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How do freelance writers manage their time?

Discussion in 'Associated Content & Writing Articles' started by Julzwriter, May 20, 2013.

  1. Julzwriter

    Julzwriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    One of the things that I constantly struggle with as
    a content writer is time management. While working from home
    is quite advantageous, it also requires quite a bit of discipline if
    you are planning to get any work done.

    Some of the actions I took to ensure I have more time to write are:


    Switching of the TV while working. I used to think that it is quite cool to
    have the TV on in the background while working, but I realized I concentrated
    more on the programs than the articles I was writing.


    I deactivated my personal social media accounts. I realized that I spent
    too much time chatting with family and friends online rather than writing.
    I kept my business accounts since I need those for networking.

    I came up with a writing schedule for everyday of the week. This means that
    I know when it is time to write and when it is time to do other things.

    I stopped procastinating. No more excuses. I am a writer so I write whether
    I feel like it or not. If I am to earn a full time income as a writer, I realized
    that I have to be consistent and write on a regular basis.At the end of the day
    I am normally glad that I forced myself to write.

    I plan my week ahead and get most of my personal stuff done on the
    weekends. This includes laundry, shopping, meal planning and getting everyone else
    in my home organized for the week. This makes sure that I waste less time running
    around and more time concentrating on writing.

    I am curious to know how other freelance writers or any other person who
    works from home manages their time so as to maximize their productivity.
    So how do you manage your time?
     
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  2. hiddenwriter

    hiddenwriter Registered Member

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    what to you mean?
     
  3. BrooklynsFinest

    BrooklynsFinest Registered Member

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    There's apps on Chrome & Firefox that you can get to block out all social media and whatnot for a certain amount of time so that you can focus on work.

    I understand what you mean though, I felt less busy when I worked a 9-5. It's really easy to get distracted, I think for a few reasons. Firstly you assume subconsciously (probably more than we realize) that we have time to do everything later, and also working a 9-5 or some type of schedule gets you on a routine, your mind and body get used to it. Your mind is like a muscle too, you know?

    Another thing, your family & friends will have to see your writing as "work time." Working at home and not in an office that you physically go to, tends to cause others to believe that we have a lot of free time. My friends constantly have things to say when I don't wanna go somewhere, they think I'm just hanging out on the computer all day. That includes family who need favors and such....so maybe be aware to those factors, and planning your week in advance will definitely help because then you will be able to avoid distractions a little bit easier. I've done a lot of writing (although it's not my primary focus right now), and the thing for me with writing is that I don't think creativity can be forced, it just comes to me. And it happens to come to me when I'm out having experiences (times I should be home working), so it's all how you look at it really.

    I write a lot of rap verses (for fun), and I always start writing them while I'm out, something will spark an idea in my head, I'll jot it down in my iphone, write down any ideas I can, and keep that train of thought until I get home, and then work on it all night.

    This is the best I've done honestly I'd love to get on a set schedule but I'm way too hyper to do that, I stay up too late!

    Oh thats another thing, I find that doing work late night (and even over night) will bring the least disruptions. Don't work where there's a TV (I don't even have one in my basement, just two laptops and a notebook). If anything put on some soundtrack music.

    This is just my take on it, hope it'll help you spark some ideas for yourself!
     
  4. Sgt Kraut

    Sgt Kraut Regular Member

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    "Stayfocused" for Opera and "Leechblock" for Firefox. I feel my productivity has doubled since disabling Facebook and other useless sites from 8:00-18:00.
     
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  5. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    As a provider of content writing services, I do a lot of things to make sure my writers adhere to the deadline of all job orders. But I'll share two of them.

    1. Set Proper Expectations
    When it comes to business, I always cut the chase. I go direct to what won't make me a happy employer.
    I set the expectation of my writers that "these" things should be done and "those" things should not be done.
    I tell them softly but directly the consequences if they commit "those" things. I also tell them what merits they get if they accomplish "these" things. My usage of "these" and "those" is pretty general but, at least, you get the idea.

    2. Follow-up. Follow-up. Follow-up (did I say "follow-up" already?).
    A leader or a manager, no matter how crystal-clear his instructions are, he'll still find some "occasionally-forgetful" writers, so as to say. So, it always pays to follow-up. I profile my writers according to their ability to deliver "on" or "before" the deadline. So if Writer A is in my list of able-to-deliver-on-the-deadline, she'll get more how's-it-going emails compared to the Writer B who's in my list of able-to-deliver-before-the-deadline.

    That's how I manage my writers. That's how I help them manage themselves.
    I hope that helps.

    iPBS
     
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  6. Char Mae

    Char Mae Newbie

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    Being a writer with tons of writing projects to handle would require you to have excellent time management. Im also struggling in that aspect. What i do is i always write down in my note pad all of my writing tasks and make sure that all of them are submitted on time along with my other schedule
     
  7. Julzwriter

    Julzwriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Using apps is a great idea. Think I will try out that option.
    I had previously tried out one and it didn't work out so great
    but will check out the 2 you recommended.

    There is always a temptation to think that you have a lot
    of time on your hands since you are working from home but
    the truth is that there are way too may distractions going on,
    especially from family and friends who do not think that writing
    online is a serious job.
     
  8. Coffee King

    Coffee King Junior Member

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    This describes me exactly!

    My only problem with time management was waiting until the last possible moment to write for, as well as search for, clients.
    There were times where I needed to hire article writers at the same price I was being paid in order to meet the expected delivery time I told my clients.

    I found out recently that after forcing yourself to just do it, writing really is not all that bad. Finding clients is still a bit troublesome though and I may have procrastinated doing that a bit this month. Hopefully I get that one client that orders in bulk in order to make rent. xP
     
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  9. Lemonhead811

    Lemonhead811 Registered Member

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    When it comes down to it, I usually just find that planning ahead can work wonders for myself. Writing down what needs to be done the night beforehand usually helps a lot. Set aside some time each day for dealing with clients, and plan out your day. I also find it very useful to take frequent small breaks, especially when writing articles. I'll usually write an article or two (500 words), go walk around for a little bit (15 mins at the most), grab some coffee/etc, then come back and read them again to make sure they're high-quality. Coming back with a fresh head is always good for yourself, and for the client. It also makes writing all day a bit more easy to bear with, as we all know that some days writing can get a bit boring!

    You can also try limiting your time on Facebook, Twitter, or even BHW. Soon enough you'll realize that you don't NEED those things while you work, and you won't come back to them while you're working.
     
  10. seospade

    seospade Newbie

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    Freelancers have a great capability to variate the timings off the work. They manage a great compatibility around the work hours. You should also know that management of time is easy but getting the writing work continuously, sucks.
     
  11. seoaroundtheworld

    seoaroundtheworld Newbie

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    Breaks are necessary, unless the work is done for the passion, not the money. That is just my opinion, however there needs to be a balance, I think?

    What if you hired one of the Bible scribes, would they constantly write for eight hours straight on work they have no passion for? And even if they did, would they still?

    A paradox indeed, for writing is a lifelong process, not one where time is relevant.
     
  12. steelballs

    steelballs BANNED BANNED

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    I find it best to work every day, with several breaks...

    Writing is a discipline, as in the more you write, the easier the output.
     
  13. azguru

    azguru Elite Member

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    I think the most important thing you can do is to focus on what motivates you. When I am motivated, I don't need time management tools, because I just get shit done.

    Find out what motivates you, and make it as concrete of a concept as possible. If you are motivated by wealth, look up pictures of nice cars or houses before doing your work. If you are motivated to support your family, think about your family and how you can help them with the money you make.

    The next step is creating very specific tasks. If you know WHAT you need to do, it will be much easier to do. Make a list of the things you need done, or goals you want to achieve, and, with motivation as your fuel, just get to work! Make sure to set some specific, time-bound goals as well. Nothing motivates me more than knowing how disappointed I will be if I don't live up to my personal expectations.

    I've used apps and things of that nature in the past, and what happens is I look at them when I am motivated, but neglect them when I am not. Working without motivation is not very productive for me because my projects don't get the proper attention and enthusiasm they deserve. I don't like to force things. Forcefully blocking distractions like TV and social media is just a temporary fix for the underlying issue of a lack of motivation and drive.

    The only app i use is WunderList, which is just a way of keeping track of basic tasks I need to complete. I will also use G Docs to thoroughly outline my business plans, and constantly use as a reference. Essentially, these are organization tools, not time management tools.
     
  14. Julzwriter

    Julzwriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good to know that I am not the only one struggling with this problem.
    I try not to wait until the last minute to start working on projects.
     
  15. Julzwriter

    Julzwriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Yep, that works great for me to.
    I have a schedule for my weekdays.



    Definitely good pointers.
     
  16. Grey Majic

    Grey Majic Newbie

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    For me, that's one in the same. If you don't have your thoughts and actions organized, there is no way on Gods green earth you're going to get your time organized. That's what time management is to me.........organizing my time.
     
  17. caroro

    caroro Registered Member

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    Trust me you are not the only one struggling with this problem. But i think we all go through a writer's block at some point or the other. How do you guys deal with that? Another issue that i have faced as a writer is lack of consistent and regular work. I also wish and pray i can get someone who will guarantee consistent work. That way, i can be able to plan ahead accordingly!
     
  18. vodkaa

    vodkaa Junior Member

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    Use a text editor meant for distraction-free writing (Focus Writer or Write Room) coupled with the Pomodoro method. This combo works wonders especially when coupled with some good music without vocals and noise canceling headphones.
     
  19. impishme84

    impishme84 Junior Member

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    Just remember the word "Deadline" and I guess that is more than enough to stay organized. You do not have to work like a robot and fix every hour of your day till the time you stick to your writing and concentrate on your deadlines.
     
  20. download

    download Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Many of my freelance writer friends find that using add-ons to block distractions (Facebook, Reddit, etc.) is extremely helpful, for example Stayfocused in Chrome. Also, speech recognition is definitely a better and better investment.