As a work-at-home mother, I have a pretty open and flexible schedule. This has allowed me the freedom to work when I need to which has translated to me never missing a deadline.
Contact through e-mail or the Guru channels of messaging is the easiest for me, although I have provided my telephone number for clients who prefer this method of communication.
I prefer payments to be made in increments to help avoid the risk of not getting my agreed upon amount. Half payment after submitting half the work is appreciated for large jobs.