How to Schedule Your Day for Freelance Writing
October 31, 2012 Writing Tips
Ah, freelance writing. Such a wonderful career because you get to create your own schedule and be your own boss. But sometimes, the freedom can harm your career. How many times a day do you surf the internet when you should be writing. How many TV breaks do you take, or naps? How are you supposed to get any work done? It takes hard work, dedication and scheduling.
Why You Need a Schedule
People with 9-to-5 jobs work because they have to. They have a set time to come in, to take breaks, to eat and to leave. Work days are scheduled like this to ensure maximum productivity. Why should writing be any different?
To get the most out of your day, you need to decide how much you should get done every day and when you should do it. Otherwise, you’re bound to get sucked into the rabbit hole of procrastination.
How to Get Started
The first thing you should establish is your morning routine. Your morning is important because it’s what signals your brain it’s time to get to work! Set your alarm in the morning (at a reasonable time) so you wake up at the same time every day. Set a time to eat breakfast, drink coffee or whatever you enjoy in the morning.
Then, decide how much work you need to do every day. You could do it in terms of how much you need to write or how much money you need to make; either way, have a goal in mind. Set specific times for breaks, with a time limit, so you’re not tempted to slack off at your own convenience.
When creating your schedule, remember that you’re a writer, and writers have different needs than other professionals. Writing requires focus and creativity, and the drain of brain power may require longer or more frequent breaks. You should also include time for inspiration, which could mean doing something like taking a walk. You need to consider what works for you as a writer.
Here’s an example of what a writer’s schedule could look like. I actually got the break down from a lawyer friend of mine. And we all know they are typically pretty good at time management, and their work is very similar to freelance writing, so I happily adopted it!
8:00 – Wake up and eat breakfast
8:30 – Shower
9:00 – Research and write two articles
11:00 – Hour break for lunch
12:00 – Time for client communication, job searching, book keeping, etc.
1:00 – Research and write one article
2:00 – 30-minute nature walk
2:30 – Research and write two articles
4:30 – Decide what needs to be written tomorrow
5:00 – End of day
While it may seem simple, a basic schedule like this could help you stay on track and get things done. Of course, every writer’s schedule will be different.
Remember, for a schedule to work you have to stick with it! Obviously, there are times when the schedule must be altered, but for the most part, make your schedule a daily routine. Your productivity will increase, your clients will be impressed, and you’ll find writing comes easier for you.
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