Here are 5 things you can do to fill time and prepare for your next wave of work
All jobs have their ups and downs, slow times and fast. As a freelancer, having a slow period can be scary as you may not be making any money while you’re not working. But don’t panic! Use your downtime as an opportunity to tackle ‘housekeeping’ tasks for your business which may eventually lead to more work for you. The 5 tips below can keep you busy on a slow day, help attract new clients, and free up more time for when you really need it.
1 Personal Projects
Remember that t-shirt you wanted to design or that novel you’ve been wanting to write? Now’s the time! Start by making a ‘creative inspiration’ board on Pinterest for design ideas or open a Word document to develop an outline for your book. When your mind isn’t cluttered with work that has to be done right now, you can be more creative and detail oriented towards your personal projects. Plus you’ll get the satisfaction of working on something all your own without an outside source making edits after it’s finished!
2. Update Social Media
Does your social media interaction rise and fall with the tide of your work? If so, now is the time to create content for your social media profiles and schedule them to be sent out in regular intervals throughout the month. You can create social content and then schedule it to be sent out via HootSuite or other social scheduling software at a later date. By setting up content to be posted at regular intervals, you create a steady flow of interaction with your followers to be better seen as a strong voice in your field.
3 Add projects to your online portfolio
Just like the shoemaker’s children, marketing yourself (or cobbling shoes) is probably the last thing on your list. Take care of that now! Update your website with new information, add recent projects to your portfolio, even write a blog post or two to be published when you’re flush with work. Adding new info to your website lets search engines know you’re keeping your content fresh and can help with search engine rankings. And from that you might even land a new client! It’s a win-win!
4. Go Outside!
How often do you find yourself without a project to work out, yet you still sit at your desk browsing the internet anyway? Get up! Go outside! Take a walk in the fresh air and connect with nature, or call a friend to meet up for coffee. Getting away from your desk a great way to become inspired so you can work on one of the personal projects you’ve been wanting to tackle (see item #1). Is the weather too bad to go for a walk? Then hit the gym. Most of us spend too much time being sedentary. A short workout can give you renewed energy and inspiration!
5. Do those other things you hate doing that you never seem to have time (or the desire) to do:
Organize your taxes, input your expenses into QuickBooks, file paperwork and bills, clean off your desk (do you REALLY need all of those sticky notes?) and throw away those pens that don’t work anymore. Or do something you WANT to do but never have time to do like decorating your office! Hanging pictures and tidying up your office makes you more creative and organized so you can jump on that next project when it finally does come down the pipe.
Have other ‘housekeeping’ tasks that you focus on during slow periods? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!