What to do when work gets quiet: 5 tips to help freelancers to gain productivity

You submit files to your client and a rare thing happens: you have no more projects in the pipeline and you’re at a loose end. What should you do?

The main thing to do is to keep calm; it happens to all of us. The chances are this is just a brief spell and your clients will be back in touch with more work shortly. Here are a few tips on how to use your time productively:

  • Get your admin work sorted. Have you got paperwork piled up that you’ve needed to sort but not found the time? Have you got an invoice to write? If you do your own accounts, is there anything you can update? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then now is a suitable moment to do it. It saves you slotting it in after a long day at work, or worse, doing it at the weekend!
  • Make sure your CV, website, and any professional profiles are up-to-date. If the Internet is the resource you use to promote your business, you need to make sure that the information you put online is always accurate. Having downtime at work is a great opportunity to review your website or any professional profiles you may have.
  • Search for prospective clients. You may be experiencing a quiet period for a number of reasons, one of which is your client not needing the services you provide for the time being. Be proactive and search for new clients who do need you. Alternatively, you could send a quick email to clients you haven’t heard from in a while to make sure you’re still on their radar.
  • Continuing professional development (CPD). It is very important that you keep up with any training you may need. Do you need training to keep your professional skills up-to-date? Do you need tips on how to file your tax return? Having a few days when no work comes in could be put to good use by participating in webinars or training sessions.
  • Last but not least: don’t panic! Sometimes it’s nice to have a little break, recharge your batteries, and be ready and raring to go when the next project lands on your desk.

Do you have any tips when it comes to using your quiet periods productively? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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