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Time Management: Lessons Learned

Time Management: Lessons Learned

In this article, I want to share with you some important lessons I’ve learned when budgeting time for myself with web design projects.

Recently, I was speaking to a client who was very anxious to get started on his website project. I reveled in his excitement, and I almost let slip one of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a freelancer: take the time to carefully construct a proposal and scope of work. I had to fight hard to resist the urge to tell him that I’ll have the proposal within a few days. In the past I’ve done that and spent the next couple of days all night working on it, stressing over it, just to meet the short deadline I gave myself.

All good things are worth the wait

Build in enough time into your projects so that you can get your work done comfortably. This doesn’t mean to tell a prospect client it will take days to do something that takes hours. But if you know it will be tight to get something ready by the end of this week, for example, give yourself a couple extra days over the weekend, and say you’ll have it first thing Monday morning.

Be Honest, and learn to say “no”

Clients appreciate honesty and communication. If they are making a request of you that they want something immediately, it’s okay to be honest with them and say something like “I know this is important to you, I’m making it a top priority for me, however you are hiring me to do great work for you. I cannot realistically deliver what you’re asking for and also have it be great work, I need a little more time.” Then give your client a little more realistic time for completion.

This establishes that you recognize the urgency, and also holds firm that you refuse to do half-ass work for your client.

Stop Multi-tasking

Social media and constant online distractions, this rule is hard to follow. Unfortunately, a recent study shows your brain doesn’t have the ability to properly focus on several tasks, so you will need to give up some of that distraction to properly concentrate on your work. Focus on getting one task done at a time, and at the end of the day when you review what you’ve done for the day, you’re likely to show more productivity.

 

What time management mistakes have you made and learned? Please share with the rest of the Young Web Builder community.

Written by Steve

Steve is a freelance web designer, technologist, educator, Adobe Certified Expert and friend from the San Francisco bay area. He is a incessant seeker of knowledge and tirelessly thinks about how he can make things better. You can learn more about him on his website, www.stevedolan.com or by following him on Twitter: @scribblesteve