Freelance work comes in cycles. You might be overbooked one week and have hardly anything the next. That’s why it’s so easy to get burned out — your workload changes so much. As a freelancer, you need to learn how to manage your time to meet your deadlines without getting overwhelmed or burned out. Take a look at these tips to help you do it.

Stay Organized

This one might sound like a no brainer, but creative types are notorious for being unorganized. This usually includes freelancers. However, there really is no excuse for it in this day and age. Computers help you avoid the stacks of paper on your desk. Plus, there are countless apps, day planners, and all sorts of other planning tools to help you track your to-do list and stay on top of your work.

Staying organized helps you meet your deadlines and monitor your workload so you don’t get burned out. Of course, overcoming your problem with procrastination is an entirely different matter. Procrastination is a major contributor to freelance burn out.

Don’t Take More Work than You Can Handle

Once you’ve gotten organized and stopped your bad procrastination habits, learn how much work you can handle in a given week or day. It’s hard as a freelancer to turn down work because you don’t always know when you’ll get more. However, you’re going to get burned out if you take too much. Before accepting a new assignment, make sure that you can easily fit it into your schedule without sacrificing quality.

Set Your Own Deadlines

When a client gives you a deadline, make sure that you set your own deadline ahead of your client’s schedule. Try to give yourself at least one or two days leeway in case something comes up or you run into questions that you need answered by the client before you continue. This helps you stay on top of your deadlines.

Plus, clients love when you turn work in early. So, setting your own deadlines helps you improve client relationships and get more work in the future.

For the most part, clients only care about two things — that you do quality work and that you meet your deadlines. So, those are the two things you should focus on.

Take a Day Off, or at Least the Weekend

If you work 10 hours a day, seven days a week, you’re going to get burned out. You need a day to yourself to unwind and take care of the chores in your personal life. It’s sometimes necessary to work through the weekend to meet your deadlines, but you should always make sure that you take some time for yourself away from your work.

As a freelancer, do you often get burned out? What do you do to avoid the problem? Leave a comment below.

Post By Cara Stromness (16 Posts)

Cara Stromness has been writing professionally since 2008. Her specialties include small business, job searches, social media, marketing, technology, finance, and writing. To read more about Cara, see the About Page.

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2 Comments on How to Meet Your Deadlines Without Getting Burned Out

  1. I always try to get my work done at least the day before it’s due. If I leave it to the last day, I already feel like I’ve missed the deadline and get super anxious. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Instead, at the outset of the project, meet with your colleague to set a realistic timeline for smaller parts of the project, as well as a deadline for the final product. Working together to select a date and time makes your co-worker feel like he or she has a say in it—and makes it harder to ignore.