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Ways for Freelance Writers to Meet Deadlines with Less Stress

Updated on October 16, 2013

Stress, Deadlines, and Writers

Meet deadlines with less stress.
Meet deadlines with less stress. | Source

Freelance Writers

The position of a freelance writer can bring stress along with its deadlines. While writers are able to schedule their own hours, they face demands of publishers for work to be completed within specific times. Deadlines for multiple projects can occur in the same week and even in the same day.

Freelance writers can meet deadlines with less stress by incorporating a few simple techniques into their regular schedule. Organization, time management and good communication are key to lower stress levels.

The Stress Factor

Stress has many negative side-effects that are both mental and physical. Headaches, disrupted sleep and anxiety can be linked to stress. Body aches from tightened muscles and frequent colds can occur in stressed people.

Freelance writers are not immune to stress with their deadlines. They are at risk of stress when they are disorganized, lack scheduling skills and have poor communication with their social connections. By working on these skills, freelance writers are able to meet deadlines in healthier ways.

Reduce Clutter

Reduce clutter to meet deadlines with less stress.
Reduce clutter to meet deadlines with less stress. | Source

Organize The Workspace

When freelance writers are disorganized, they are more likely to become distracted from the deadline.

Take, for example, the work desk of the freelance writer. The freelancers likely have both papers and electronic documents that they work from to provide inspiration for work and to map out their ideas for the finished project. A desk that is crowded with piles of papers and a computer desktop that has a variety of random folders is disorganized.

By creating an organized workspace, the freelance workers are better able to see what needs to be accomplished and the variety of projects worked on at one time.

Organization also refers to the calendar. Writers need to write down deadlines as they are made, either on an electronic or paper schedule. Then, schedules need to be checked at the start of each day to remind freelance writers what tasks need to be completed that particular day.

Use A Calendar

Write down steps to reach the freelance goals.
Write down steps to reach the freelance goals. | Source

Time Management and Deadlines

Time management is also important for freelance writers given that they often set their own schedules.

After deadlines are written down on the calendar, the next step for freelance writers is to write down the steps to get that deadline accomplished.

Here is an example of a step-by-step time management plan for one deadline:

  • Write down the deadline for the project
  • Determine which day to brainstorm ideas and create a title (if not already supplied)
  • Determine which day to write the outline for the article (main points and sub-titles)
  • Determine which day to write the draft of the piece
  • Determine which day to revise the written work, prior to submission to publisher for deadline

The amount of time the freelance worker has to complete the steps varies; sometimes publishers provide less than 24 hours for a deadline. In this case, all steps need to be completed quickly. However, having a step-by-step plan and sticking to that plan will help writers get to the deadline with less stress.

There is less stress because freelance writers now have a concrete plan. With steps to go by, there is a map to follow. There is less pressure in the mind of the writer and a schedule to follow. Writers who follow the same writing process to meet each deadline follow a routine; routines increase feelings of comfort and there is confidence built in the reliability of the routine. There is less stress as a result.

Open Communication

Be open to communicate with others.
Be open to communicate with others. | Source

Communication and Writers

Another way for freelance writers to meet deadlines with less stress is to verbally communicate with people with whom they have social relations. These people are the writer's family and friends.

Poor communication can increase writers' stress levels when they keep anxieties to themselves. They may start to think that the people around them do not understand their concerns and looming deadlines. In turn, the writers can feel hostility towards other people with a "you don't understand me" attitude.

Open communication for freelance writers with their social connections will reduce stress about meeting deadlines when writers tell family and friends when they feel anxious. The writers will likely feel less alone. As well, friends and family members may have suggestions to help the writers deal with the issues. Writers can then resolve issues, lower stress and return their focus to the deadlines.

As well, when freelance writers openly communicate that they have certain deadlines to meet, the people around them better understand the time restrictions and obligations of writers. Perhaps the chore list around the house, for example, can be taken on by other family members on a week when the writer says he or she has several deadlines to complete. The stress of juggling extra tasks around the house are then lifted to allow the freelance writer to put more energy towards meeting deadlines.

Meet Deadlines with Less Stress

Freelance writers are able to meet deadlines with less stress. Ways to reduce stress are to create a more organized work space, effectively manage their time and openly communicate with social relations.

Stress breeds mental and physical conditions in the freelance writer that can be avoided. When the writers are healthy, they are more productive at work and able to enjoy a higher quality of life.


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    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Chris, You are right about time-management being harder to wrap our heads around. I find to-do lists and even carving out time-periods for certain tasks during the day is helpful. Glad you enjoyed the read!

      @jainismus, Thank-you for the positive message, vote, and share too!

      @dwachira, Deadlines do become more of an issue when dealing with private publishers rather than content sites such as HP. Well unless you take on the 30 day challenge that is! Thanks for the continued support here :)

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Doreen, You are doing great though from what I can tell! Organization is largely about balance and making the most of our time. We all have off days... Thanks for the compliment and read!

    • profile image

      DMartelonline 5 years ago

      Awesome as usual. I'm no where near as organized as I should be ;)

    • profile image

      chrisinhawaii 5 years ago

      Thanks for another great article, Christy! Organization is the BIG ONE for me...not work area so much...but organizing my time and disciplining myself to stick to the plan.

      Voted up and useful. Aloha

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      You given very useful tips, which are equally useful for online and offline freelance writers. Voted up and shared.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I like your tips and i think i will have to be strict with my deadlines now. I always make deadlines but often i don't keep them, thanks. Voted up and more.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Jane, it does sound like a fine line my friend. You are doing so well, this method works for you!

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 5 years ago

      The organization part is a continual challenge for me. I need a bit of clutter to feel creative but too much and I'm overwhelmed. Great article!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @spazzicalmommy, You have a funny name :) Thanks for the comment!

    • spazzicalmommy profile image

      spazzicalmommy 5 years ago from Kent, WA

      love this!!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @prairieprincess, I am glad that you find my hubs helpful for you. I hope the tips help you improve productivity with less stress :)

      @internetgeek, Thank-you for the great comment and vote too. Glad to help others!

      @Marc, yes taking on too much can lead to problems.. Thanks for coming by to read and comment buddy.

      @KrystalID, What a nice compliment and I thank you for it.

      @brackenb, Thanks! I am happy you will use the information and that it provided what you were looking for.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @rabbit75, thanks I am glad you found the hub useful! You are quite right that not planning out time can cause stress levels to rise. I wish you much success here on HP!

      @Teaches, I do hope to help other writers. You seem to have a great grasp on balance. Thanks for the comment and vote my friend.

      @Bill, You are not so much lucky as you are wise. You have figured out many of the secrets of writing and that puts you in a great position to succeed!

      @Victoria Lynn, What a nice comment! Thank-you :)

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Christy, I needed this! Thank you. Your articles are a real inspiration to me now as I am trying to get into more writing jobs. Thanks again!

    • internetgeek profile image

      Nizam Khan 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

      This is really interesting and useful Hub. You have listed out some good points and well said "When freelance writers are disorganized, they are more likely to become distracted from the deadline." Thanks for sharing and voted up !

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 5 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      I guess there's a lot to be said about not biting off more than you can chew (or, in this case, write)...

      Great Hub, Christy!

    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Nice job here! This tips are really helpful and your layout is beautiful. Organization is not my strong suit but writing is definately bringing me some discipline. Voting up and useful!

    • brackenb profile image

      brackenb 5 years ago

      What a useful piece of writing, I shall definitely use some of these tips. hank you. Voted up and useful.

    • rabbit75 profile image

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Very informative hub Christy and great tips. Time management is crucial when you're a freelance writer, as well as communication. However, I find myself more stressed when I don't manage my time wisely. Then again, I do work well under pressure...most times...not all.

      Great hub...voted up and very usefull!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Great advice and it will definitely make a difference in stress levels. I find that organizing is most important in making things flow well. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good job Christy. I'm one of the lucky ones; I don't feel stress with my freelance writing business but then I keep things balanced. I only take on the amount of work I know I can handle without putting myself in a pressure situation.

      Great tips!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Great tips. You write some really helpful hubs. Many votes!