At some point of our lives we all come to a conclusion that 24 hours in a day isn’t enough to do everything that has been planned. You have probably heard people complaining they never have enough time to do everything what needed to be done. It continues until they learn some time management skills, mastering the process of organizing and planning time efficiently. Successful business executives are marked by good personal time management as they manage their resources (including time) exceptionally well. But there is one more category of people for whom time management skills are absolutely essential — freelance writers.
The importance of time management
There are numerous benefits of having exceptional time management skills. First of all, by utlizing your time wisely you can significantly improve your ability to function effectively (or more effectively) even within the tightest deadlines. Such effect is achieved by smart planning, not just by incorporating more efforts. In other words, personal time management assumes you achieve more in less time, even when the pressure is extremely high.
It is important to understand that there is a huge difference between being busy and being effective. When people spend a day being involved into numerous activities, they often achieve less simply because dividing one’s attention between too many different tasks is never a good idea. Time management techniques allow to work smarter instead. Among other benefits of time management are greater efficiency (which results in a better professional image), less stress, increased opportunities, and ability to achieve personal or career goals.
People who are used to just doing things without planning and prioritizing everything in advance live in the reality of missed deadlines, inefficient work flow, higher stress level, and often a stalled career. Despite it seems somewhat counter-intuitive to spend time on learning time management (when you can use this opportunity to have something done instead), it does pay off in the long run and can bring huge benefits in the nearest future.
The most effective ways to implement time management in your writing activity.
As we have mentioned in the beginning of this article, time management is absolutely essential for freelance writers. Therefore, we will provide a list of time management tips that will help to plan and organize time for writing wisely. Some of these recommendations can be applied in a broader context, but we believe they can be a great help, especially for those who struggle to combine writing with other routine duties.
1. Set goals and priorities. While authors like to say that they can write only when inspiration comes, try to turn that around and put down your writing goals for a week.
2. Team up with a writing partner. It will help you keep each other accountable for achieving writing goals.
3. Use a timer and devote yourself completely to writing during certain period of time. For example, set a timer for 30 minutes and do nothing but write. After 30 minutes you can take a break and set it again until you reach your goals.
4. Ensure no distractions are there during your writing time. Turn off your phone, disconnect from the Internet, etc.
5. Reward yourself when your goals are achieved. It is important to treat yourself for getting it done. For example, take a walk or have a coffee with your friend.
6. Break up every day into smaller chunks and try and map out your planned activities for each day for at least one week. Having a whiteboard with sections for each day of the week can be very
7. Create to-do lists. Crossing things off the list when they are done can be a great motivation to work hard. Besides, there is some sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you complete the list.
8. Work through the hardest assignments first. Start with whatever seems to be the most difficult. Having it done will be an immense psychological boost that will carry you throughout the rest of the day.
9. Plan to work during the time when you have the highest energy levels.
10. Hire an assistant, if possible, to take care of such things as yard maintenance, shopping, etc. Your assistant could also proofread or research for you in order to help you cope with your writing challenges more efficiently.