Overbooking and the Prevention Thereof

work stress woman office


Hello, my dear readers; apologies for disappearing on you again the last two weeks. I just wrapped up writing another movie for a client, among other projects. I’ve been busy, and that’s certainly not a bad thing.

Good thing or not, though, negligence is negligence, and for that, I apologize.

I have a confession to make. The last month, I’ve overbooked myself. I don’t know when it started or how it got there, but there it is.

I’m not proud of it, because it’s cost me a great deal of sanity and gained me a great deal of stress. I’m working it out and it is what it is.

As such, maybe it’s time to address that on my blog – What to do to prevent overbooking.

Here we go!

1. Create a waiting list

Generally what happens in a typical month for me is I end up taking on projects of varying scales, between 3 to 5 isn’t out of the question.

What you say yes to and when depends entirely on your schedule. Think about what you’ve done on a project so far. Do you think you can continue at your given rate and meet the deadline on time? Would taking on another project cause you to miss a deadline?

If the answers are yes and then no, respectively, don’t take on that project. Ask them politely if they would like to be placed on a waiting list. I did one for a week, for example, and the woman waited because she had faith in my abilities and I communicated honestly.

2. Renegotiate

There was a project I took on for one of my clients that increased in scale during my current overbooked phase, which caused additional stress for both of us.

As such, I wasn’t going to be able to meet our originally agreed-upon deadline. So what did I do?

I contacted my client to explain this situation – I overbooked myself, I still want to do quality work for him, but that’s going to take some time. It worked out just fine. Sometimes deadlines can be moved, and in this case, I had a good rapport with  my client, he had some projects to finish up anyway, and we’re set for a new deadline.

It might work out well for you; it might not. The worst thing you can do, though, is to not communicate; to fall out of the loop and disappear into your work cave without another word.

Keep the lines of communication open. Sometimes the deadline problem isn’t as big as it seems.

3. Keep Calm

I used to be pretty good about keeping my work and home life separate, but since they’ve become one in the same, this becomes quite a bit more difficult.

As such, since work stress bleeds into my home life even more than it normally would, I was a generally unhappy guy. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize that.

Day and night, I worked, I stressed about work, I complained about work, and I got called out on it.

It was like a slap to the face I needed. There will always be a level of stress I have to deal with – we all have to deal with – in our professional lives, but we shouldn’t let it take over us. We have to work through. Life goes on.

So in short, my advice is stick to a strict schedule, create a waiting list if needed, and above all, work through one step, one day at a time.

Thanks for reading! I’ll do my utmost not to disappear on you again.

How do you prevent or deal with overbooking? Discuss in the comments below! 

Be sure to check out my portfolio and professional site here

My freelancing e-book, Dip Into the Ink Pot, is now available on Amazon by clicking here!
Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to the blog if you like what you see, and I’ll talk to you next week!

– Adam



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