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Being Productive Between Projects

Freelance Developers Manual
A Project of Frontntweaks.com
1st Edition Ver 1.0.1
© Copyright 2018 Gerald Watanabe

Staying Active

The schedule of a freelancer is unpredictable, you could have a continuous run of jobs and projects that may last weeks and even months. Then there are inactive times between projects that may last longer than you had envisioned.

In certain respects, this can be a blessing in disguise. It could be a chance for you to clear things that are on your bucket list, or experiment with new ideas and practices.

Could this be a time to reboot your mind from web design and development stuff? After months and weeks of thinking code and design, maybe you need to clear (restart) your mind and not think web development. Then you will be recharged, ready to go again.

Here is a list of suggestions of things to do, many of whom I use myself. This list has no particular order, as each one of you has different needs. I am sure you can come up with ideas of your own too.

Family time:
Family comes first, spend quality time with the family.
Family happy = house is happy!
Produces efficient productivity in your projects!

Brush up on a technology or learn a new skill:
Keeping busy with work leaves little time for learning new stuff.
Also, a time to brush up on old skills. Example: I work with CSS a lot, but haven’t delved into CSS animations. So a good time to learn how all this works.

Social Media:
Catch up on your Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Post new content, find new people to follow, expand your reach.

Upgrade Hardware:
Your computer is starting to show it’s age, getting slower, and not as responsive. But you hesitate to purchase something new at this time, for the simple reason you don’t have time to set up a new computer (load apps, configure it to your needs). This free time might be an excellent juncture to set everything to your liking so your new machine will be ready to go.

Reorganize files and backups:
Good time to catch up on your backups to your external HD or Cloud service. Maybe reorganize them, because if you’ll like me, when busy I just upload files to the Cloud, but not in an organized manner. This may become an issue later when I need to find it again.
Also, how is your external HD, does it need to be replaced?
This might be a great time to transfer all your data to a new external HD.

New workstation setup:
You have been working with your current workstation setup for a while now. Maybe you need a new desk, or just rearrange things a bit for a fresh new look. This could get you excited, you can’t wait to start a new project with this new arrangement.

Get established in your local community:
Join or visit business groups, job fairs, meetups, PTA, etc.
A place where you can leave your business card and meet people.
When you meet new people, they are curious as to what do you do for a living.
Goal: let it be known that you build websites.

A trip to a web development event:
How about traveling to some seminar or event, WordCamp, CSS Conference, etc. A great way to combine learning with a vacation somewhere other than your own location. It’s another venue to leave your business card with your new contacts.

Help others out on forums:
I am sure many of you are already part of the one of the various web design and development forums available. Instead of searching for answers and help for your own situation, how about using this time to help others by answering questions that you have had experience with.

Hobby Time:
When you’re busy, your hobby usually takes a back seat.
A great time to just think about something else, like photography, painting, hiking, _ you fill in the blank.

Diversified Income
Most Freelancers have other income to support their business.
Build on what you have or start developing your side hustles.
This would be an excellent time to push your “other income.”


Bottom Line:
Don’t sit around waiting for potential clients to call.
Do something productive or take some time off from thinking “web stuff.”
Waiting and worrying is like a rocking chair, it keeps rocking but you get nowhere.