If you’re one of those freelancers sitting comfy on the cushion of plenty of clients… you might be familiar with the reality of procrastination. The easy and sure route to LOSING those clients.
It might be burn out for those of us who’ve been freelancing for many years, it might be distraction that you’ve earned the luxury of having by working so hard for so long. Whatever the case may be, at some point a freelancers job becomes stagnant.
Simple projects shouldn’t sit on the back burner for days or (gasp) weeks! You know that… but the element of comfort you’ve achieved doesn’t allow you to fear being so far behind any longer. You’ve got to take responsibility and kick your own butt!
If you don’t have a mission statement, this might be time to write one. Re-assess why you’ve chosen the work that you have. What type of service do you aim to offer your clients. What excites you about the work, and why are you grateful to have it? Get excited about your business again.
In the morning – sit down with your cup of joe and write a list of all the things (however small) you have been putting off. Make stars next to ones you could consider outsourcing.
Outsourcing is a big step for your business, but it’s can be a god send for securing your future with clients. If you don’t have time or motivation — outsource it. Especially outsource it if the rate of pay is what’s keeping you from tackling the task. It can be hard to take care of clients who pay lower rates when you have plenty of higher value work. So find an assistant who is capable and can work somewhat below your ‘lower rate’ and give them the work.
Often times people procrastinate because they are perfectionists. Look – it’s better to get the job done and then go back to make a few corrections then it is to get the client angry because you’ve got nothing to show them. Quit procrastinating. Dive in and bang it out.
Set deadlines for yourself. Make them tight deadlines. Try BEFORE the client wants the work done. If you push of small jobs until the last minute — you’ll find yourself in trouble. What to do when your phone rings with new work? Set your deadlines and stick to them. Many of us work much better under pressure. Create some pressure. Set some goals and measure your success.
Don’t get overwhelmed by your list of to do’s. Just prioritize at the beginning of the day — make sure to take everything into consideration when you’re prioritizing. How long has the client been waiting? How time sensitive is the project? How quickly could you knock it out? Get your list put together. It really helps to think about how it’s going to feel to get this stuff done — go ahead and set a dollar amount on what you could potentially make that day if you move this forward.
Remember how things flow. New work always shows up. Don’t hang on to work because it’s somehow a security blanket for you to know you have it. Get it done, and watch the flood gates open with new opportunities.
Remember your mission statement – how your work fulfills you. How that in turn helps you achieve your long range goals and dreams. We’re one of the most fortunate breeds of workers. We’re working from our home office. We have the freedom to take breaks and walk in the woods, hug our kids or listen to music. This is the life! Live up to it and go get em!