How To Avoid Monumental Screw Ups When Working On Projects

Screwing Up A Client's ProjectNo matter whether you’re just getting started in the freelance world or you’ve got years of experience under your belt, it’ll happen sooner or later: you will screw up!

Something will go terribly wrong with a particular project, you will forget to back-up a database, you’ll accidentally delete files from a server or you’ll leave some lorem ipsum on a client’s website for a whole day exposing your major screw up to the world.

They say you learn from your mistakes, and I agree, but how do you deal with them when they happen? And most importantly, how can you avoid making those mistakes again? Here are 4 things you might want to keep in mind to deal with huge screw ups:

1. No Need To Panic

Don’t stress, it happens to the best of us! The last thing you want is to panic, you want to be able to think clearly. The good thing is you can avoid, or at least fix, even monumental screw ups. Of course it can be scary and you might panic a little when you realize you accidentally deleted some very important files from your client’s server, but please don’t panic and call your client in the middle of the night, especially if you’re pulling an all-nighter and are sleep-deprived.

2. Cut Yourself Some Slack

I know you want to make more money and you want to take that new client, but when was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Work is still going to be there tomorrow! Best way to avoid screwing up is to be alert when you work. All of the times I’ve messed up were either because I wasn’t feeling very good or was very tired. I’m sure your client would prefer if it takes an extra day to finish the project than an extra week for you to fix up the mess you made because you were tired and not focused.

3. Develop Good Work Habits

Always save a back-up copy of your work on another hard-drive after every session. That’s a no-brainer for me. Chances are if I accidentally delete a file, I’ll have a copy somewhere to save the day. That definitely saved me on many occasions. By developing good work habits you can minimize the risk of screwing up, and when you do screw up it won’t be nearly as bad.

4. Ask Your Client For Help

There’s no reason to deny the fact that you screwed up if you actually did. It happens, nobody will die as a result. You’re a web-designer, writer, photographer, developer, etc… not a neurosurgeon! If you can’t fix things right away and you have to tell your client, the first thing you need to do is apologize, stay confident that you can fix things, then simply ask for help — whether it’s actual assistance or just a time extension, having the client on your side is a plus. Your clients are human too you know!

Your Turn To Talk

Did you ever screw up a project? Do you think it’ll never happen to you? If you did screw up a project, what did you do to fix it up? We’d love to hear your stories, tips and tricks! Hey, we all screw up sooner or later, maybe a fellow freelancer is in trouble right now and is reading this post. Why not help him/her out a little? :)

Image in this post by veganstraightedge