Take care of all you can before school starts
This is what I am doing now. Make a list of all the outstanding tasks you need to (or would like to) complete before the start of school. Are there any client projects that you can get done before school, or at least get ahead on? Any type of administrative work you haven’t done that needs to be done? Taking time to get these tasks done ahead of time will save you much headache when your free time gets limited when school starts.
Plan out times when you will be doing certain tasks during the school year, and stick to it
If you haven’t read my article describing this already, you should. It is always beneficial to plan out your days/weeks. For me, I designate blocks of time in which I will focus on certain types of tasks. When school starts in two weeks, my mornings will become focused on school tasks and my afternoons focused on freelancing tasks. Knowing this ahead of time and sticking to those times from day one helps relieve a lot of stress, and helps you get things done without putting them off.
Give your clients a heads up that you are about to start school again
For those of you that have told your clients that you are a student, take the time to email them letting them know that you are about to start back school, and to assure them that you will still be available to help them if they need it. Also, inform them of your “blackout” times—namely, those times that you are in class—and let them know that you will be unavailable of those times.
Set goals for your freelancing and schooling, and stick to them
Wha?!?! Yes, set goals now before the semester starts, and work to make sure they are achieved come Christmas time. Why? Because when you have a goal set and you work toward that goal, you work harder to make it a reality. Thus, take the time to set quantitative goals for your freelancing and school work. Such goals as “I plan to make $3,000 this semester in freelancing” and “I plan to find 5 new clients before Christmas while keeping a 3.5 GPA for the semester” will motivate you to work hard to achieve those goals. Make sure the goals are reasonable and accomplishable, but challenging at the same time.
So with the looming fall semester just around the corner, preparing yourself so that your freelancing and schooling doesn’t suffer is key and will make for a stress-free and successful semester, both school and freelance wise.
What are other tips that you do to get ready for a new semester?