Do you ever feel like you’re working at a frantic pace just putting out fires, and not actually getting anything finished? I used to feel like that, too. But, I discovered ways to get my freelance business in order for greater productivity and less stress!
The faster your work gets done, the more time there is to pitch and build your business. However, paying the bills, answering emails, doing research, keeping up with demands from regular clients, and reaching out to new ones can sometimes feel like a difficult balance to achieve. But, that doesn’t have to be the case.
There are plenty of ways to beat the scrambled brain feeling that many of us get when we have too much on our plates, and not enough time to do it all. The tools and tips in this article will enable you to produce content faster, manage finances, enhance productivity, find potential clients’ details, and get organized once and for all!
Dragon Naturally Speaking is one of the most popular dictation software tools available. You can dictate your writing, creating instant text, and then edit once you’re done. By buying the most up-to-date version, you’ll benefit from improved editing tools. If you purchase the business edition, consider taking a short course to get the most from it.
If Dragon isn’t for you, Windows has speech recognition built in. From experience, it’s less accurate than other dictation tools but it can still enhance your productivity rates. There’s more details about Windows speech recognition here.
– Turn off the word count. You’ll take away the pressure, reduce stress, and write better.
– Get more done by setting aside a research day. I use Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings to research articles and TO outline posts for the next week. Come Monday morning, I’m ready to go, and can just dictate my work in.
– Stay offline when you’ll dictating/writing so there are fewer distractions. If you need to check a fact or clarify something, mark it in bold with a question mark, so you don’t forget to go back to it
Freelancers often struggle when it comes to managing the financial side of their business and that’s not surprising. Staying on top of estimates and invoicing can take a considerable amount of time out of the working day.
However, all-in-one tools like Wave allow you to manage invoicing, accounting and receipt scanning all for free, making the financial side of your business much easier, especially if you’re just starting out.
Finding potential client contact details
Finding email contacts isn’t that difficult. For instance, two tools, Hunter and Email Finder, can be added as Chrome extensions, allowing you to check emails as you go. For Google Mail users, Rapportive is useful but it does take some guess work.
For those looking for less time-consuming methods, Fiverr could be the answer. There are two options with Fiverr. Try a virtual assistant, who will do a manual search. Or, find a seller who specializes in data processing for larger volumes of email addresses.
We could probably all benefit from managing our time better, and there’s a ready supply of tools out there that can help us to achieve this.
The first is the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a proven way of increasing productivity, and allows you to set a time for working in blocks of up to 25 minutes. Another good tool is a site blocker. These are essential for anyone who finds themselves wasting time searching the Internet, or visiting their favorite sites when they should be working. Try Freedom for Windows or Mac, or Limit or Stay Focused for Chrome.
One Final Tip
Check emails once a day/twice maximum. Frequently checking your inbox is a huge time waster. Checking in the morning and again in the afternoon/early evening should be enough for most people.
The tools and tips in this article can all add valuable time to your working week and enable you to manage the major areas of your writing business more efficiently. And with extra time to spare, you’ve got more opportunity to reach out to clients and build your business.
- Writing Without Your Office By Melissa Mayntz
- Don’t Waste Your Time on Pipe Dreams! Do REAL Writing Work for REAL Money! By Angela Hoy
- How to Use Writer Retainer Agreements to Keep Your Business in the Black by Jennifer Brown Banks
- Tempations and Stumbling Blocks of the Home Office By Jayne Thurber-Smith
- Excerpted from: The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money, and Less Frustration By Julie Hood
Jane Fazackarley is a freelance writer with a special interest in ecommerce, payment processing and retail. Her debut novel, Then He Left Me, is available on Amazon.
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