The summer is one of the most challenging times to freelance. Having to juggle multiple projects is part of our job description. Juggling various projects with clients who are off on summer vacation or less responsive can be pretty tough. Then there are vacations that you want to take, and you have to make sure that your business is running smoothly while you’re away from the wheel.
Here’s how I’m keeping my sanity this summer.
I’m maintaining a project management calendar.
For several years, I used a handy day planner for my to-do list. It worked pretty well for a while. Now I have too many projects with too many moving parts to manage them in this way.
I’ve made the transition to using Asana, a free online task management system, to manage tasks and deadlines. Trello is another task management system I’ve seen other people use with success. The system helps me break down large projects into small pieces so I can assign jobs to myself and others. It also reminds me of the different deliverables I need to get from clients to do my job.
A project management system has been a lifesaver when it comes to managing the moving parts of multiple assignments for multiple people during a busy time.
I’m not scared to follow up.
Communication with my clients and prospects can be touch and go during the summer. Summertime is speaking season, so some speaking entrepreneurs I work for are traveling with less time to communicate. Other clients and prospects are taking long weekend vacations or entertaining their kids during summer break.
My responsibility has been doing a lot of follow up to get tasks completed. Don’t be scared to follow up with your clients even if you need to shoot out multiple emails and place numerous calls to get a response. We have a job that they’re paying us to do. Stay on the ball to see projects through.
I get help when I need it.
Hiring help is something that’s relatively new to me. Now that I have someone helping me, I’m not sure my business would survive without an extra set of hands. There are many places where you can hire affordable assistants to help you stay productive this summer. I’ve used Fiverr and Upwork before to find temporary workers.
An assistant can help you manage your blog, respond to emails, update your calendar, and much more. If you’re planning a summer vacation, you can rest assured knowing that someone is behind the scenes taking care of things while you’re away. Having an assistant has freed up some time for me to enjoy the warm months as well.
Summer can be an incredibly busy and stressful time for business owners. There are so many distractions that can keep our clients and us away from work. Keep a project calendar and don’t procrastinate on the tasks at hand. Often our clients are relying on us to keep the ball rolling while they’re preoccupied with other things.