How to Be a Productive Writer So You Don’t Drown in Work All the Time
No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to keep up with those deadlines. Ever happened to you? Read this article to know the secret to Become a Productive Writer.
If you’re a content writer, chances are, you’ve been through this phase some time in your life. Don’t worry – many of us feel the same at times.
Maybe freelancing is your side hustle or your full-time job. Maybe you have a really busy social and family life where you must dedicate a portion of the day to it.
If you think that a strenuous routine is hindering your freelance writing career, and you’re finding it difficult to improve and earn more, it’s time to talk about the true reason behind this and ask yourself how you’re using your time.
Even if freelance writing is a big part of your life, your most precious asset is time.
Why and how to be a productive writer? The latter we’ll break down in a second, but for the first: how you use your time will determine if you get a few freelance writing jobs every week or if you’re completely booked. Which one seems more lucrative?
If you’re looking for easy and practical ways on improving productivity, you’ve arrived at the right place. We’ll provide strategies, tips, resources, and encouragement from hard-working freelancers who’re always hustling – all day, all hours.
You might also be interested to read: How to Start a Blog That Actually Makes Money
8 Ways to Become a Productive Writer
Have a look at these tips and tricks on how to be a productive writer to organize your work and boost productivity:
A formula for productivity
Concocting the perfect formula for productivity will do wonders for your freelancing career. Now, there’s no fixed mantra to make the ultimate formula, and it depends a lot on what works for you.
Don’t live by someone else’s theories of productivity as they might not be effective in your case. Instead, stick to the basics – things that work for everyone and build your personal agenda around it.
It’s important to get plenty of rest and eat timely in order to fuel your body for the entire day of work. Some people have stated that exercise helps keep them sharp and creative.
Maintain your to-do list properly to avoid overworking at one point and eventually causing burnout.
Apps to increase performance
For writers’ convenience, developers have constantly introduced different apps that keep everything arranged and provide reminders to get things done.
With Todoist, you can create, segment, and tag tasks to get a better visual of what needs to be done and when. Additionally, you can sync these Todoist lists across various platforms.
StayFocusd is a tool that every freelance writer should have. Every one of us has been through instances where we went onto a website to get a piece of information but somehow went down a rabbit hole, and by the time we were out, it had been hours and we ended up being behind schedule. StayFocusd fixes the amount of time you can spend on a website to decrease any distractions.
Imagine the big picture
Reminding yourself why you’re doing what you do always helps. Think of the results – the destination.
“If I finish the writing, I’ll get paid.” Money will never stop being a motivation.
“If I do this, I’ll gain much more knowledge about a particular topic.” If you’re knowledge-hungry, researching will be your driving force.
“If I get these done, my skills will improve.”
Know your priorities and capitalize on it to do better.
You can also read: 4 Reasons Why Blogging is Important for Your Business
Beware of the freelancing fears
There are two facets to freelancing fear: procrastination and perfectionism.
Sure, you can definitely take an hour off and watch some Netflix. Or, you can keep the work for another day and go out. However, the more you procrastinate, the more are chances of your work being lower quality.
Striving for perfection isn’t a bad thing, but combine the need for perfection with a habit of procrastination, and you have a recipe for trouble.
You’ll find yourself demotivated when you see your quality decrease with each closing deadline.
Set a schedule and abide by it. You’ll get things done with time to spare, and you’ll be able to improve the parts you don’t like.
Freelance writer Ed Gandia laid down his Lego-building strategies that he implies to unleash one’s creative side that leads to better work altogether.
He said there are three pillars for productivity.
Do your share of work for that day. Stop putting off work for another day because you won’t be able to cope with the overwhelming pressure and the pressing deadlines and still put out work you’re satisfied with. If the writings aren’t good enough, you’ll lose clients.
Manage yourself better. Sticking to your schedule may seem monotonous, but if you keep time apart for yourself and recreation, you’ll find that you’re being able to manage everything better, given you follow your routine.
Give the brain a break to recuperate from the stress. We can’t emphasize how important this is to prevent fatigue and burnout.
Step on one “brick” at a time
Fixing work-life balance with kids in it
With kids in the mix, it becomes hard to maintain a satisfactory work-life balance. Your family will demand attention, but you’ll also need to get work done.
In these circumstances, the first thing you can do is share your visions with the family. Explain what you’re trying to achieve from the gig, why you started it, and how you are passionate about it. Include the family, and they’ll understand. This doesn’t apply to your toddlers or smaller kids, but they’ll understand as they grow older.
Include time for your family in your schedule. Let’s assume your kids get on the school bus at 7 am. You have free time until 1 pm before you have to pick them up. Work from 7.30 am to 12.30 am and keep the afternoon for school recitals, events, doctor’s appointments, etc.
Finding the tempo
Don’t sit down and write one blog/article. It’s inefficient, and you’re wasting your creative space.
Find the zone where you’re comfortable – whatever gets those gears in your head crunching – and write down at least 2/3 articles/blogs at a time.
The 15-minute work session is an effective way to handle your daily workload.
1-2 minutes: Check the list of tasks for a particular project. Get started or prick up from where you left off.
10-12 minutes: Concentrate on a single task for this short period. Research, brainstorm, write, edit, etc.
1-2 minutes: Note down the next steps to get ready for the next 15 minutes of work.
Being busy as a freelance writer is a good feeling, but sometimes, the marketing part is skipped in the middle of it. Before you know it, you’re getting increasingly anxious about your emptying schedule and the plummeting income that follows.
Here are some things you can do to present yourself to more opportunities:
A writer website is a professional approach to gaining more gigs. Many clients prefer this.
Use your connections on social media. Nowadays, hard-sell messages may incite an annoyed frown, but no one will set you on flames if you ask for a referral. Let your connections know that you’re working as a freelance writer.
Aim for niche job boards where employers must pay to make a post – for instance, LinkedIn’s job where you can get a nice paying gig. Set up saved searches or alerts on particular keywords and fix sites to send you relevant openings based on your writing type.
At the end of the day, time is your greatest asset in the freelancing industry. Use it wisely to rake in the profits, or be ignorant and end up losing work to potential writers who are willing to work hard for that dough. Be consistent, creative, and categorical!