How to Stay Productive When Your Creative Freelance Business is in Overdrive

While it’s long been proved that the freelance business allows creative freelancers to be more productive than a full-time position, it’s not always such plain sailing.

Sometimes the work can get on top of you, and when you aren’t used to handling your own admin, marketing and accounts, it can all get you a little frazzled to say the least.

Instead of weeping about it with a glass of wine in hand, grab your laptop and start taking notes, because we’ve got some tips on how you can keep your productivity up and your alcohol-fuelled tear fests down.

List, list, list

List everything. What are you having for lunch? Did you get that email back to the client on time? When will the designer be back to you about your website?

Anything you need to find out, business related or not, needs to be taken out of your wee frazzled brain and scribbled (or inscribed, depending on how much emotion you’re experiencing) on paper, so you can stop thinking for a second and clear your mind.

Then you can start to get your deadlines sorted…


Step two, get that calendar in order! You probably have numerous deadlines circling around your brain, but be unable to pinpoint a single one of them. Write them down as soon as possible.

Create a space where you can easily view your deadlines and organise yourself when you need to, whether it’s on your phone, in a diary or on a calendar above your desk. This will help you plan your social life too – so you aren’t stuck watching daytime TV when your friends are free!

Speak to your clients

Demanding clients can make freelancing a lot more stressful than it needs to be. Set some boundaries, such as checking your emails only at the beginning and end of the day, and then speak to them.

If you’ve got a lot of work to do, explain that there could be a delay with work. Your clients will appreciate this more than telling them the work isn’t ready on the deadline date.

If you’re going to be late with a deadline, let them know about it in plenty of time and if needs be, offer a small discount for the inconvenience.

Have time out

Freelancers don’t enjoy the luxury of sick pay, holiday pay or annual leave, so save running yourself down and have the afternoon off.

You might have a million deadlines to meet, but if you aren’t in the right headspace or are panicking about them, the standard of work won’t be as good as what you’re capable of.

Get away from your workspace and enjoy a walk, some family time or a meal with friends. You’ll be ready to crack on with work when you get back.

Are you a freelancer struggling to stay productive? Or are you proud of your organisational skills and want to share them with fellow freelancers? Leave all your comments in the section below!

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