We would be factual about the part that even freelancing, isn’t all fun. Yes, there’s the part where you sometimes get to choose how many jobs you get to take on, and how much time you get to invest into it, but just like in other businesses, there are boring parts to this business as well.
Let’s start with a list of those boring aspects: Financial Management? Social Media Management? Book-keeping? Sales Management?
Usually for most freelancers, having to take over the administration of the business is in itself, pretty boring- like they would rather be involved in the creative aspects of freelancing itself- be it writing, web designing, photography; than be involved in the technical or managerial aspects- which for some, can stifle creativity.
But freelancing is a business! The creative part goes hand-in-hand with these subjectively boring aspects, so how do you marry them together?
You don’t get credit for doing it all; what you get credit for is getting the job done at the right time. No one cares if you handled it all by yourself, or how macho you are; just get the job done. Outsourcing parts of your business which you find to be boring or rather annoying, or which just sucks up so much of the time you’d rather spend creating something new can be a good thing. It is, in fact. And so, my first piece of advice? Get an assistant- either virtual or physical to help handle those technical, non-creative, boring stuff!
2. Apps. Apps. Apps!
My last post addressed the apps which every freelancer ought to have handy. Even if the apps you’d need aren’t on that list, one of the most effective ways by which you can deal with the boring parts of your business. Finance management is one such thing. Bookkeeping is another. Thankfully, there are apps for everything you need to get done in freelancing, and putting this technology to good use would be rather wise, wouldn’t it?
3.Bundle all of these tasks into one
If possible, you could set aside a day or a fragment of a day to handle all of these tasks at once. Instead of having to hurt your creative flow by switching from creation to administration all of the time, setting aside time to handle all of these tasks at the same time can be beneficial and would also help you have a sense of accomplishment for tackling them all.
If there are certain questions which you’ve noticed over time that you have to make the same responses to over and over again, now is the time to set up an auto-response for those requests- which could range from new client inquiries to submitting your contact information and other FAQs. This completely takes off the menace of having to respond to clients via email all of the time, which would eat up into your work time and halt your creativity or distract you, at least.
Sometimes, you might have to provide more comprehensive information to the client but because you’ve auto-responded, the client already has more information about you and it buys you some more time to adequately respond during the time you’ve scheduled for such tasks.
5.Have a template
A template can be life-saving. If you have to craft a letter often, or a reply to a common request or do something which you absolutely cannot avoid doing, a template is magical. With it, you can answer such questions posed by a potential client such as your current availability or pricing. Since you might not be able to give an automated response to these kinds of requests- and as well, you might not be able to outsource it, you can make use of a certain template which would help you get through such requests pretty easily.
6.Infuse something you love into this boring task e.g. Music!
This can actually be a good way of multitasking. While handling some of these tasks, you might not have to give full concentration to it, especially if you already have a template for it. If you love music or any other thing which also doesn’t require your rapt attention, you can incorporate it into the time when you have to take care of these tasks. This way, you get the ‘illusion’ that these tasks are actually enjoyable- but we all know that’s not what’s enjoyable, but does it matter?
Some clients want updates like all the time, and for the freelancer, this can be a bit tedious. Since it is necessary, you might have to take a break from your work and give a response to that client. However, if you can ensure that you send out these updates automatically, it makes life more bearable for you and lets your creative juices flow without any form of distractions.
Here’s to a more interesting freelance career!