Freelancing Survival Tip: Plan for the Unexpected!

Freelancing InterruptionsI’m a big believer in scheduling my day. I like to have a plan — actually, I need to have a plan! If I leave my day up to chance, then its pretty likely that nothing of value will get done. So each night before bed, I make a list of what needs to get done the following day, think about how long each task will take, and mark them in my calendar as if they were appointments. And I always schedule a little “buffer time” in between each task.

Plan For The Unexpected

A typical day for me rarely goes as planned — between the kids, the husband, extended family members, friends, clients, the house, or even the dog, some type of interruption always pops up to throw my day off schedule. Having some extra time in my schedule allows for interruptions without disrupting my daily plan.

For me, I schedule 15 minutes of buffer time after each hour and 15 minutes of work. That gives me an hour to an hour and a half each day to accommodate the unexpected — whether it’s a sick kid, a phone call from a friend in need, or a writing assignment that is just taking longer than I expected. If it turns out that I don’t need that extra time, great! I’m ahead of schedule! I can quit early or get a jump-start on the next day. But more often than not, I do need it. And that’s fine — that’s why I schedule it!

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