Friday, January 22, 2010

The Notorious Time Thief!

Dealing With Procrastination As A Freelancer


As a freelancer, you have the luxury of working your own hours your way. You have the liberty to complete projects at home in your satin PJ's, or at your favorite Starbucks while sipping a Latte listening to Bob Marley. Beware however, this perk can easily turn into a curse when you allow the infamous time thief AKA procrastination, to become a habit. For those who can not readily recognize this thief, it is the tendency to indulge in the unnecessary to avoid things that are necessary.

Things That The Time Thief Can Cost You:
  • Money
  • Quality
  • Clients
Procrastination can easily creep in without you even realizing it. That task that needed to be completed by 5:00 PM gets pushed back to 6:00 PM, and by 6:00 PM you figure pushing it to 7:00PM won't hurt a bit. What exactly are you doing that causes that task to be postponed every time? Was that reason really all that important? Well today I am going to share with you my top five remedies of ridding yourself from this troublesome time thief.

1. Determination

Have an extreme commitment to your tasks, and try to remain interested. The same way you would coordinate your day around just to catch that new episode of Project Runway by 10:00PM, you need to apply that to your projects. You have to repeatedly tell yourself you have to get this done, because your clients are depending on you. A sense of urgency keeps you on your toes and therefore more productive.

2. Organize Your Tasks Visually

Visual representation of your tasks via charts, boards, and even post it notes keeps the tasks at hand in mind. I suggest investing in dry erase board, and making lists of all the tasks/projects you have placing the highest priority first and move forward from there. You can still become AWOL with the time thief, but at least you will have a big visual reminder in your face to bring you back down to earth.

3. Write A List Of All The Things You Stand To Lose Because Of This Habit

Sometimes forcing yourself to see what your losses are and/or could be is a motivator within itself. You don't want to end up in the red, so keep pushing forward. As freelancers we tend to get a bit 'lax about our work, and slowly forget about the bigger picture. By writing out potential losses or losses in the past because of this habit, it forces you to acknowledge the fact that you need to tighten up on your time management.

4.Make Yourself Accountable To Someone

Tell a friend, former co-worker, or family member about your time management issue, and ask for help. You can't do everything by yourself all the time, and your loved ones should be happy to help you. Having someone to occassionally check in on your progress can drastically improve your productivity.

5. Reward Yourself

Motivate yourself by rewarding yourself when you reach your personal work milestones. This reward can be whatever your little heart desires, but must be good enough to keep you moving. This is called the carrot strategy. It is similar to placing a carrot on a string in front of a Donkey or Horse, they continue to move because of what they want to get. Apply that same mentality when it comes to getting through a heavy work load.

There you have it! By implementing these five strategies you have already defeated that nasty little time thief most people struggle with everyday. If you have any tips you would like to add to this topic please feel free to comment below. As always, your comments are both encouraged and appreciated!

Fashionably Yours,

Since the tender age of twelve, Schaumin Chanel Alexander has been creating fashion illustrations, and designing Womens wear apparel. Shortly after graduating college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design & Marketing, she began freelancing her talents. SchauminChanel is the main designer and chief operator of Creative Conceptz Ltd., a company dedicated to freelance fashion design.


Angela Sasser said...

Ah the carrot strategy! This is the one I use the most when I am sitting and thinking about how I'd rather be playing a video game, watching a movie, or reading a book instead of working on a mindnumbingly detailed illustration! It's so hard to get motivated sometimes, especially when there's a matter of pride tied up in your end product! Starting a creative endeavor can be daunting that way!

And oh hello my name is Angela and I found you via the weekend blog trading fun over at Escape from Illustration Island! I'm actually not a fashion designer, but rather a writer and illustrator who dreams of being better at drawing fashions (I've never tried and my sewing skills are very lacking).

I'd be interested in your design for a guest blog posting as well, but not sure how that would work just yet. Perhaps we can talk about it more via email? (contact is on my website,

I hope to keep an eye out for more posts from you. Best of luck in your creative endeavors!:)

SchauminChanel said...

Hello Angela!

I am glad to hear you found interest in my post, and would love to possibly set up a guest post relevant to my blog I will be in contact with you very soon.



Fashion Fairies said...

Loving this post...

Post a Comment

Say whats on your mind, we'd love to know!