The 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for Freelance Writers

Why Time Management is So Important for Freelance Writers

on June 15, 2010 in Productivity & Organization

Discussing time management may be a passion of mine, and a source of a profession, but it has meaning for every freelance writer. Freelance writers work in the truest sense of the word because while other workers, workers with employers, can blog and shop online and play Minesweeper, freelancer writers have to be hard at work writing articles / blog posts / books / copy, keeping track of their bookkeeping, managing their client files, building their marketing platforms to attract business, pitching prospective clients, and updating a business plan that works with the freelance flow. We only have a limited number of hours per day, and we can only productively allot so many to our freelance writing businesses. Therefore, it is vital that we manage our time effectively.

No matter what you call time management--energy management or some other replacement title--it is still fundamental. And, fundamentally, time management is managing your own energy to focus on productively meeting prioritized objectives.

I recently changed my work schedule a bit to accommodate the rushed feeling I was getting by doing all of my billable work at the end of my business day. I was doing all of my marketing with the first four hours and was really enjoying cranking out email queries to prospective clients, tweeting, blog commenting, and assorted marketing tasks I'd given myself from my marketing plan. But after I finished these tasks, I was lacking the air I needed to do my writing. I had become less effective in completing my client work, and I knew I had to change something. So I set my business hours and I flipped around my schedule. I share this with you to share that probably the most crucial time management advice for freelance writers is that you be aware of how you use your time and where you put your energy. You'll discover that you can seemingly create time for your work by using your most productive hours for the necessary tasks you have.

How do you accommodate your productive, energetic hours to manage your time?

Thanks for sharing!
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Jessie Fitzgerald writes about health and nutrition, especially for direct B2C sales nutritional supplement companies. Hire her at Read about becoming a nutrition writer at

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  1. Carson Brackney June 15, 2010 Reply

    I was lucky. An ingenious time management wizard gave me this really annoying project to complete that required actually writing down all of the various shit I wanted to accomplish and to then perform various acts of follow-up after having this information in hand (I won’t give away the secret recipe here).

    Anyway, being forced to do this and to look at all of the goals, requirements, etc.–big and little–at one time caused something to click. Everything started falling into place without much resistance.

    Combining that project with some other good advice and what I already understood about my propensity to spend hours doing things that weren’t necessarily directly related to most of those pages made a difference.

    Now, I’m turning it up a notch. I’m going to cut my working hours in half. Seriously.

    • Jessie Haynes June 16, 2010 Reply

      I’m glad to hear that I was helpful. Cutting your work hours is a big deal, but I guarantee that you feel empowered and dare I say prepared to undertake this task now that you have a real grip on the management of your time. Focus on scheduling the big tasks and being as efficient with your energy as possible. Think about which hours will be the best match of circumstances for you and run with it. We who own our own businesses have the freedom to work as we work best! You pickpocket yourself to do otherwise 😉

      Please keep us updated on your freelance writing efficiency 🙂

  2. Carol Tice June 15, 2010 Reply

    Yeah, you send us an email when you’re doing that four-hour workweek Tim Ferriss talks about, Carson.

    I can’t believe I spent time reading this when I should be writing! 🙂

    But seriously, Jessie, I actually recently came to the same conclusions as you. I’d get into the office and want to do a ton of social media marketing, personal blogging, etc…and then I’d feel panicked when 2 pm rolled around and I realized I still had articles to write! My best block of writing time is in the morning…so now I’m putting the writing there. Think it’ll help me keep from falling behinder and behinder so much…

    • Jessie Haynes June 16, 2010 Reply

      June is a weird month for me with very little working time and minimal work efforts when I’m working. I’m definitely going to have an excellent schedule in place when I really get back in the groove in July.

      Marketing and networking are really great tasks for me. I love doing it and I love doing it first, but I gotta write first. I’ve found that emailing back and forth with my writing buddies to break up the morning writing work allows me some networking while keeping me writing.

      You might want to try that, Carol, with a writing buddy of yours. I’m if you’re looking for a buddy to trade goals 😉

      Falling behind is a horrid, sinking feeling. Remember to carefully assess the situation and do a little task triage. Overworking means overcharging and underminding your future work efforts and profitability.

      But I’m certain you’ve got it under control!

    • Carson Brackney June 17, 2010 Reply


      If I ever find a way to go from my current crazed, workaholic hours to a four-hour workweek, I’ll spend all as much of the recovered time as it takes to tell the world about it, lol.

      I’m just shooting to get down to a normal forty or fifty.

      Oh, and to clarify just a little… My insane workload isn’t a byproduct of poor time management (it really isn’t). I worked most of that out of my system over the last few months. It’s more of a byproduct of getting off to a late start on personal/family financial planning (making up for lost time) and good ol’ fashioned greed, I suppose.

      Now that I have a decent grip on the time management aspect of things, I can start focusing on streamlining and efficiency. Or so I hope.

  3. Prerna June 15, 2010 Reply

    I so agree with the time management part. As a mom who only has three free hours in the day to write/network/market, I find it best to get the writing done and over with as soon as I can. Then, I spend the rest of the time networking and marketing:-) So, yeah, I guess what you’re doing is what the rest of us are also doing or at least should be doing!

    • Jessie Haynes June 16, 2010 Reply

      Three hours may not seem like a lot to those with full-time capabilities, but as a mother I’m sure that those three hours are an eternity! In those three hours I bet you can get a ton done when you know what tasks to make. My suggestion is to outsource some tasks or automate them, such as bookkeeping and research. With your bookkeeping, using Outright can outsource everything beyond data entry, and research can be partially outsourced by setting up Google Alerts and by calling up your local reference librarian and requesting a compiled resource list.

      Please come back and let me know what struggles you face with limited time. Input from blog mama Rebecca will be invaluable, and I will try and address the concerns of part-timers in a future post.

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