Monday, October 27, 2008

Productivity Pitfalls: Remaining Focused on Freelance Writing Goals

Staying productive when working from home as a freelance writer can be a real challenge for some of us. I fall into that category. I can admit it. There are so many distractions all around me – even when I eliminate the obvious ones like having the television on or answering my home phone whenever it rings. Still, dirty dishes in the sink, my two-year old's impromptu demands for snuggle time, and Internet surfing all threaten to disrupt my productivity on a daily basis (although I willingly submit to snuggle time).

I have some pretty intense freelance writing goals I'm hoping to reach before the end of the year, so I really have to become more disciplined in some areas. Staying motivated is a big part of productivity for me. Here are a few tips:

Set goals

Daily, weekly and monthly freelance writing goals are important. You need to have a clear understanding of what you are working for. Whenever you achieve a goal, cross it off your list. Seeing your progress in action is a big motivator.

Make a daily work schedule

Set a regular start and stop time for your day to keep focused. Remember to schedule in a small part of each day to participate in online forums, read/comment on blogs and other social networking activities.

Add some variety to your day

Avoid focusing on one single task for large blocks of time if you're having trouble staying focused on your freelance writing projects. Break up your tasks throughout the day to give yourself a break from doing the exact same thing every day. Mix it up!

Reward yourself

Being self-employed is hard work. It requires lots of long hours and complete dedication. Having something special to look forward at the end of each day or week can give you a big motivational boost.

Take care of yourself

Invest time in yourself by eating right, exercising daily and getting enough sleep. It's too easy to neglect your health when working for yourself. Making good health a part of your regular routine contributes to the total well-being of you and your business.


L. Shepherd said...

We're supposed to sleep? So that's what I've been doing wrong...

Kimberly Ben said...

Lol - Yes, l. shepherd. We've got to fit it in somewhere. Believe me, I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to getting enough shut-eye, but I'm working on it.

Shelly said...

You must've read my mind! Sleep, what's that?
I needed this post. I have lost some serious direction lately.

Kimberly Ben said...

Shelly, I think that lack of sleep is a common theme among freelancers. I was really running myself into the ground a couple of months ago. I noticed that after pushing my limits too far, I could no longer concentrate on a project, so I may as well get some sleep. When I came back to it the next day, I was refreshed, ready to tackle it.

Getting enough rest, exercise, etc. is really hard when you only make money when you're working, but we have to find the right balance somehow. I'm still working on it myself. :)

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