How do you keep in control of your own schedule?

Posted on: February 29th, 2012

One of the reasons I enjoy freelancing is the freedom it gives me to be in charge of my own schedule and stick to MY timetable. So, if I want to start work at 11am and work into the evening, I can. And if I want to start work really early and take most of the afternoon off, I can do that too.

But just how in control of our schedule are we, in practise?

Take this example. I had a busy week ahead but I had it nicely planned out:

Mon: Edit/proofread an annual report document

Tues: Attend a new business meeting plus an editorial meeting for an e-newsletter

Wed: Briefing meeting for a new website in the morning plus do some marketing activities in the afternoon

Thurs: Research and write e-newsletter articles, following Wed’s meeting

Fri: Complete e-newsletter

However, the document wasn’t ready for me to proof on Monday morning. I received it on Tuesday lunchtime but wasn’t able to start on it until Wednesday afternoon (when I was supposed to be working on my own marketing stuff).

Although the client had delivered it a day and a half late, I still had to turn it around quickly which meant working late on Wednesday evening and finishing it off on Thurday. That ate into my two days of newsletter writing time which meant I had to finish the newsletter on Saturday morning, as there was a deadline of first thing Monday morning.

So, no matter how we try to organise our week, our schedule seldom goes according to plan – through no fault of our own.

How do YOU keep in control of your working week?


3 Responses to “How do you keep in control of your own schedule?”

  1. Elly Earls
    February 29th, 2012

    I completely agree – the flexible hours of being a freelancer are one of its greatest benefits, but you also never know when you’ll receive a last minute commission that needs to be turned around yesterday!

    I try (as much as I can) to start work on a commission as soon as I get it, even if it isn’t due for a couple of weeks. Even if the next couple of weeks look quiet, they could quiet easily turn into the busiest two weeks of the year!

  2. Elly Earls
    February 29th, 2012

    PS – I just noticed that I spelt ‘quite’ wrong in the last sentence of my comment. Note to self – must proof-read blog comments as thoroughly as articles!

  3. Carole Seawert
    February 29th, 2012

    Hi Elly

    I know – best laid plans…

    Whenever I have a quiet month – where I’m wondering where the next project will come from – the next month is completely manic with several projects on the go at once.

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