Interruptions – the bane of the freelancer’s life

Posted on: July 8th, 2013

How often do you have days when you just can’t get started on the task in hand because of interruptions?

Here’s the schedule I had planned the other day:

Go swimming
Tailor my CV for a new business opportunity
Start on a new copywriting project
Do emails
Continue with client project
Finish at 6pm
Attend live Facebook webinar with Mari Smith

And here’s the day I actually had:

Go swimming (so far so good)
New business opportunity phone call which turned into two further calls
Request for a quote for another new business opportunity and samples of my work
Did emails
Tailored my CV for a new business opportunity
Virgin Cable man came to replace set box top
Received a phone call to fix a meeting and discuss new website/brochure/video script project
Finally started on a new copywriting project
Finished at 9pm
(Will listen to recording of Facebook webinar with Mari Smith another day)

What happens when our best laid plans are thwarted?

Posted on: September 3rd, 2012

As freelancers, we are in charge of our own timetable and can schedule our working day to suit us, right? Well, in theory, yes, but in practise, no.

Take Friday as a prime example. I had planned to spend all day writing a mini information booklet. I had started it the day before and was making good progress.

Can you just?
However, when Friday morning came, three separate clients got in touch, either with amends to the first drafts I had done, or with extra information they wanted to include. And could I do the changes as soon as possible, please?

So it was 2pm before I could start on my day’s work. No problem, I thought. I will finish it on Sunday morning because I will have no interruptions.

Power cut
I woke to a power cut on Sunday morning. So it was a round of phone calls to EDF, to the management company that runs the complex I live in, to the caretaker, to the Estate Manager etc. Then a trip to Caffe Nero to get coffee as I couldn’t boil a kettle. Then a trip to the gym to get showered because I had no hot water and no water pressure.

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