Finding freelance writing jobs is not the easiest of activities. You’ll probably attest to that. This is why we have those periods when we can barely make ends meet in spite of scouring websites for jobs.
Whether you check our daily listings of freelance writing jobs, look for jobs on this website or do Google searches using the keyword “freelance writing jobs” and all its variations, there are times when you won’t have as much work as you need.
Then there are those times when you bite off more than you can chew. It happens to the best of us – whether it’s because you take on more clients or existing clients give you more work (which you feel you can’t say no to). The result is the same: work overflow.
This can lead to stress – both physically and mentally, which can then lead to subpar work or missing deadlines.
What to do when you have work overflow, and you want to deliver quality work on time? Here are some practical tips.
Work longer hours.
This one’s a no brainer. You simply have to work longer hours. You will also have to pass up on extra-curricular activities that you normally engage in – at least until you get all the work done. These could be going out for coffee with friends, going shopping, or watching a movie. After all, it’s a small sacrifice you have to make. You’ll be meeting your deadlines, making your clients happy, and getting paid for it.
Focus, focus, focus!
More than working longer, you also need to be “harsher” on yourself. I am referring to following a more rigid structure during work hours and being more focused as you work.
What do the terms “rigid structure” and “more focused” mean exactly?
If you don’t use a calendar to plan out your day, then this is the time to do so. Estimate the time you will need to write one article and indicate that in your calendar. Do this for all your tasks so that you know just how long it will take you to finish everything. Here’s the crucial part: follow whatever is written down in your calendar. Use a timer if you have to.
That being said, don’t forget to set aside time to eat! Working longer doesn’t mean depriving yourself of basic necessities.
Be a lean, mean writing machine. Whatever it is that gets you in your writing zone, do it. It’s been said so many times, but close all windows that are distractions – Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Turn off sounds and notifications. Focus on one thing alone: the article you are working on.
Do this one article at a time, and you’ll get done faster.
If you really can’t cope with the work overflow, there is always the option of outsourcing your work.
Pro: Your load gets lighter.
Cons: You don’t earn as much as you have to pay the other writer. Also, you need to ensure that writer you outsource to meets your standards, which may not always be easy.
Tell your client/s.
If worse comes to worst, and you really cannot handle your workload, it’s time to face the music. You have to tell your client/s your situation. You can then ask if an extension is possible and offer other options. The important thing is to be honest about everything AND to offer a solution to your problem. That way, your client/s will get the impression that, while you are unable to meet the terms you initially agreed upon, you are still in control of the situation professionally.
Have you had to deal with this situation? What did you do to fix it?