Sometimes, you take on a project that turns out to be a little more than you expected. Or, it turns out to be just exactly what you expected … but, the rest of your schedule becomes uncooperative. Suddenly, your previously-reasonable deadline seems to be tumbling toward you like an avalanche.
I found myself in that situation last week.
So, I’m wondering, what do you do when that happens to you?
I have my own approach. First, I try to pay attention to how often this sort of thing happens. If one out of every two projects has a deadline that’s stressing me out, then I suspect the problem is poor planning on my end, and I make it a point to build a more realistic buffer into my timelines.
That helps down the road, but it doesn’t do much for the current problem-project.
So, here’s what I do.
Step One: Shuffle what can be shuffled. And I mean everything — from other projects you still have to work on that have more forgiving deadlines to who is making dinner that night.
Step Two: Prioritize. Look at everything on your to-do list and start putting the things you need to get done in order of priority.
Step Three: Group similar things. I think most web writers lose more time to transitioning between activities than they realize. So, start from the top of your ordered list of priorities and figure out how much you expect to accomplish during the current day based on how much time you estimate each item on your list will take. Then, group all the things on your list according to what they are. Put research tasks with other research tasks, calls with other calls, writing with writing, and so on. Set time blocks for certain kinds of tasks and do similar things at the same time. This can really step up how much you get done.
Step Four: Set a timer for 45, 50, or 60 minutes and take a five-minute break every time it goes off. Stretch. Do jumping jacks. Get a drink of water. Just walk away for a few minutes so your mind doesn’t go numb.
Step Five: Work late if you have to. (I left all-nighters behind me years ago. I think I just got better at planning.) I didn’t need to pull an all-nighter for this project — I would have if that’s what it took — but I did work later than usual.
These steps got me through my problem-project … not stress-free, but on time. So, I’m curious, what are your “Oh-no-how-will-I-ever-get-this-done-on-time” tips? Share in the comments.
Check These Out
Take a look at the Roving Report covering Ed Gandia’s event on building a rock-solid freelance business. Ed provided a number of valuable tips for giving your business a boost, and Susanna highlights them all in this report. My favorite is a new way of organizing my time to get more done — I can’t wait to give it a try.
Then, check out Mindy’s post on digging deeper into the B2B market. She gives you an inside look at how she is combining the massive prospects in the B2B market with her personal writing passion … a winning combination if ever there was one.
Finally, if you didn’t get to see Nick Usborne’s article on what online companies love in a copywriter, check it out now. It shares some great tips you can use to advance your web-writing career and build a bigger income.
Events You Don’t Want to Miss
This week, make sure you log in to hear Nick Usborne share seven social media secrets that will help you deliver bigger value to your clients.
Then, on May 3rd, make sure you listen in to Don Coggan from SiteSell when he shows you how to add powerful preselling pages to your website. Don will be answering member questions during the event, so if you have a question about preselling or relationship-building, post it in the comments. Thank you!
And, if you missed Mindy’s call on Thursday, April 21st, listen to the playback now. She shares a ton of good information on building a web-writing career that you love.
Go Live With Your Website
In the last three weeks, I’ve asked you to organize and prepare the content for your professional web-writing website. This week, it’s time to pull it all together and get your site out there in front of the world … and more importantly, in front of your prospects.
Day One: Give everything you’ve written one final review.
Day Two: If you’re setting up your own website, start populating the copy. If you’re working with a web designer, give her the copy and have her start putting it up on the site.
Day Three: Think about anything you want to add to the site eventually that’s not ready now. Maybe a case study page … or a FAQs column. Put those things on your calendar to work on in the next month.
Day Four: After letting your site sit for a day, go back through and make sure you’re happy enough to start sending people there. If you’re working with a web designer, find out when you can expect the site to be ready for this step.
Day Five: Start sending people to your site. Job boards are a good place to start. So are contacts from your niche market or from your existing network. Oh, and congratulations! You’ve got a website!
Don’t forget that Wealthy Web Writer is your website, so let us know what you want to see. If there are topics you want more information on, drop us a line so we can schedule articles and events to meet your needs.
Have a great week!