How to Deal With Last-Minute Projects in Business
As a freelancer, I could potentially keep myself busy during all 24 hours of the day. Fortunately enough, I am able to get enough sleep but this doesn’t mean that I never have to deal with last-minute projects that manage to put a wedge into my schedule and make for a busier day. It happens all the time! Generally, last-minute requests can be a stressful experience for the person who is receiving the project but there are ways that you can make it less painful. Here are some ways that you can handle these types of situations in your business.
- Make Sure to Do Important Work As Soon As You Can
The biggest issue with last-minute work is that it often adds to your already packed schedule. If you are behind, this adds pressure to finish existing projects that hold just as much importance as the new projects you have to take on as well. Then, you typically end up having to finish the last-minute projects and rush to finish the other work you still need to do. If you do accept last-minute projects, make sure to have all of your existing work done as soon as possible. This way, you are always prepared for any unexpected work and can take it on without having to stress about it.
- Learn to Say No (If Necessary)
I typically never say no to more work because it always equals more money! However, too much work can always be a problem. It will either result in your unhappiness when you have to spend extra hours on work and lose out on rest or your client’s unhappiness if you don’t complete your client’s work on time or to their expectations. No matter which situation you find yourself in, you’re going to end up being the one who is affected. Make sure to say no to last-minute requests when they are going to overwhelm you and cause problems with your current workload.
- Have Everything Planned Out and Prioritized
A major part of being a successful business owner is having everything organized and mapped out. As such, you should already have your current projects incorporated into your schedule and broken down into sections (if you have larger projects that have several different sections that need to be completed at a time). How does this help? Well, when you have all of your work planned and scheduled, you know where you will be able to squeeze in projects. If you receive a last-minute project, you can then move forward some of this work to another available time slot and take care of the new work immediately.
- Have a Talk With Clients or Superiors If Needed
There are some clients and bosses who consistently ask for last-minute projects. While some employees or contractors may be fine with scheduling extra work and have the time, those who have packed schedules aren’t able to keep doing this on a regular basis. If you are dealing with a client or a boss who is guilty of this, make sure to reach out and talk to them when you both have an opportunity. Let them know that, while you are glad that you are working with them, you are typically busy and need to have an advanced notice on any upcoming projects so that you can properly take care of your work without becoming burnt out or hindering the progress of other projects.
- Try to Take on Last-Minute Projects That Don’t Take Up Too Much Time
Fortunately enough, I don’t receive extensive last-minute projects often. This is why it is so easy for me to say yes to projects that clients need finished within a few hours of assigning them. Not all last-minute projects are easy to complete, however, and take up more time than you can devote to them. If you are usually able to pick and choose projects, aim to only take on last-minute projects that don’t eat up too much of your time and are relatively easy to complete.
Taking care of last-minute projects is an unavoidable part of running a business. As such, it is important that you prepare for yourself for these projects so that you can take them on successfully when they do come up. Using these 5 tips above, you will always be prepared to squeeze these assignments into your schedule while still getting your other work done!