How to Juggle Your Full Time Work and Your Freelancing Career

How can I stay healthy and happy while doing two jobs? This is what I did.

1. Determine your available time. When my clients asked me how many hours I could put in, I told them the truth. I can usually spend about 20 hours a week. But don’t just stop here. Be sure to tell them when you are most available. For example, 2 a.m. every morning on weekdays and until 5 a.m. on weekends. Not only that, let them know how much output you can produce in 24 hours. Finally, if you have a full-time job, don’t forget to tell them. Why should I give you this tip? By defining your available time, you can set clear boundaries while setting the right expectations for your customers.

2. Choose your projects wisely and free up clients. Never pick a project you can’t do and don’t bid on too many projects. Why? Because it ruins three things: your schedule, the quality of your work and, last but not least, your reputation. As for selecting clients, it’s worth taking the time to interview. What does the client want? What are his expectations? Are his expectations and timetable realistic? It is also recommended that you do some research. Find out if they didn’t pay someone on time, or if someone didn’t pay at all. By being selective about your projects and clients, you end up wasting no time and you can also avoid stress.

3. Never forget to take care of yourself! Every weekend I still manage to get a massage or foot bath, finish my nails and go shopping. I’ll never forget to take care of myself because if I don’t, I’m going to hate my job and my freelance career. This is something I don’t want to happen. Besides, I work to live. If you can’t even enjoy the fruits of your labor, what’s the point of doing two jobs? Oh, before I forget, go to sleep! If you only sleep 4 hours a day, you are not as effective. If you only sleep 4-6 hours a day, you will get a cranky mood, puffy bags, bad skin or worse, you will also get sick.

4. Separate your full-time work from freelance work. We don’t want anyone fired for doing freelance work during working hours. This is illegal and immoral. The trick is to focus on your full-time job during the established working hours. Start on time, start on time. Personally I have done this. I arrived on time, did what I had to do and left. I have a schedule and I will stick to it. If I don’t, it will definitely ruin my allotted freelance time. So use your time wisely and stay away from problems.

5. Respect the deadline. I don’t like to miss deadlines, but don’t get me wrong, I’ve missed deadlines in the past and things aren’t going very well. Here’s what I learned: If you think you’re going to miss the deadline, tell your client right away. Immediately means that if you think the timeline to complete it when discussing a project is too tight, you should let your clients know. Immediately does not mean informing customers 30 minutes before the deadline. So what’s the trick? Application buffer. The time buffer is always applied for every task you run. If you complete the task early, it will be good for you. Better to be sooner than later.

To be honest, I didn’t learn this balancing method overnight. I also made my own mistakes and had to study hard. But once you master the tricks of the trade, you will learn more and discover which technique suits you best.

Vikki Pusong is a freelance writer and full-time business analyst for a multinational corporation. She is an enthusiastic blogger and ready to help new freelancers.

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