The Freelancer’s Guide to Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination can be a dangerous habit no matter what your job, but when you work as a freelancer it can be deadly to your earning power. Putting off tasks that seem unpleasant or overwhelming may mean that less work gets done – and that can mean fewer dollars in your pocket. Procrastination can also do great damage to your reputation, arguably your most important asset. No one wants to hire a freelancer who consistently misses deadlines, so breaking free of this difficult habit is essential to your success.

Whether you're working as a part-time freelancer to bring in some extra money or have taken the plunge and work full-time for yourself, it is essential to get the procrastination monkey off your back once and for all. By changing the way you look at your work you can provide the temptation to put of these unpleasant or difficult tasks. And those simple changes can help put more money in your wallet and a more stable career as a freelance professional.

Look at the small picture

One of the chief causes of procrastination is a project that just seems too big and overwhelming. When confronted with an incredibly large, incredibly complex project our natural reaction may be to put it off. While it is certainly understandable that the professional freelancer would want to take some time to scope out the project and get a handle on it, the size of the project must not become an excuse for inaction. Putting a project off because it seems too large and overwhelming can result in missed deadlines, unhappy customers and reduced earnings for the freelancer.

Many times simply breaking a large project up into smaller and more manageable chunks can break the procrastination logjams and help the busy freelancer to get started. For instance, if you're faced with a months long project it may be helpful to break the job up into weekly tasks. By meeting this weekly goals you'll feel more in control, and more certain of your ability to finish the project on time.

Get feedback

Asking for feedback is always important for the professional freelancer, but it can be even more important if you're fighting the procrastination monster. Asking the client for feedback on a regular basis is a good way to keep yourself motivated, and a great way to make sure you are making steady progress as a project moves along.

Gathering feedback on a regular basis can do more than just help you fight your tendency to procrastinate. Asking for feedback – especially from a new client – is a great way to stay connected and to make sure all parties are on the same page. By going back to the client often and making sure everything is on track you can be more confident that your work matches the clients need – and you can avoid the procrastination that could wreck the project and cause you to miss those all-important deadlines.

Fighting procrastination is not an easy process, but it certainly is an important one. Part of the attraction of working as a freelancer is the ability to set your own hours and work on your own terms, but it is essential that you learn how to manage your time wisely. By identifying the factors that cause you to procrastinate and overcoming them you can make the most of every available minute and help your freelancing business thrive.


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