I know you went into business for yourself because you want to be your own boss, but I have bad news for you. You can’t be your own boss because time makes the rules. That ticking secondhand is a taskmaster telling you to hurry it along. The hours flying by are cruel masters of your life. If you don’t honor deadlines, even exceeding the expectations of your clients, then you will lose customers. Of course, that would not be a good thing. So, you have to build you work schedule around this premise: Demonstrate a great deal of commitment to deadlines.
In order to keep everyone happy, including yourself, you need to keep things organized in such a way that shows that respect for deadlines. Here are some ideas to keep you on the right path and keep that commanding clock at bay :
Don’t take on more work than is reasonable. This might seem obvious, but when the calls are coming in, you will find it difficult to say no. You’ll cajole yourself into squeezing in one more job. You won’t want to turn down the money. You won’t want to disappoint clients. You must set limits and stick to them. That way, meeting deadlines will not become a burden.
Overestimate timeframes. Give yourself more time than is necessary. I am not saying to tell clients that something will take a year when it will take a week, but give yourself some wriggle room. For example, a writer may feel that she can get an article out with a two day turnaround, but what if a family emergency arises or her computer crashes? Giving herself even one extra day will allow for crises to be overcome without inconveniencing the client. Getting the job done early will impress customers and you will appreciate the breathing room.
Use a reliable time organization device. What complicated gizmo do you need for this? A PDA? A laptop? How about a calendar? A pocket calendar that contains all of your commitments will suffice. You can obtain one of these for as little as a dollar and it will keep you from double booking or over booking. Don’t rely on memory to keep you in line. Use a calendar.
You can’t smash the clock. You can’t turn your chair in the opposite direction so that you never have to look at it. You must honor the ticking clock. You have to respect deadlines. Keep yourself organized though and that clock won’t seem so imposing. You can still be your own woman.
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers.com, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.