As a freelancer myself, I know how important it is to stick to your deadlines. Of course, deadlines are important in most if not all fields of work, but in the self-employed sector they can be even more crucial.
Impressing Your Clients
In a broad sense, deadlines are important because they are often set by or agreed upon with your client, in which case they will be expecting to receive your work by this date. To avoid being selfish, you should always complete work by the agreed deadline to minimise any negative effects that a missed deadline may have on either yourself or your client, or even on a third party.
If you freelance via freelancing sites such as Upwork, meeting deadlines may be even more beneficial to you, because previous clients can leave ratings or reviews. Efficiency level can be a huge factor in achieving a good rating, which is vital in drawing more attention to your skills. More attention and a high recommendation makes finding clients a whole lot easier, facilitating the process of gaining work online.
Suffice to say, you don’t always have to hand in work on the deadline. Getting your pieces in early can improve this rating even further, which leads us onto the idea of setting your own deadlines.
The final deadline is the end goal for you to work towards; the finished piece to be submitted by a particular time. However, you can set yourself several smaller deadlines, or milestones, in order to make the workload seem more manageable.
It is essential to set plausible deadlines so that you don’t cause yourself more stress trying to cram in an unfeasible amount of work. That said, if the mini-deadlines are appropriately set, they can really help you to build up towards the end goal (the final deadline) without there seeming to be too much work at all.
The final deadline is, obviously, the most important, but setting these smaller goals will almost certainly aid you on your efficiency levels.
Be Strict with Yourself
The key to meeting any deadline is discipline. You have to stay motivated and disciplined in order to meet any goal you have set for yourself, because this will help you stay on task.
Staying motivated and focused is a skill which you can develop through a variety of ways. There are apps and desktop tools to keep you focussed, and practices such as mindfulness and the trait of determination will help you to stay motivated. Of course, if you enjoy freelancing and like what you do, it is much easier to remain dedicated to your work.
The discipline side is more down to you being strict with yourself, setting goals and sticking to them. You may choose to set small rewards for yourself, so that after each milestone you pass you receive something nice; this is a very good way to keep yourself going, because you will feel a better sense of accomplishment.
If you are strict with even the little goals, you will find that the completion of the end piece will come much easier and much faster.