One of the biggest challenges for today’s successful writer is time management.
Let’s face it: in a tough economy, many of us are expected to do more with fewer resources.
Add to this, the never-ending juggling of family obligations, projects around the house, marketing for new clients, and “socializing” via the ever-present social media scene. Hello!
Still, the savvy scribe recognizes that there is great truth to the adage, “time is money”, and acts accordingly.
So, today, let’s look at some ways to make the most of your time, to make the most profit, and move forward in your freelance career.
1. Learn that there is a difference between being “busy” and being “productive“. Surfing the Net for hours is being busy, researching on the Net to write a feature piece, or to gather statistics for an interview is being productive.
2. Control your daily distractions. What’s your guilty pleasure? Some are FaceBook fanatics. Others let computer games get in the way. I personally dig music videos on You Tube. It’s okay to indulge in moderation; it can break up the monotony. But give it a limit. Time, like money, should be budgeted wisely for the best results.
3. Work smarter, not harder. Instead of spending endless hours drafting and crafting queries, expend that energy into polishing pieces for editors that don’t require queries in order for you to get paid and published. Go even further. Once you’ve sold those pieces, don’t stop there; sell them as reprints (if your retain the rights, of course).
4. Rise early. There’s great truth to the adage, “The early bird gets the worm.” Believe it or not, there is so much more productivity for those that get up and get going early in the a.m. And I should know--I’m one of them! I can tell you that lines at the grocery stores are usually shorter and faster, there are fewer phone calls to answer, traffic is lighter, and
there’s a greater climate of calm, (which facilitates creativity), before the hustle and bustle of the day really sets in.
5. Be wise and prioritize. With only 24 hours afforded each day, it’s virtually impossible to cross everything off those pesky to-do lists. A better game plan is to get the most important stuff out of the way. Why? Missed deadlines for clients, or missed due dates for bills can cause stress and unwanted penalties. Stress can impact creativity. No output means no income. Get my drift?
6. Set Goals. Goals are like a compass that guides direction. This ensures that you spend less time being lost on the road to success. For example, every year I set short and long term goals that govern how I spend my time and where I want to be in my career. Consequently, everything I do either supports my goals, or takes away from them. This mindset keeps me on track. It will for you too.
7. Make multi-tasking a daily practice. Though there are different schools of thought on this one, I can attest that it helps me to get more out of my days. Of course, it should be noted, that not all tasks can successfully be done simultaneously. Like, I wouldn‘t advise texting while driving. Or cooking while shampooing your hair. Use proper discernment.
Follow these seven tips and you’ll have more money and more time to spend it.
IMAGE John Kasawa