Deadlines is a word that every freelancer knows and despises. One cannot get paid for a project unless it is turned in on time. Because of the deadlines, other parts of life and work get neglected.
I will admit that my calendar was looking pretty manageable and I was pleased. This was, until one client just needed one more thing tweaked, added, changed, ect. I am more than happy to make improvements, but soon realized that due to the extending this one deadline, it shorted my time for other deadlines.
My manageable calendar turned into trying to figure out what other events I had to skip out on in order to add time to my calendar. Working a full time job already cut into most of my daytime hours, so things had to be given up in order to make deadline.
Here is what I have learned about meeting deadlines:
1.) Discuss with your spouse and children when the deadline is and what that means. In my case, I explained to my husband specifically what nights I was going to be spending in front of the computer all night. He is amazing when it comes to taking over so I can accomplish goals. Hubby took care of our puppy, made dinners, and took over other random items that came up so as to keep me working. It is amazing how easy things are when everyone knows the plan.
2.) When there are projects with “loose deadlines” as was with my previous project, I am going to still set a hard deadline and try hard not to pass it, knowing after that date is when projects will become too crunched.
3.) No matter what, never skimp on your skills. Give your best effort possible and then make time after a deadline to make up on sleep, eating better, and relaxing.
4.) I am a full believer in rewards after a task is accomplished. I had to give up a few events I was really looking forward to attending (By my own choosing to put deadlines above everything else.) Now that I am satisfied that I worked to the best of my ability, got the work done one day before deadline, and hope to make a client very happy, I am planning to reward myself with an evening with my gal pals by the pool.
How do you handle deadlines?