It’s been a crazy busy month for me — not that I’m complaining. Freelancing can be a feast or famine existence, alternating between too much and not enough. And while I enjoy the busy times, sometimes it’s just too busy! Working sun-up to sun-down just to meet deadlines for client work just doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Top that off with family responsibilities, and the last thing I want to do is put anything else on my plate. But my job entails more than the actual writing I do for clients, and as much as I would like to call it a day when I wrap up my client work, there’s still more to be done.
It can be terribly tempting to put the more mundane tasks off until I have more time — after all, there’s no one forcing me to get it done. And while some of the administrative tasks are not as important as others, there are five things I never put on the back burner, no matter how strapped for time I am — and neither should you!
Marketing for More Freelance Work
You may be working from sun-up to sun-down this month, and you really don’t feel the need to keep up on your marketing. But think ahead to next month. Or the month after that. What’s going to pay the bills then? It’s been said that freelancing is a feast or famine existence, but we need to at least try to even it out. Marketing for more work while you already have your hands full may seem silly, but you don’t want to be sitting around next month with nothing to do but marketing.
Billing for Your Projects
The last thing any freelancer needs is to complete a project, thinking to yourself that you’ll send the invoice tomorrow, just to forget about it for a few days — or weeks. You need to have a system in place, not just for invoicing, but for keeping track of which invoices have or have not been paid.
Keep on Top of Communications
I understand, you’ve been busting your butt all day and the last thing you feel like doing is checking emails or social media. Too bad! As freelancers, emails are often the primary way we keep in touch with our clients. Now I’m not suggesting we be glued to our inboxes, but we do need to be checking — and answering — a couple times a day. The same goes for social media, even if you don’t have the time to be interacting as much as you normally would, always take some time each day to respond to mentions and questions. Not only is it just polite, you never know if someone who interacted with you is interested in hiring you.
Keep Up With the Paperwork
I’ll admit that this is one I struggled with for a long time. At the end of the long day, I used to just let those papers, notes, bills, receipts, etc. just stack up in a pile on my desk. The kids would knock the papers onto the floor or behind the desk, notes would get lost, bills became late, the husband would think a receipt was scratch paper and wrote his Home Depot shopping list all over it, and, most importantly, it would take forever when I actually get around to sorting it out! Trust me, the five minutes you save by not taking care of the paperwork immediately is just not worth it! Create a system for organizing your paperwork, and do it everyday. It not only looks better, but it makes life easier — especially at tax time.
Take Care of Yourself
When you’re burning the midnight oil, faced with a looming deadline, taking care of yourself is probably the last thing on your mind — but it should be the first. You need to be at your best to accomplish everything you need to get done, and that means getting the sleep you need, eating nutritious meals, and getting some exercise. These things aren’t luxuries. They are necessities!
These are my absolutely can’t ignore to-do’s, what’s yours? Comment below and let me know what you absolutely must cross off your to-do list, no matter how busy you are!