Some of the most sought-after advice by freelancers is how to meet project deadlines. Freelancers typically handle everything independently, from creating to marketing to finances to customer service.
It can be incredibly overwhelming for freelancers to juggle priorities like these, causing many to give up the freelancing game altogether. But if you want to be successful, you must learn how to manage projects, your time, and deadlines simultaneously.
Keep reading for seven tips to help you cultivate accountability and easily meet your project deadlines.
7 Tips to Meet Project Deadlines
1. Build Genuine Rapport With Your Customers
Your relationships with your customers are a critical factor in cultivating accountability. When you create an authentic connection with your clients, you’re more aware of who they are, what they’re striving for, and their needs. You’ll also be more motivated to do your best for them.
To build genuine rapport with your customers, do the following:
- Properly introduce yourself to new clients
- Always use your customer’s preferred name
- Develop empathy and show it in every interaction
- Be an effective communicator and listener
- Be honest and transparent with your clients
- Admit when you’re wrong and make things right
A genuine rapport with your customers will keep you motivated to always show up for them. And that, in turn, helps you cultivate accountability.
2. Focus on Time Management
These freelance statistics reveal that “70% of freelancers work on 2–4 projects at a time.” How many projects are you working on right now?These freelance statistics reveal that “70% of freelancers work on 2–4 projects at a time.” How many projects are you working on right now? Click To Tweet
Freelancers don’t have any time to waste when they’re working on multiple projects simultaneously and managing everything else that goes into a successful freelance business.
So, focusing on time management is a must. To improve time management, create a workable timeline for each project and stick to it. A timeline will help you define precise steps for completing a project and create a good workflow.
Focus on time management to fend off procrastination, finish every task, and complete your projects on time.
3. Set Boundaries When Juggling Priorities
Because freelancers juggle so many priorities, setting boundaries is that much more important. Unfortunately, the up-and-down nature of freelance work makes many of us feel like we can’t say no to a client. As a result, we take on way more than we should, leave no time for ourselves, and ultimately burn out.
Instead of putting yourself last on your priority list, learn to set healthy boundaries. For example, say no to new work when your plate is already full. Determine work hours and give yourself days off each week, and know when it’s time to end a client relationship.
Setting boundaries will help you juggle priorities in a healthy way.
4. Stay Motivated
One of the hardest things about being a freelancer is staying motivated. When you’re doing everything, it’s easy for it to become too much. And when things get to be too much, you become unmotivated, unable to meet project deadlines, and stay accountable to your clients.
Do everything you can to cultivate self-motivation. Set goals for time management and work quality. Give yourself time away from work throughout the week to nurture your physical and mental health. You could also give back to the freelance community by sharing tips with new freelancers.
Develop self-motivation so that you can meet project deadlines no matter what life throws at you.
5. Lean on the Right Tools
If you really want to cultivate accountability and meet project deadlines, you need the right tools. The right tools will be the difference between seamlessly managing projects and running an unorganized operation that leads to missed deadlines.
An all-inclusive business management software is ideal. You’ll have everything you need on one platform, like a client portal, a customizable dashboard, invoicing, and marketing tools.
If your budget is a bit smaller, lean into free software and tools that allow you to automate tasks, manage projects, and maintain client relationships.
6. Find Accountability Partners
Another brilliant way to cultivate accountability is to find accountability partners. It’s much easier to meet project deadlines when you have someone to cheer you on and lean on when things get tough.
See if you can find accountability partners that are freelancers too. They’ll be able to genuinely understand what you’re going through and give you actionable tips for moving forward in your business. Social media is a great place to start looking for freelancer accountability partners.
If you aren’t ready to enlist the help of someone outside your inner circle, choose someone in it. Your accountability partner could be a family member or close friend. But make sure they’re serious about helping you stay motivated and on track. If they’re a business owner themself, even better.
7. Reward Yourself
Meeting project deadlines is a big deal, especially when clients are extremely satisfied with your work. Their happiness and all the work you put in to complete their project is worth celebrating.
Also, rewarding yourself for a job well done will encourage you to continue meeting project deadlines and making your clients happy.
So, each time you complete a project, take a day off to celebrate. Whether it’s a day of rest, a date with your partner, or skydiving, do something you love and give yourself the praise you’ve earned.
Cultivate accountability to meet deadlines consistently
Learning how to meet project deadlines and cultivate accountability is an ongoing process. Continue to learn about yourself, your business, and your clients to ensure you do everything you can to never waver on project deadlines.