Staying Organized and Focused on Work as the Holidays Approach
The holidays are fast approaching. Soon, all you’ll be able to think about is spending time with the family, holiday traditions, and eating your favorite meals. Balancing work when you have these more enjoyable activities on your mind isn’t easy to do. Yet, in the digital world we live in, deadlines are still critical. How can you balance your clients’ must-have-it-right-now deadlines with your family’s annual events?
In a Gig World, Time Management Is Key
According to research reported by Forbes, there were 57 million people in the U.S. working as gig workers, including freelance writers and contractors, drivers, and food delivery pros. Every single one of these individuals is dependent on creating outstanding relationships with their clients.
To be clear, most clients understand that the holidays are a time when you may have a different schedule, or you may not be working as much. Yet, they still have work that needs to be done. Being available to them can mean creating more meaningful and longer-lasting relationships. You can’t just walk away either. If you do, there’s likely another freelancer ready to jump in and help out.
The Goal, Then, Is to Be Organized (and a Bit of a Superhero, Too)
Can you pull it all together and ensure the best possible outcome for your clients? You don’t have to give up those important moments. Instead, consider these tips for organization.
Put a Timer on It
Invest in the Pomodoro technique. This is a method of focusing on a list of tasks at hand for a solid 25 minutes without breaking from it. Then, take five minutes to free your mind (or to browse Amazon for a bit for that gift you need). After those five minutes, block off another 25 minutes for solid work. This particular technique works very well to focus your mind on the tasks at hand.
You can find a number of tools online to help with this. Strict Workflow is a Chrome browser extension that helps, for example. Simply click the button and it blocks all social media sites for those 25 minutes. With this technique, you can get work done faster.
Track Your Deadlines with Precision
The worst thing you can do is to overbook yourself and miss deadlines. Know how much time you plan to work during this two-month period. Then, block off specific dates or blocks of time for events you know are happening. Once you do this, you can then schedule your time to work around those activities.
Even just using Google Calendar to set up and manage projects can work well. You can also use tools like Asana and Airtable to create more structured environments for project management. Your goal here is to have a workable calendar-like display of what work you have and when it is due. This way, you can avoid any type of overlap between the tasks you plan to do with family.
No matter what tools you use, set reminders in your phone for those dates. You want to stay ahead of the game, too. Be sure to build in some extra time into any project anticipating a last-minute holiday party.
Open the Lines of Communication Now
It’s a tricky path to lead. Should you tell your clients that you will be gone for a bit during the holidays? Do you hope that you can just manage to balance it all instead? Here’s a simple trick to use. Send your clients a message that makes it seem like you’re helping them.
“Dear Client, With the holidays fast approaching and the end of the year soon to arrive, I’m sure you’re thinking about getting your content marketing handled early this month. I just wanted to send you a note to let you know I’m here to help you with that. I’ve cleared my schedule a bit early in the month to ensure I can get your holiday work done sooner, so you can avoid having to spend the holidays worrying about projects here. Let me know how I can help.”
A simple note like this gets your clients thinking about organizing themselves early on. That can help save you a bit of frustration along the way.
Looking to Get Started with a New Gig This Year?
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Sandy B. is a full-time, professional freelance writer and copywriter with more than 10 years of online experience. She is also a published author of seven, top-reviewed, in-print books on Amazon. These focus on financial topics such as retirement planning, bankruptcy, business finance, estate planning, and personal credit health as well as organic gardening and clean living. She’s ghostwritten content for hundreds of clients on topics ranging from health to finance, business services, online and offline marketing and much more.