Handling Freelance Deadlines During Peak Work Availability

Posted on April 28, 2015 by Dan S

478168765It’s no secret that freelance writing work is prone to irregular availability trends. One week you may be swimming in more work than you could possibly finish the next week you may struggle to find enough assignments.

If you go into freelance writing expecting to be able to consistently set aside a set amount of hours to work on content on specific days you may find yourself in a position where you’re missing out on earning potential during a “feast” work availability time period or where you’re sitting around spinning your wheels with nothing to work on during a “famine” period. The more you diversify and get a range of clients, the more likely you are to have a predictable, consistent work load based on the law of averages.

However, the thing about averages is they include extreme results from both ends of the spectrum. Part-time freelancers are even more prone to irregular work availability because they are unlikely to carry as large of a clientele to even things out. So instead of being at the whims of work availability, freelance writers can play to the expectations of availability to get the most return for their work time.

Familiarize Yourself With Client Project Duration Expectations

Knowing how much time any assignment is going to take to finish gives you an edge for taking on the most work you can within deadlines. The more you work with a client, the more you learn about what to expect in an assignment. This information makes the whole time management process easier and helps avoid missing out on earning potential.

Do Not Over-Expend Yourself

 Missing deadlines leaves your clients with a sour taste. It is better to let another writer take on a project than miss deadlines. Actively pay attention to how much time you have to work on projects and schedule your work according to the longest time you expect assignments to take.

Be Ready to Shuffle Your Schedule

When you’re figuring out how to spend your time outside of working, consider which tasks aren’t time sensitive and be ready to shift them around if you end up with a large influx of work. For example, it probably won’t make a difference if you vacuum the living room tonight or tomorrow when you have some assignments pop up tonight with an early morning deadline.

Do Not Burn Out

An exhausted writer may take much longer to finish work than a well-rested one, so by taking the concept of “work when it’s available” too far can end up working against you. If you take on too much work and pull an all-nighter to get everything done by deadline you’ll probably find your assignments taking two or three times longer than normal to write by the end of it. On the other side of things, be sure to relax and recharge when there’s nothing to work on.

Dan S is a former news journalist turned web developer and freelance writer. He has a penchant for all things tech and believes the person using the machine is the most important element.


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