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Get Productive and Increase Your Writing Income

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on March 12, 2013 in Productivity & Organization
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The freelance life is complicated. You can get to the end of what seemed like a productive day, and realize that you achieved nothing of major importance. Deadlines are looming, you're not making as much money as you feel you should be making, and you wonder what you're doing wrong.

Professional writing used to be much simpler. You got clients, completed projects, and collected the money. When the mail arrived, on a good day you received several checks. On a bad day, the mailbox was jammed with rejected manuscripts.

All these years later, email eats your time, as does social media. You're tired before you start writing.

There's a solution. Focus on your goals, rather than simply on whatever the day brings.

Goals are specific; they have deadlines. For example, "I want to get a content writing job for weight a loss site which pays a dollar a word by August 1," is a goal. "I want to get better writing jobs which pay more" is just an idea.

Once you've created a goal, create a list of tasks which will lead you to accomplishing the goal.

Create Tasks from Your Goals, and Schedule Those Tasks


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If you want to get a job writing for a weight loss website, your tasks might consist of: finding several weight loss websites for which you want to write, assessing the content on these sites, deciding what you could write for them, and then approaching these sites with queries.

Make a simple list of tasks. Then use a calendar program like Google Calendar to schedule your tasks.

It's easy get sidetracked. If you're a full-time writer, you start your writing day reading email, and then spend the next three hours sending client quotes, answering client questions, and blogging. While all these activities may be essential, they're not important. You need to get them done, but get them done later in the day, when you've completed your writing for the day.

Email is usually the primary culprit for getting sidetracked. However, if you're on the social media sites, it's entirely possible to get sucked into Facebook or Twitter and waste hours.

Do the tasks which lead to the accomplishment of your goals first. Then manage your email, create client invoices, and do a few minutes of marketing.

Here's a tip if you're a full-time writer: exercise daily. Writing is a sedentary activity; it's not good for your health. Exercise relieves stress, and you can use your exercise time to think about your goals and to create plans.

When you create specific goals, with deadlines, and schedule tasks to achieve your goals, you'll not only be productive, you'll also increase your income.

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Copywriter and author Angela Booth blogs about writing for money at her Fab Freelance Writing Blog. Subscribe to the blog, and its companion weekly ezine, for writing tips, ideas, and news.

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7 Comments

  1. Connor Harley March 12, 2013 Reply

    These are such sensible tips. Setting is a specific goal is the key to be productive. Sometimes, we are eaten up with other stuffs and gets tired already before even starting with the real job because we lack focus and dedication to what are supposed to be done.

  2. Author
    Angela Booth March 12, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Connor. Yes, it’s vital to set goals. Unfortunately it’s easy to forget them too, because you get caught up in the stress of everyday life.

    I’ve found it’s helpful to schedule a daily 10-minute task: “review goals, and journal”. I use a timer for this (as I do for most tasks.) This keeps your goals at the forefront of your mind.

    Try writing down negative feelings you have about your goals too. This helps you to look at them objectively, rather than repressing them

    • Jennifer Mattern March 12, 2013 Reply

      First, thanks for the post Angela. :)

      I love the idea of scheduling in time to review goals each day. I usually take a quick look at the week’s list to see if anything needs to get shuffled around or if I can get ahead on something. But I don’t think about them much on a daily basis beyond that scheduling mindset. I’ll have to try spending a little more one-on-one time with my goals and see if that helps me make more progress, especially on days when I just can’t seem to stay on top of things.

  3. Daryl March 13, 2013 Reply

    Great tips Angela!

    Another one I’d personally add comes from the power of positive reinforcement. If you manage to keep up with all of your daily tasks, reward yourself for it! It could be a tasty chocolate, or an extra half hour break the next day, but it’s a great way to motivate yourself to continue improving.

    • Author
      Angela Booth March 13, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Daryl — rewards are an excellent idea. :-)

  4. Rajkumar Jonnala March 18, 2013 Reply

    this is another awesome idea and yes ofcourse its a basic idea but making it perfect means a lot…!!

  5. Edward March 18, 2013 Reply

    Got some new ideas from your post. My biggest downfall is losing time reading e-mails.
    I have canceled many of my subscriptions and only read my email at the end of the morning.
    Having a time scheduled for all things I have to do that day really helps me.
    This in combination with a list of things that absolute have to be done makes me becoming more and more organized.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Edward

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