• Advice

Is it time to hire some help?

As a freelancer, if you’re feeling overworked or stretched thin, you’ll probably find that few of your peers will be climbing over each other to offer their sympathy. After all, your problem is an enviable one. In fact, those very peers could ultimately provide part of the solution! If you find yourself consistently missing deadlines or turning down good work that interests you, it may be time to build a team.

Shared work = more work

It may seem slightly counterintuitive: If you begin splitting up the workload, you’re ultimately taking money out of your own pocket, right? The truth is that you’ll finish work more quickly, which is of paramount appeal to clients.

Also, if you can unburden yourself a bit, you’ll be sure to reap psychological benefits (which can only help your work). When you’re not swallowed up by deadlines and other achingly practical concerns, you can bring fresh energy and perspective to your craft.

It’s a difference clients can feel. Increased productivity coupled with a rejuvenated attitude should generate far more work in the long run.

Benefit from expertise

The ability to delegate is a virtue, and you should never be afraid to bring other highly skilled folks into the fold. To that end, if you’re consistently spending lots of time working on very complex, specialized tasks, you may want to hire a consultant or expert.

We often expect ourselves to not only be able to do it all, but to know it all, as well. Very often, however, that’s simply not the case, and there’s always someone out there who’s ready, willing, and able to help; someone with information at her fingertips, or for whom the task at hand will come naturally.

Remember - frustration is not inherently character-building! If you’re banging your head against a wall over and over again, it’s probably time to get a boost over it.

Save yourself wasted time

Similarly, if you find yourself spending hours and hours (or worse, days and weeks) doing mere “busy” work, you may want to invest in an all-purpose assistant.

When you spend your most productive hours filling out forms or entering data into spreadsheets, you’re robbing yourself of time that could be devoted to the work you do best.

It should be even easier to find fellow freelancers to help shoulder this burden, especially since these tasks may require little training or oversight. Ask a buddy to help out in return for a fair wage, or place an ad on Craigslist!

No matter what kind of assistance you need, though, you’re likely to find that help is just a few clicks away in the freelance community. And the best part? You won’t just be doing yourself a favor.

Kate Shea Kate Shea lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily.