The Art of Extending Freelance Projects – Hacker Noon

Keep asking for more tasks

Don’t wait until you’re done to ask for work. Ask for more tasks often, seriously, pile those tasks up until the client can no longer think of anything.

You can never have enough tasks. Even if you’re swamped with work, make a habit of asking for more.

Keep in mind, just because you have a few dozen tasks, doesn’t mean they all need to be completed all at one time.

Unpopular opinion: Multi-tasking sucks. It’s a myth that it makes you more productive, just like open floor plan offices. Please don’t do it. Single-tasking allows you to focus and deliver quality work that will keep your client pleased. Don’t deliver sloppy multi-tasking induced work.

The key of piling up tasks is to make sure you are managing them properly, or everything can blow up in your face. Have you ever tried to go outside and catch a squirrel or rabbit? I hope not because you will most likely fail and embarrass yourself. This is the same feeling you’ll get if you fail to manage your tasks.

It’s many ways to manage your tasks. It’s also a plethora of ways to handle them poorly.

Don’t use email. Don’t use a word doc. Don’t use a spreadsheet. Not only are these not made to do what we need to do.

Use something more structured, like Trello (or something similar)

Trello provides a few things we need

  • A high-level view of what you need to do, what’s in progress and what needs to be done
  • Each task has it’s own comment thread (like a Facebook post)
  • Seamless collaboration with you and the client
  • Single location for info related to your tasks

I would argue the most important in that list is the commenting per task. Each task should have a private conversation going. Anytime it’s a question about a task; it should in the comment section for that task. Whatever you do, don’t rely on emails for details on tasks.

Once you have Trello setup, pile those tasks sky high. Your “todo list” should have at all times a minimum of a dozen tasks. Don’t be afraid to triple up. While they list grows, be sure to over-communicate what’s in progress and what you completed.

Pro-tip: The better you plan out the delivery of your tasks, the better you have an idea of the actual end of the project. It may sound bad, but you should have a better idea of the end of the project than the client. Just like your mechanic has a better idea on how long it will take to replace the engine in your car than you do. Don’t forget you’re the expert here.

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