Students That Freelance

The Power of Planning

Day to Day
by: Amber Leigh Turner
I am sure I have touched on this in several of my posts on this site before, but as a subject that I feel is pretty dang important, I feel as though I should elaborate more. Planning effects everything in our lives, no matter what we are doing, and even more so in our professional lives as well.

As student freelancers, we are in a great position to set plans and act on them. But what exactly are plans? Why should freelancers (or anyone for that matter) make plans? What are the benefits of having a plan and putting it in action? What are the disadvantages of not having a plan in place?

First off, a plan is any type of system that you put in place often to achieve a goal or an end. In freelancing, there can be many types of plans, ranging from financial plans, project plans, and career plans. Plans are mainly created to act as roadmaps to achieve a certain result, which can be anything from a monetary goal to a satisfied client outcome. Without some type of “roadmap” in place, how will you reach your goals?

Freelancers, as stated above, often make plans to help guide them in their day-to-day decision making to make sure they are on the right path. Financial plans are often put in place for freelancers that need to make a certain amount, or have a goal to reach a certain amount by the end of a specified time. Project plans are often created my freelancers who need to plan out milestones and budgets for their clients for projects that typically last more than a month, to help both themselves and the client stay on track and finish the project successfully.

There are also career plans, which are more than likely what most student freelancers focus on most, especially when they are close to graduation. Freelancers define career plans in many different ways, and no two career plans cover the same information. Some freelancers, including myself, focus their career plans strictly on their current business and where they would like to see their business in the future. Others create career plans as a means to something bigger and better, as in early retirement or to reach a certain income level.

Having a plan in place, no matter what it is for, will help you accomplish your goals more efficiently and on time. Often when someone puts a plan in place, let’s say to clean their entire house in one weekend, they are less likely to put off the task, because they made a secret commitment to themselves to see the plan out. Some important benefits of having a plan range from accomplishing your goals on time to tackling huge goals with ease. If you can’t already point out some disadvantages of not having a plan, those disadvantages include not having a clear focus and spending a lot of unnecessary time and energy to achieve goals.

As a student freelancer, plans should be put in place for anything in which you hope to achieve, such as mentioned above with financial, career, and project plans. However those aren’t the only types of plans in which you can create, and you don’t only have to have plans in your freelancing. Matter of fact, you can create and put in place plans in every facet of your life—academics, freelancing, personal life, etc. Some of the way I use plans is for Christmas shopping, large purchases, and I even plan for events and posts right here on the site.

Can you think of other ways plans can help you in your freelance or academic lives?