Staying up late is not always the best solution to ensure you meet your deadlines. You simply couldn’t rely on stretching your work hours just to get the job done. Unfortunately, you are most likely in the same boat just like many other freelancers are. But as they say, if it’s being done by many, it doesn’t necessarily mean its right. And losing sleep for the sake of a project deadline’s completion is one of those exemptions.

Common Reasons for Rushing

While there are instances when clients specially long time ones would come to you at very short notice and request  for something to be completed almost immediately, most of the time, the reasons for the rush is attributed to how you conduct yourself when a job is at hand.

1. Procrastination

How many times have you told yourself, “I’ll get that finish tomorrow”? And the next thing you know, you got your plate full to the brim and with little time to accommodate all of tasks you have postponed.

2. Distractions

Your gadgets, tablets, and smartphones are double edged tools that can either be a tool for better productivity or a big distraction. If you don’t know how put limits to what you do and when to do things, then you can expect nothing but a ruined schedule and a compromised sleep time. Have you ever counted how many times you’ve stopped what you are doing just to check the notification on your mobile or your tablet? If you can’t stand the temptation of opening those apps and emails, it would be best if you keep it away from your work desk during your work hours.

3. Delegation without Follow up

If you work with a team, delegation can make life easy for you. But if you don’t know how to follow up on tasks you have assigned to a colleague, don’t be surprised when they break the news that things are still in progress with deadline just around the corner. One thing you have to keep in mind, no matter how reliable your man is, follow ups can save you and your team the hassle and tension of a possibility of the work not getting completed.

The Solution

You can be a freelancer and still have a healthy freelance lifestyle. That’s for sure! But if you are not getting enough sleep, always on the rush, then this tips could be your checklist to correct this practice before it’s too late.

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  • Don’t fall to the bait of getting too many projects that you couldn’t handle, that’s what I call the Freelancer’s Superman Syndrome. It sure is good to have many projects (lots of moolah in your account) but if you’re just earning to pay for the doctor’s fees then that’s futile. Learn to say no!
  • Know your priorities and stick on them. More than just knowing what to prioritize, act on it. Mahatma Gandhi said it well, “Action expresses priorities.” Are you always in the look for productivity tools, task list and todo tools? But hey, the question is, is the job getting done? Obviously, if you are staying up late, then you’re probably lost with your priorities. Stick with those priorities and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
  • Don’t procrastinate. This is probably the easiest and best solution. If you can work on the job now, do it. Steve Pavlina wrote a very comprehensive article on How to Overcome Procrastination and this is a highly recommended read for every freelancer.
  • Ask. If you are on a new job or given a task that’s not familiar or out of your scope, ASK! Don’t wait for the deadline and tell your client’s you didn’t finish the work because you didn’t know it. If you’ll ask, you’ll definitely get a good night’s sleep, free from those anxieties of busting a job or messing up the whole thing.
  • Don’t be lazy. Let’s just say it straight, DON’T BE LAZY. When laziness strikes, you’ll most likely rush things when the deadline comes. If you want to be successful, be diligent.
  • Follow up what you’ve delegated. Collaboration is powerful. But if you don’t follow through with tasks and accomplishments it can be your nightmare. Check your team’s output. Use cloud synching tools like Dropbox, Box, Evernote or Google Drive to  help you monitor output in real time.
  • And when all is said and done, you’ll realize, these all boils down to one thing, DISCIPLINE.

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 Do you have something to add? The comment is open to your intelligent observations. 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos

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