Get More Done in Less Time …

I initially approached the writer’s life like I was conditioned to do in school. I tried to memorize what I was learning.

After a while I realized that wasn’t necessary. I wasn’t learning so I could spit back answers to anyone. There isn’t a multiple-choice test. I didn’t have to memorize anything.

Instead, I could use notes, checklists, and templates. I could literally look up the answers as I went. Best of all, I could save a lot of time by creating documents to guide me.

For example, when I learned about pricing, I created a pricing guide. It’s changed over time, but instead of figuring out a custom price quote for each client, I can quickly consult my guide.

I save time and get more done! Win-win!

Here are some other documents I’ve created to help me out along the way:

  • New client questionnaire – This ensures I have everything I need to complete the project for the client. I ask the client questions like, “What is the goal of this project?” And, “Who is your target customer?” If you don’t know where to start, here is a great article full of power questions.
  • Pre-project checklist – This is a list of questions I ask myself so I remember to do all the proper research and other things at the beginning of a new project. My checklist asks things like, “Do you have a big idea?” And, “Did you get a ‘thumbs up’ from the client on the big idea?” Here’s a great place to start for your own pre-project checklist.
  • Post-project checklist – This is another checklist for myself when I’m ready to wrap up a project. It includes invoicing, asking for referrals, and making suggestions for future copy projects. This checklist ensures I’m always “in business.” Here’s a great place to start if you’re making your own checklist.

If you’re just getting started, you might think it’s too early to create your own documents, but that’s not the case. It’s better to start early, because you’ll be able to create your lists as you learn. I’m still learning and adding new things to my documents all the time.

Action Step:

Think of a task you repeat often and make a template or checklist to streamline it. For example, maybe you’re currently applying for a lot of writing jobs. Don’t use canned replies, but consider making a template to ensure you cover everything you should to get the best results. This article is a great place to start.

What will you make a template or checklist for? Let me know in the comments.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how a working path to the writer’s life has already been laid out for you … all you have to do is take advantage of it.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: January 9, 2014

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