Whether you’re a freelance writer who works for publications or a freelance digital marketer who works with pediatric dentist clients, you need deadlines in your life.
While deadlines might sound like a no-brainer for people who work in an office (aka they have a boss looking over their shoulders) or for those who have an employer, they can go under the radar when you work in a freelance setting in which you set your own business hours.
Deadlines, believe it or not, are essential to a freelancing career.
Here are some of the reasons why.
They can help with creative blocks
Writers call it writer’s block, but all types of creatives deal with a block when working on a project from time to time.
There are many unique ways to tackle creative block, such as reading or going for a walk. However, if a deadline is attached, then there’s no way around that deadline. This deadline forces you to get a project done because it’s due at a specific time. You can’t continue to push the project off and your mind goes into survival mode, if you will, because you have to turn in something.
If no deadline is attached, then you’re more likely to procrastinate because you technically don’t have to turn anything in on any given day. Look no further than students who wait until the last minute to write a paper to figure that out.
While deadlines alone won’t eliminate everyone’s creative blocks, they can help for many people because it puts a sense of urgency into place.
Keep you on track of your goals
Deadlines can help you stay on track with your goals because they put a time in place when you need to finish something. This deadline, of course, lets you know how much time until something is due, such as an article or any other freelance project.
Concrete goals are essential to success because they can help you stay on track and also tell you exactly what you want to accomplish and when to accomplish it by. Without deadlines, your goals will be anything but concrete and you might push them off because you, in a sense, have an unlimited amount of time to finish them.
Help you prioritize
Deadlines can help freelancers prioritize because they allow you to know what is due and when. This allows you to work on the projects that are due first. It can also help with stress because prioritizing allows you to finish things before they’re due, which ensures this work isn’t hanging over your head.
While this might sound obvious to some or like it’s not even an issue, many freelancers have trouble prioritizing because there’s too much flexibility in their schedules and they’re also balancing many projects at once, from a social media campaign for a personal injury attorney to a writing project consisting of 10 articles.
Give you necessary structure
Deadlines help to give a freelancing career structure.
A freelance career is appealing because of the flexibility and freedom it provides. Unfortunately, flexibility and freedom can lead to procrastination. However, deadlines can help to eliminate some of that because it maps out a path for a freelancer’s work, which gives this person necessary structure and a timeline for when things are due.
Deadlines also keep everyone on the same page, which can be challenging to do in a remote setting since people aren’t working under the same roof.
Not everyone needs deadlines to succeed in the freelance world. However, they’re beneficial to a freelance career and can actually clear the way for more freedom when incorporated. After all, if you know when everything is due, then you can plan your free time and other passion projects around your work deadlines.