I know it’s all our dream, to have more work than we can handle. Yes it causes stress, yes it forces us to hunker down, focus, minimize distractions and just get to it. But those are great days aren’t they?
I’ve been in this position, booked jobs for a day then all of a sudden someone comes along with a I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW project. Or one of your long term clients pops in and has a new one for you and since you have been working with that client since almost day one you feel obligated to make sure that the project gets done as quickly as possible.
Then all of a sudden you look at the clock and realize you might just have more work than you can take care of in one day. How do you handle it?
Personally I love those days, but yes they do cause stress at times. I’d much prefer to be in that position then looking for work (which we all know is necessary but can stink at times). So how do you handle it? Well here are a couple of tips that I’ve found have helped me in the past.
- Take a step back, take a deep breath and look at the work you have to get done for the day. Which client/clients absolutely need their project done before your work day is through? Which ones don’t have such a high priority?
- Take the time to stay in contact with your clients. Communication is key to building and maintaining that relationship and you should be doing this anyway, but this is the time that they really need to know what’s going on in your studio. Let them know that you have a lot of work that day and you will do your absolute best to get their project back to them as soon as humanly possible. Under promise and over deliver.
- Prioritize your day. I know that most of us do this naturally the moment you sit in the booth. You look at the work and decide what you’re going to work on first, second etc. However getting that frantic email can throw a wrench into your best laid plans. This is where step 1 is so important. Taking a step back, taking that breath then organizing what’s left with the time left in the day.
- No matter how busy you are. No matter the amount of work you have to do, you have to make sure to save some time for yourself. I know this can be hard, it’s really hard for me. This past weekend I worked the entire weekend because I had three large projects all come in late Friday afternoon from clients I have really good relationships with. But if you don’t take time out for yourself, your family, get out and enjoy the fresh air, do whatever it is that you do outside of the studio; you’re going to burn out.
I know these things seem pretty generic and common sense. The only reason that I decided to write this one is that this is something that I’ve encountered quite a few times and I know how tough it can be to deal with when it does happen. Hopefully my experiences can help some one out there, even if it’s just a little bit.
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Until I see you again, and until you hear me, be good and do something fantastic today.