The schools round here are out for summer at the end of this week and so today I am planning how to keep things ticking along with my work life whilst I have to manage the six weeks holiday.
Freelancing is often a juggling exercise – planning, organisation are the very back bone to an effective freelancer.
I often think that as freelancers we are swan like – appearing to glide across the waters whilst underneath we are paddling away!
We have become adept to the competing demands of freelancing and life generally. Ensuring that each client feels like they are your only client, being able to respond quickly and flexibly to their communications and requests, deliver the commissioned work to a high standard and within timeframe. This alone takes some organisation and planning without the added pressures of homelife, school holidays or additional careers.
So how do we cope and keep the ‘I’m on top of it’ glide across the water?
We are only human and often have to pull ourselves into check to remember that whilst we bring a set of skills as freelancers we have the same 24 hours as others, probably decided to go freelance as we wanted more flexibility or work/life balance, and we can’t be an expert in every area of business delivery.
This is where the need for good planning, organisation and routine come in! Over the years we have tested out various apps, used on-line and paper-based day planners, and even back in the day filling in a Filofax diary!! Post it notes, to do lists through to more detailed time-blocking schedules. Some people do this planning on Sunday in preparation for the week ahead, others on a project by project basis or annual planning that is then broken down into a schedule of tasks. Whichever works for you is good but the end goal is about having a routine of organisation and planning.
It was only really when starting to develop Freelance Fundamentals that I started to rethink about what I do in terms of organisation and planning. Over the last 13 years it has become that much part of a routine for me that it now forms an integral element of my business function and I don’t see it as ‘yet another task that isn’t income generating’. For me overall strategy planning which is broken down to smaller deliverables, to do lists, some time-blocking – all undertaken weekly and regularly reviewed and updated during the week is my approach is my model that works. We are project managers of our businesses – another skill you can add to your CV!