I get it.
You started your freelance business because you wanted to be different.
Unlike your friends, you want more freedom and fewer limitations.
This is in your DNA.
As the time goes by, you realize that balancing work and school is increasingly difficult.
If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place.
I have been freelancing for almost four years, and in that time I’ve had success in business, and in school.
When I first started working at 14, I never was booked solid.
I used to spend most of my time educating myself and trying to decide what direction to take my business.
That wasn’t too much of a big deal.
Since I didn’t have any tight deadlines, I always was able to cancel my business-related activities to focus on academic stuff.
But, as I started building my content marketing business and landing writing clients, I barely had the time to study.
Cranking up thousands of words every week and being a junior in high school wasn’t a walk in the park, especially as I can barely understand what my teachers talk about in every class.
As I kept finding new hacks for balancing school and work, I came up with different habits and ideas that totally transformed my business and skyrocketed my income.
Want to know how I managed to balance study and work like a pro?
Let’s dig in.
Outsource Your Freelance Work and Homework
Yes. You read it right.
I’m talking about the Pareto principle.
You make 20% efforts for 80% results.
If you can spend one hour working online and make $100, why not pay someone $0.5, $1, $5 or even $10 to do your homework?
The same rule applies to your work.
If you spend eight hours writing one blog post that nets you $200, why not outsource it to someone on Upwork who gets the job done faster at a lower rate?
Personally, my process consists of conducting keyword research and creating a strategy for my clients, then assigning work to freelancers along with detailed instructions that help them write faster.
From personal experience, the more you pay your writers, the better return you get on your investment.
Doing this, you’ll definitely take a lot of weight off your shoulders.
You’ll stay more focused on your studies, work fewer hours and make more money.
This will also open the door to more improvement and productivity, as you’ll have more time to educate yourself, scale your business and do well at school.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Hiring writers and creating a process takes time, especially if your freelance writing niche is too specific.
And, you’ll want to make the edits your clients request, which means you’ll need to keep going back to every post to check the sections your client wants to be edited and discuss them with your writer.
As a side note, if you plan to outsource a lot of your work, you might have to switch your business from a personal brand to an agency, which could be a completely different path for your business.
For more ideas on outsourcing and scaling your writing business, visit JasonSwenk.com.
Work on Weekends
If you don’t take advantage of the spare time you have on weekends, you probably won’t cut it both professionally or academically.
Especially if your school schedule is booked up Monday through Friday.
Otherwise, you probably will have a hard time succeeding at work and school, unless your business is still at an early stage or you only have little work to get done.
Alternatively, you can take a few hours off on weekends to get some rest if you feel like burning out.
If you are a part-time student or have a loose schedule, taking the weekend off would be a plus, as it will re-energize you and set you up for for the next week.
Personally, I only stay home on weekends and finish the projects and assignments that are due on the next Monday. Although this feels very panicking sometimes, it really does give me a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
Study Smarter, Not Harder
Although I haven’t been studying hard during the first semester of my senior year in high school, I scored well.
In fact, one of my classmates scored just as much as I did, despite the fact that he used to study hours every day and was practically a workaholic.
So, what’s my secret?
Well, he studied hard, and I studied smart.
When he was spending hours copying lessons and notes for secondary subjects, I used to improve myself in the most important subjects that have the highest percentages out of the semester’s score.
For example, accountancy represents 13.33% of the semester’s score, while Arabic only represents 4.44%. Instead of writing all the Arabic lessons, I outsource them to someone else or leave everything blank.
In addition, you can always convince some of your teachers to raise your scores, especially if you speak to their emotions.
Recently, my business management teacher noticed that I use my phone a lot during his classes (yes, I love reading e-books in boring lectures. Makes me feel like a boss.)
But rather than significantly lower my scores, I stopped using my phone and started to deliver on my homework to change his attitude toward me.
Plus, I always used to ask him about his newborn – which made him feel very proud and happy. This helped me build a better relationship and consequently score better than all the males in my class. (Yeah!)
I also succeeded in raising my philosophy and law scores in exchange for promising both of my teachers a fully paid trip to Japan if I strike it rich. That works every time, and all my classmates and teachers get a kick out of it!
For more ideas on studying smarter, try Kevin Paul’s practical study tips from his book, “Study Smarter, Not Harder“. There you can find hundreds of ideas on topics like how to handle pressure from people surrounding you and how to focus while studying, discipline yourself, and set effective goals.
Are you ready to take the leap?
The ideas I’ve shared worked wonders for me – how will you make them work for you? Share your favorite hack in the comments below.