I know I’ve been gone for a while, but it just so happened that I took on a million (ok, maybe more like three) projects at once. I’ve been reading, writing, editing manuscripts, working on social media, and loving it all.
Having multiple projects at once that you DON’T enjoy could end up costing you, but getting lots done, and having fun while you’re doing it can be one of the most rewarding things ever.
If you’re a freelancer or a contract worker, or otherwise self-employed, taking on a few projects at once can be beneficial for experience and finances, as long as you can pull it off without getting overwhelmed. Keep these tips in mind:
1. Take on projects that you feel passionate about. Feeling passionate about a job means you’ll most likely be more motivated to do it, instead of pushing it off. When fun TV and computer games are pulling you away from a boring project, maybe that project isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you look forward to doing a project, it’ll get done fast.
2. Schedule diligently. And stick to it. I have the job that I usually work 9:30-5:30. I’m not working all the time between those hours, but I keep it open so that I’m available. This is my main source of income, and I dedicate most of my time to it. I get paid hourly, and there are at least 4 or 5 hours of work for me to do every day. I schedule in a time for dinner and shower (and even an hour of TV time), and then I work on one of my other projects for three or four hours a night, until I get tired. This is my schedule for 3 or 4 days out of the week. Sometimes, I only work my regular job and give myself some time off on side projects. Either way, have a specific time scheduled for every project. Make deadlines, stick to them.
3. Organize your Projects. I have a separate folder in Google Docs for all of my projects. Keep detailed records of the hours you work for every project and what you were doing during those hours. Computer desktops can be huge messes, but keeping them organized helps you keep track of everything you’ve done. The area you work in should be organized too. You’ll feel less frazzled if everything around you is neat.
4. Avoid Burn-Out. Balancing three projects is OK sometimes, but it might not be something you want to do for months or years at a time. It’s alright to take some time off and give yourself a week now and then to just relax. Burning out can absolutely destroy a person. Avoid it by giving yourself ample time to eat, sleep, and see friends, and dedicate a little time to a hobby every week.
There’s nothing like the satisfaction of finishing up an awesome project and cashing in. Success feels so good! But you won’t get anywhere on your own if you don’t know how to balance your time (in fact…I should be getting back to work…)
Keep doing a good job!