Posts Tagged ‘time’

Ahh, the dreaded deadline. Every job has one. If you’ve been a freelance writer for any time you may be working on several projects at once. I have to keep a spreadsheet open when I’m working to be sure I’m on top of everything and don’t miss a client’s deadlines. The challenge comes when you have two or more projects that have overlapping deadlines.

Recently I got an assignment from a client for 30 articles in 3 sets of 10 due at different time. (Was that sentence confusing enough for you? It was for me.) I also have another assignment that was due right in the middle of that one. So I tried to juggle the time that I spent working on them, but it ended up with me doing an all nighter so that I could finish the second set of 10 articles on time.

Time management has always been a challenge for me. When I had jobs in the workplace most of my bosses would put on my reviews that I was a good hard worker but I needed to manage my time better. Now that I work at home it is doubly true. No one is looking over my shoulder, I have no time clock to punch and if I want to stay up until 5am working and sleep until noon the next day I can.

I have found that I need to work with the TV off. At first the sound of the TV in the background kept me company since I was used to the comings and goings of other workers and nail clients. Then as I grew accustomed to the solo life of a freelancer, the TV became a distraction. I’d turn around and get caught up in what was going on behind me on the TV and lose minutes and sometimes a whole hour watching the Boob Tube. Now I schedule a break in my day to catch up on the world and my soap opera.

So, back to deadlines. I seem to work the best when one is looming in the near future. For example, the last set of 10 articles are due on Tuesday. It is now Sunday evening. Have I started them? No, of course not. Where would the adventure be in that? I will most likely do a few tomorrow and then pull another all nighter to meet the deadline.

How do you handle multiple deadlines? Do you get right on projects or do you put them off until the last-minute? What methods do you have to keep track of your projects? Are they online, in a notebook or in a file on your computer?


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