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Planning Ahead as a Freelancer

When you become a freelancer, it can be an exciting time. You are eager to make connections and build your business. Once you’ve been around for a while, your business should become fairly steady. While I would like to say that you could fly by the seat of your pants, it is important that you sit down and plan your work week ahead of time. There are several reasons why you want to plan your work week, which I will discuss this post.

Organize

Scheduling your work week can help you to organize all of your projects. You may be inclined to pile all of your design briefs on your desk, and go through them systematically. However, most the time you don’t have this luxury. It is important to plan for meeting deadlines. Otherwise, you may run into trouble further down the road.

Staying organized can help you to develop a system for completing your projects. It is better to have a plan, and to see the big picture. The reason for this is because you can plan and prioritize each task accordingly.

Prioritize

Planning your workweek will help you to prioritize tasks. It is a good idea to handle all projects that are due that week first. The advantages to this is that if you run into a problem, you’ll have plenty of time to fix it. If you wait to the last minute, and you run into a problem, you could end up missing an important deadline. You never want to run the risk of missing any deadline with the client.

Prioritizing your tasks will ensure that the most important projects are finished first. Then, you can continue with other projects and work on those accordingly.

planning your work week as a freelancer

Scheduling

Planning your work week can help a lot with scheduling. After you’ve organized and prioritized all of your projects, you can decide on a schedule that is as rigid or as flexible as you want. Having a little bit of flexibility will give you room in your schedule for when things go wrong. As much as you would like to think that things won’t go wrong, this just isn’t the case.

However, if you plan your work week with a flexible schedule, you can cut down on stressful situations. You won’t end up in situations where you have to pull a 14 hour shift, or an all nighter to make sure that a project is completed. You give yourself plenty of time to complete projects with time to spare. This will also give you plenty of room to push projects back if needed. Keep in mind, that you can only do this if the projects are due this week as well.

Tips For Planning Your Work Week:

  1. It is important to have something such as a planner or a desktop calendar, where you can physically look at your projects and due dates. This is much easier than having to flip back and forth in different windows on your computer.
  2. Break down large projects into small milestones. Spread each milestone across different days of the week. This will make it much easier and more manageable to handle larger projects. Instead of sitting down and spending all day on one project, you can spread it out in the more digestible chunks. This will help your mindset, making the project less intimidating to tackle.
  3. Avoid completing large projects all in one day. This can give you tunnel vision in a project, and it can lead to burnout as well. Mix in other projects to keep things interesting during the day.
  4. Brainstorming and concept development should be a part of the planning process as well. This means that you schedule a specific time for you to develop concepts for a project. This gives you a dedicated deadline to come up with something, so that you are spending too much time in the development process. This will give you plenty of time for execution.

Conclusion

Planning ahead can help you avoid disaster and burnout. it can also help you to avoid stressful situations and anxiety. Give yourself plenty of time to complete projects so that you can produce the best possible solutions for your clients. You’ll also be happier and more relaxed in general. Do you have any tips for planning your work week as a freelancer? I’d love to hear what you have to say. feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.