I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and let me tell ya, time management is a huge problem. Not only are there client projects to handle, there's marketing (a huge time investment); finding qualified freelancers to outsource to; handling back-end tasks like invoicing; staying active on social media; etc.
There never seem to be enough hours in the day. Time is your greatest asset as a freelance writer. Use it wisely and you can flourish; waste it, and you may have to go back to the dreaded day job. Over the years, following are five tips that have helped me stay on track as a busy freelance writer, self-publisher and internet marketer.
1. Time Block Your Days: The benefit of this is that it helps you to see in black and white what you should be working on each hour of the day. This way, you say on track.
2. Play "Where Will I Be": This is a little mental game I play with myself to keep me motivated. All I say to myself is, "Where will I be financially in a year, three years or five years if I donít stop doing "x" and start doing "y?"
3. Imagine: As in, imagine having to go back to a job you hate; a career you hate; a boss you may despise; fighting traffic; etc. You get the point, right?
4. Envision: This is the opposite of imagining. I envision the future life I want 10 years from now, 15 years, 20 years. Do you want to have to work as hard then as you may have to now for a few years.
5. Tackle Hard Jobs First: One of the main reasons I procrastinate is that I hate doing certain things. So, I do those first. That way, I can get on with the rest of the day knowing the "dreaded whatever" is out of the way.
Procrastination Tip: If you're facing a task that is beyond your skill set, outsource it.
I know, I know, you may be thinking, "But I can't afford to." Well I say, you probably can't afford NOT to. So think about it this way, "How much is NOT doing what you don't know how to do costing you?"
For example, I had a technical problem with my freelance writing website Ė the feed was broken. It was that way for quite a while. Instead of continuing to kid myself that I was going to read up and figure out how to fix it, one day, I decided to just outsource it.
What I had been procrastinating on doing forever (well over a year!), it took the tech expert I hired 15 minutes to do it and it cost just $65. The first day, almost 30 subscribers accessed it.
As each subscriber* is estimated to be worth anywhere between $1 and $5 per month (eg, 5,000 subscribers equals $5,000 per month), how much money did I lose over the time that it was down? Answer: I don't want to think about it!
See how much procrastination can cost you? Sometimes, literally you can't afford NOT to outsource a task.
*Note: This is a general, overall look at online subscriber value. One you segment them (eg, newsletter subscriber, RSS Feed subscriber, YouTube subscriber, Facebook subscriber, etc.); then toss in other specifics like open/view rate; type of offer; how often contacted; etc., the value can be much higher or lower.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black is the owner/operator of New Media Words, an SEO writing company. She's also the publisher of the popular freelance writing blog, Inkwell Editorial. Ms. Black has written over 50 ebooks, mostly on/about freelance writing. They can be found on major outlets like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, in addition to her own website(s). Want to find out if freelance writing is the right career choice for you? Take the freelance writer's assessment test to find out.
Keywords used in this article: freelance writing tips, productivity tips, procrastination tips, how to stop procrastinating, how to freelance, freelancing tips