By and large, your reputation as a freelancer could be measured by two things — the quality of your work and expert ninja skills, also known as your ability to meet deadlines. Doing excellent work isn’t enough if you want to ace in your freelancing career; you also need to show that you turn projects on time, all the time. Continue reading for simple yet very practical tips to grabbing deadlines by the horn! Tools and software not required.
While setting expectations with clients is one of the basics in freelancing you need to learn early on, you also need to realize that setting expectations with yourself and coming up with realistic goals are also crucial. When you tell your client that you can write 2,000 words a week, are you 100 percent sure that you can do it?
Write ‘Em Down
A mental list of your smaller tasks, projects, and deadlines may work but once you’re swamped with 2 or 3 different projects at the same time, writing them down is way better. Make a list and assign a certain time of the day and/or day of the week for checking out what’s due and what needs to be done. It doesn’t really matter which tool you use for the purpose, just use whatever you think suits you best.
Break Down Projects
Break down projects into little tasks and work on them one step at a time. With this strategy, you get to have a clearer estimate of the time needed to finish them by knowing how long it will take you to finish each step.
Create a Buffer
Once you’ve come up with an estimate on how long you’ll finish a project by breaking it down into smaller tasks, creating a buffer or a cushion when discussing deadlines with your client would be easier. With buffers, you won’t have problems with delays and if you finish early, the client will certainly be pleased.
Create a Start and Complete Date
With the steps mentioned above, you can now create a start and complete date. By doing so, keeping on track is a breeze.
If, by all means, you can’t make it, negotiate for a second deadline. Whatever it takes, be sure to meet this second deadline.