long. When i have to send them, and when i have room to experiment.
Set a timer. Staying within the schedule is the next most difficult thing. Depending the project again and its priority, i set a timer. And even if i could be close to finishing it, i close it once the timer rings and resume the next day.
It’s so easy to get distracted and 5 minutes you may promise yourself could become 30 without noticing it. And you may have finished one project, but you’ll either mess up your schedule, either another project will stay behind. Be strict, and the quick project change, will keep you refreshed.
Don’t get distracted. Emails come and go, and clients may ask something real quite that could take me 15 minutes probably. I say, keep your head down, and work until the timer rings. You can allow yourself 10 minutes to reply to emails, catch a breath and then resume.
Enjoy it! Find a way that works well with your needs. It’s good to experiment and at the end of the day you’ll be always on top of your list with happy clients!