When you're working for yourself, it's easy to think you need to work non-stop on the first project that fits into your schedule. The Freelance Switch blog suggests leaving some holes between project days so you can seize great opportunities.
Photo by Zooboing.com.
For those getting started in freelance work, it's easy to fear that you won't find other work soon. When you get a three-day project, you'll want to slot it for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. But what if you moved it to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and gave yourself two days, mid-week, to market yourself, work on personal projects and look around a bit? If you book Monday through Wednesday, you're almost guaranteed to have two empty days at the end of that week. But if you give yourself a Tuesday to stretch out, you might just have a great new project to start working on by Thursday, and your current client remains happy with the deadline you set.
As Freelance Switch points out, it can also be nicer to your clients when things fall apart:
Other clients are not held hostage by the first one in the queue. If you string your projects together like beads on a string - complete Project #1 in one lump of time, then Project #2 in the next block, and so on - what happens when #1 runs long? If you have your projects interwoven, you can continue to make progress for other clients even if the first one is stalled.
Found your own secret to zen and the art of freelance scheduling? Do tell in the comments.
The Swiss Cheese Method of Project Scheduling [Freelance Switch]