Freelance writing is a fantastic career! You can choose your location and your work schedule, then mold them to fit around your most important priorities. But with freedom also comes a responsibility to meet deadlines. Failure to meet deadlines consistently can have costly consequences for your freelance writing career.
But, life can get busy, and it’s easy to push deadlines to the last minute. Unfortunately, doing so sets you up to create sub-par content and to miss deadlines. Make no mistake, though; these habits can cost your freelance career in both clients and wages. So how do you make sure that you are not only writing amazing content but completing it by or before your deadlines? Here are a few tips we’ve learned to help you consistently meet deadlines — even when you don’t want to.
Set Your Schedule to Meet Deadlines
When you work from home, it’s easy to get distracted by everyday home things. If you don’t schedule your workday (and stick to it), your productivity will take a hit, and you will likely miss a deadline.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible, of course. The key is to set a work schedule that works for you. Next, develop a plan for your workday, including priorities and timelines, then follow through with the hours you set.
Practice Discipline Daily
To work from home, you must have tremendous self-discipline. Ensure you are completing projects on time by following a strict schedule free from distraction. Make it a habit to stick to your set start time, writing hours, and daily/weekly content schedule.
Let’s be real, though life happens. If you aren’t able to get your work done during the hours you’ve set, then you must be disciplined enough to put in the late hours to get the project done.
When wondering how to meet deadlines consistently, always remember that you are responsible for your work and plan. Your schedule and your ability to meet deadlines effects your authority as a writer. If you consider yourself a professional writer, then you must act professionally in your writing habits. No excuses.
Take Breaks. Seriously
Writing is a creative work. Mental exhaustion can impede productivity and contribute to delayed project completion. This is why mental breaks are so important; they allow you to rest, recoup, and be ready again for another round of fresh, inspired writing. So, yes, it is okay to take a nap if it will help you meet deadlines.
Be Realistic and Don’t Overcommit
It’s good to make a realistic plan for yourself each week of how much work you know you can handle without falling behind. It’s also okay to say no to a project if your plate is full. Remember, your clients are counting on you to deliver on time. Besides, you can always take on more work if you have the time.
Don’t beat yourself up if your workload/writing lifestyle looks different than somebody else. The greatest thing about freelancing is the ability to tailor your business to your time. If you want to be a professional, successful writer, you must meet your deadlines every time.
How to Meet Deadlines; Final Thoughts
Learning how to meet deadlines consistently will help your business flourish and establish you as a reliable writer in your field. If you apply the tips listed above, you’ll surely conquer your deadlines every time.
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