Happy New Year, Writers!
The new year represents a great time to reflect, assess and redirect our efforts to achieve more goals and (hopefully) stress less in the process. So, if you’re on board, today’s post offers timely tips to increase your efficiency and tackle those resolutions on your list this year. As a wise man once said: “Time is money.”
THE VALUE OF TIME…
Time. It’s a small word with humongous impact.
Few realize that how we “spend” it contributes as much to our quality of life as money.
For writers, it’s a scarce commodity; as many of us find ourselves juggling the daily demands of work, clients, family and personal obligations.
Like chocolate, we never seem to have enough.
With this is mind, here are some strategic tips to help you govern your days better, get more accomplished, and achieve greater progress in the months ahead.
1. Recognize the difference between being busy and being productive.
Some folks are always “busy.” And yet they’re always broke and cluelessly “stuck” trying to accomplish the same resolutions from last year and the year before. Don’t be one of them.
If you’d like to get closer to achieving your creative goals, then you’ve got to scrutinize your time more wisely. Look at your activities and their related R.O.I. (return on investment). In other words, if you’re spending 20 hours a week on Facebook and other social media, with nothing to show for it, you might want to shift gears here. Hello? “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make cents.” 🙂
2. Phone first.
I’m a firm believer that something as simple as a basic phone call can save time, gas, and wasted trips. Here’s a perfect example. A few weeks ago, I needed to go to my local post office to purchase one of their business products. Saturdays are usually busy, and their hours of operation are typically shorter. So, I decided to call before I ventured out. Good thing I did. It turns out that what I needed to do could be transacted over the Internet quicker. Not to mention, they didn’t even have the required forms I needed at this particular branch. I saved an estimated hour here and unneeded frustration.
3. Rise early.
The early bird does more than “catch the worm.” He gets a lot more accomplished in less time.
In fact, if you wake up an hour or two earlier in the morning, it will generally allow you to have the solitude of a quiet house, fewer interruptions, a clear mind, and less hustle and bustle. All of which can contribute to greater creativity and a more cooperative muse.
4. Work smarter, not harder.
Consider submitting your work to reprint markets, instead of constantly devoting time to creating new pieces. This will give you more bang for your buck and add to your bottom line. Another time-saver is to use templates for repetitive tasks.
5. Delegate when the situation dictates.
Whether this means assigning “kitchen duty” to the kids, or having a freelancer to provide research on a client’s project. Know when you need help, and don’t be afraid to seek it.
6. Say “no” when it feels right.
Attending to the endless needs of others can be draining, conflicting, and overwhelming. Sometimes saying no to family, friends or co-workers, means saying yes to better health, greater peace, more personal comfort, and greater productivity. It’s okay to be accommodating to a point, but you deserve a life too. And there’s a bonus: the more you truly live, the more you have to write about.
7. Stop procrastinating.
Just think of all the things you can accomplish in the time it takes to make up excuses. Check out the Procrastiwriter site for helpful tips to forge forward.
8. Get organized.
Raise your hand if you’ve lost countless hours searching for lost keys, important receipts, cell phones, wallets and glasses. Most of us are guilty here. Time, unlike money, can never be recovered. For this reason, it behooves us to put systems and practices in place that will help us to have more structure, more order, and enhanced efficiency. With spring right around the corner, there’s no better time to purge paperwork, donate items we no longer need, and start fresh. Clutter contributes to chaos.
9. Set Goals.
Like a roadmap, they provide greater direction and fewer detours on the path to success. Be specific.
Make sure to write your goals down and revisit them often. Experts state that individuals that write their goals down are three times more likely to achieve them.
10. Use “down time” wisely.
You can use the time you’re waiting to be seen in the doctor’s office, or your lunch break at work to jot down blog ideas, respond to your emails, or catch up on your reading. The possibilities are endless.
If time management is a constant struggle for you in your freelance career, bust a move!
Follow these creative tips for greater heights in practically no time.