How A-list Copywriters Stay so Productive
Julie Hassett here with you this week for The Writer’s Life. Yesterday, I told you how I group my workday into three buckets – copywriting, marketing and learning. It’s very important to give each of these tasks their fair share if you want to grow a successful and profitable freelance business.
Of course, there’s also a multitude of other tasks – big and small – that you’re responsible for every day. And today, we’re going to figure out how to manage it ALL.
When you’re brand-new to the full-time freelance lifestyle, I suggest setting up a very rigid schedule to keep you on task and continually improving. Just as you would do if you were already an A-list copywriter juggling multiple meetings and clients. Why? Because …
- You’ll wake up with direction and motivation.
- You’ll be far less likely to get sidetracked during the day.
- You can define periods of time to step away – for food, exercise and family time.
So, what’s the best way to create this schedule? Here’s what works for me, and I think you should try it, too:
Each week on Sunday night, look over any due dates you have in the coming week and write those projects on a list. Then, add anything else you want to accomplish during the week. What steps will you take in your journey to mastery? How are you going to find out what people want and help them get it this week? Put all of those on your “Weekly List.”
Then, before bedtime each night, create a detailed daily schedule that moves you toward completing your weekly goals … plus, offers you ample time to eat, relax, exercise – whatever is most important to you.
On my daily schedule, I make sure I write down everything, including mundane things like making coffee and taking a shower.
Why get this detailed?
The more familiar you get with how much time all the “little things” in a day take up, the more likely you are to create realistic timetables for what you can do in a day. If you forget to include these small tasks, you can end up behind schedule and feeling overwhelmed.
Of course, there will be things you just don’t accomplish or which have allotted time frames you shorten. That’s okay. Just add them to tomorrow’s schedule.
After three days of moving the same thing from day to day, you begin to notice what you’re resisting. That brings a whole new awareness to your tasks. Put those things FIRST on your list, as soon as you catch them.
To summarize, make sure to create weekly goal lists. Then break them down into detailed daily schedules that you write before you go to bed every night.
Without this tool, it’s easy to feel rudderless and get sidetracked. A daily schedule keeps you disciplined and tethers you to your top priorities.
What’s your scheduling method? Let me know in the comments. Or, try my technique for a week and let me know if it helped you improve your work habits.
Tomorrow, we’re going to get specific about the things in your own home that can kill your productivity – without your even realizing it. Stay tuned!
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Hi Julie, I have made a weekly schedule that allows a certain amount of time for business, a schedule that can be used every week.
Then each evening or the next morning I plan for the next day in more detail.
I like your business weekly planner and can see a need for such.
Guest (Clara Mae Watrous) –
I fully agree that QUALITY is far more important than quantity when it comes to time efficiency. One thing that really helped me is a "to-do" list with an audible alert and timer that can be run from my desktop. There used to be an excellent plugin for Chrome, but it had a bug and the sound doesn't work anymore. Can you recommend a good FREE downloadable to-do or task management list?
Thanks so much!
Guest (Crissie) –
@Crissie - I'm old fashioned and I write a schedule out everyday (on my tablet) by hand. But, I can see how the sound component would be super helpful. I will look into that. But as far as an app or software, I haven't found anything that has blown me away enough to steal me away from writing by hand (yet)!
Julie Hassett –