How to Combat Project Fatigue

See if this sounds familiar.

You’re working on a client assignment and you’re enjoying the work for the first three-quarters of the project.

But by the time you get to the last quarter, you couldn’t be more done with it!


What can you do to prevent and minimize the pain of project fatigue?

Here are six strategies that can help:

Strategy #1: Step away

It’s amazing how differently you can feel returning to a project after even a short break.

If your deadline allows for it, try putting the entire project aside for a day or two. You may find you’re able to take one more solid swing at it when you come back to it.

If you find that this strategy helps, start building this “break” time into your project timelines.

Even a break of a couple hours can make a difference if you’re at the end of your rope!

Strategy #2: Take on multiple projects

Of course, putting a project aside is easier if you have other projects you can work on in the meantime.

Shifting your focus to another project can act as a kind of a break. (As the saying goes, sometimes a change is as good as a rest!)

If this strategy works for you, try to make a point of having multiple projects on the go at any one time.

Strategy #3: Take on more diverse projects

Project fatigue is especially prevalent if you write longer pieces of content (e.g. books) or write the same types of content over and over again.

Having a more diverse mix of projects can bring you some relief.

Sometimes it helps to jump on, say, a quick blog post project when you’ve been deep into a white paper for days.

Again, this is something you can plan for. For example, if a client awards you six case studies, try to sprinkle other kinds of projects in between.

After all, having a diverse mix of projects (and control of that mix) is one of the great benefits of having a freelance writing business.

Strategy #4: Bring in help at the end

For me, it’s the final editing and proofreading that often sends me over the edge at the end of a project. If that’s the case for you, consider bringing in an editor or proofreader to get you across the finish line.

Besides, having a second set of eyes on your work is always a good idea — even if you’re not bored to death of it.

And editing and proofing is an easy task to outsource.

Strategy #5: Bring in help at the beginning

If there’s a type of project that you do repeatedly for a client, you might consider bringing in a junior writer to handle the bulk of it for you.

You provide direction to the junior writer at the start, and then come in again at the end to review and edit.

This lessens your involvement — and it will lessen your degree of fatigue.

Strategy #6: Work more efficiently

Spending more time than you need to on a project can also exacerbate project fatigue.

The more efficiently you work, the less time you spend on a project, and the less fatigued you’ll become.

That’s why I use the 50-minute focus technique.

This technique not only helps me work more efficiently, but it forces me to pace myself.

Because in my experience, if you go gangbusters on a project for a couple days with few breaks, you’re pretty sick of it by day three.

You CAN Reduce Project Fatigue

Most of us will experience project fatigue at one time or another.

But once you know the strategies that work best for you, you can take steps to reduce it.

And when you do finally get that project out the door, take a moment to celebrate!


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