Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Freelance Writers: How to Schedule Your Work Days

If you're a freelance writer who wants to be more productive, take a look at how you currently structure your work day.

Do you schedule your most pressing projects for early in the day (so you work on them while you're fresh and alert) or do you get up in the morning and read your email first thing or check to see what's happening on Facebook?

Are you scheduling marketing activities—to look for new work—on specific days and times, or do you neglect the marketing altogether, which means you have few or no new projects?

As freelance writers, every week you should be looking for new work (marketing yourself) and working on your current assignments and projects.

To be more productive, set aside specific blocks of time (or even specific days each week) for marketing and specific blocks of time for writing— instead of switching back and forth between these two different types of activities all day every day.

You'll be able to "work in flow" when you set aside specific blocks of time for writing because you'll be more focused on the work instead of thinking about all the things you should be doing to market yourself.

On the flip side, you won't feel guilty when you're marketing because you'll know you aren't doing it during your writing time.

Look at your to-do list for today and determine how you could best schedule your time.

A few changes in your usual schedule might easily increase your productivity.

You might schedule your workday according to 3 separate sessions, like this:

Session #1

Spend one session of your day working on your current work-in-progress.

That might be a novel, a nonfiction book, or an article for a magazine, or even a grant proposal, for example.

I like to schedule this first thing in the morning, before my mind gets filled with so much other stuff.

But you might find that you like to save late afternoons for working on your novel or other writing projects.

Session #2

Spend another part of your day on affiliate marketing.

Search for new products that would appeal to your target market.

Find out about these products, then promote the good ones to the people on your mailing list and visitors to the site you have created specifically for this target market.

I like to do this later in the day because my mind doesn’t need to be so fresh.

Plus, it’s fun, so it doesn’t really feel like I’m working.

Session #3

Spend the third section of your day on marketing and promotion of your own products and services.

This is when you might guest blog for someone or write posts for your own site(s), or you look for new writing assignments.

Note: you might want to look for new writing assignments early in the day if you’ll be checking online job boards and newsletters since “the early bird gets the worm” and you’ll want to apply for something as soon as you find an opportunity that looks interesting.

Decide how much time you want to spend on activities during each of these 3 sessions.

For example, you might want to devote 3 hours to writing (session 1) and just 1 hour on affiliate marketing (session 2) and then 2 hours on marketing your own products and services (session 3).

When you first start dividing your time like this, don't worry about how much you accomplish during each session.

Just stay focused on the work at hand during each of the different sessions and it won’t be long till you realize you’re much more productive.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance has written over two dozen published books and hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications. She lives and writes by the sea in Jensen Beach, Florida.

Visit her blog at www.writebythesea.com and sign up for her emails with writing tips and resources for writers at www.morningnudge.com.


Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, thanks for the tips on scheduling a writer's day. I still have to get into affiliate marketing. I know I'm missing out by not jumping in.

Melinda Brasher said...

Good ideas. I find that I am not as efficient at home as I would like. Too many distractions. A structure really helps.

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