Keeping Busy: What To Do During Quiet Work Periods

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December 22, 2017
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When the task sheet is empty, employees and freelancers react in very different ways. Staff sit back, twiddle their thumbs, and take a few minutes longer stirring that mid-afternoon cup of tea. They’re a little bored, sure, but they’re also getting paid regardless. For freelancers, quiet work periods mean panic, stress and anxiety. If you’re not completing tasks, you’re not earning money.

There’s no magic fix to this dilemma, either. It’s often feast or famine in the freelance world; that’s part and parcel of the trade. What separates the successful self-employed worker from the rest of the pack is how they manage these quiet work periods. Downtime is inevitable, so take note of the tips below to use this time as effectively as possible.

Focus on business development

When you spot the tumbleweeds rolling towards you, seize the chance to get out there and show your face. Hit networking sessions and pick up the phone to catch up with old clients you haven’t spoken to for a while. If there’s a skill you’ve been wanting to bring to your business, take an hour or two for some self-training, perhaps even attending a workshop or two in the process.

It’s also worth musing over personal branding ideas and examining the ways in which you can bring in more business next year. This will help to minimise quiet work periods moving forwards as your days fill up with duties.

Create content anyway

There’s nothing wrong with having content on the backburner ready for a rainy day. You never know when someone might need it, and creating templates for similar jobs might even help you streamline workflow.

Consider the types of work your clients demand most, and use this time to look at how you can prepare for (and improve) future projects. It could lead to better feedback and may justify any rate increases you’d like to make.

Get tidy

During intense projects, it’s easy to lose track of things. Most freelancers find themselves staring at decidedly messy work surroundings at some stage, wondering how they managed to let it get so out of hand.

When the work isn’t coming in, get yourself organised and tidy up. This way, you won’t be caught off guard when the work water-flow begins again.

Sort your accounts

They need doing and they won’t go away – so get cracking on with your accounts when work slows down.

Tidy up all the numbers so they balance, make a start on your self-assessment returns, and consider investing in a piece of bookkeeping software. When you complete these essential tasks during quiet periods, you’ll be free to take on more work when demand increases.

Bright Ideas Freelancer & Contractor can help when it comes to accounting. Our specialists offer superb guidance for any freelancer or contractor who needs it, including general advice on expenses and how to accurately submit tax returns. Get in touch for a free consultation today, and we’ll happily help you secure the financial future of your business.

Our team are available on 0161 951 5305. You can also request a callback using our contact form at any time.

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