For people who work for themselves, the self-imposed deadline is a fact of life. Whether you’re starting a business, writing a dissertation, or consulting for a dozen clients, paying attention only to your drop-dead dates would mean never meeting them. You obviously have to set up interim goals along the way.
But the art of self-scheduling is not unique to entrepreneurs and PhD students. It’s one that I actively — and successfully — practiced for the two decades I spent working for other people. And it’s now making my transition to freelance life a lot smoother. Here are the self-scheduling techniques that worked for me really well in the office — and that remain the hallmarks of my working style out on the professional fringes.