Are you struggling to check off everything on your to-do list? The saying is true: time is money. But, there are only so many hours in a day. There are even fewer hours we can reasonably spend on our work. Here are a few different ways to improve your time management, and earn more for your effort.
Keep an eye on your time for one week.
Tracking your time for just one week can reveal issues or opportunities for change that you may not be aware of. You might find that some tasks are taking you longer than you realize or that there are some parts of the day where you’re prone to procrastination. Having this information is the key to streamlining your schedule, and gaining control of your time.
Create a routine.
It sounds basic but most people don’t do it. Once you know where your time is being spent, you can create a routine. As creatives, some of us resist routines, and work whenever inspiration strikes. The problem? Inspiration won’t always strike in the same way or at the same time.
That’s why routines are so powerful. Choose when you’re going to write even if you aren’t sure what will go on the page. Getting into the habit of writing on a regular schedule will empower you to be more productive and consistent.
Connect apps that you already use.
You probably have some tools that are part of your daily workflow. You can save even more time if you can find ways for them to work better, together. Zapier and IFTTT can help you connect apps together in just a few clicks.
For example, I do a lot of blogging work in my business. Here is one automation I have set up: When I finish writing a piece, I drop it into a specific folder in Google Drive. Once the piece is there, it’s automatically added to my client’s content management system as a draft. This may seem like a small task but automating it has made a big impact. The few minutes I save by not having to manually manage the drafts add up.
Set reminders for recurring tasks.
Trying to keep track of everything we have to do on a daily basis can be exhausting. You can eliminate some of the stress by setting reminders for the tasks you do most often. Create reminders with your devices, and configure them to send you automatic notifications when an event is coming up. The benefit here is that you can free up your focus. Instead of worrying about missing the next important deadline or event on your list, you’ll have a system set up that will always keep you on the ball.
Create your own templates.
As a writer, the word “template” may scare you. However, if you create your own templates for the type of writing you do most often, you can save yourself a lot of time. If you write a lot of articles, for instance, you may have a few formats you tend to stick to. Why start from scratch? Open your word processor, and create a document that you can copy over and over again to jumpstart your work. That way, you don’t ever have to waste time staring at a blank page, wondering what to do next. Your original templates can act as your guide the next time you start a new project.
Now that you have some tools and systems to help you spend your time wisely, get out there and get writing. Which tip will you try out first? Please share your thoughts and advice about what’s worked for you in the comments below.
Alyssa Goulet is a full-time freelance writer that helps others start and scale their own freelance business. Find out more by visiting her website: https://freelancingflow.com
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