I actually think it’s quite ironic that I am writing this post. But its honestly a something that every freelancer should master and understand. Especially, if you’re looking to build your business and take on more clients in the future.
I found that after graduating college, and leaving my structured 9 to 5 that I was less motivated to complete simple writing tasks. It became harder to truly get started on these tasks and as a result I found myself masting the art of procrastination. Back in college or at my old job, I felt more prompt to write because I was being graded for it or because I was being micro managed. Essentially, I felt as though graduating college depended on completing my writing assignments and that my paycheck depended on writing emails/letters in the corporate world.
Now that I am in the wonderful world of freelance and working for myself writing is still just as important for the growth of my business but I found myself still less motivated to complete the tasks. How does one stay motivated to write and to get those task done in a timely manner?
After getting over my not so motivated moments, I went through some trial and error to find what worked best for me.
Here are a few tips to getting those writing tasks done:
1. Start by writing what you are dreading doing the most
What I noticed the most was that I would unconsciously save the most annoying, long and dreadful task for last. By doing this, I mentally made the task more and more dreadful as the days passed. So as a result, I started facing these tasks head on and getting them done as soon as possible. By doing this is allowed me to actually worry and stress less. Instead of being concerned with that dreadfully long task that I still haven’t completed, I was able to move on to my easier tasks for the week.
2. Create a schedule and time your self
This is important. Have a daily and/or weekly schedule. My daily schedule generally includes a list of emails, letters or follow-up that I have to get done. The weekly schedule includes projects such as blog posts, presentations or charts that may take a bit longer to complete.
3. Break up lengthy projects into sections
Along with scheduling projects that take longer throughout the week, you want to break them into sections. This helps to avoid that overwhelming feeling we all tend to get when thinking about how many pages a project is or how long it will take to complete.
4. Get rid of distractions
My biggest distraction was Netflix. I am a huge fan of detective shows such as Law and Order, SVU, CSI and Criminal Minds. So initially, I would turn on a show while writing and try to go at the task. 2 hours later, I would find myself more interested in the show than on the task at hand. Now, I write either with music or to complete silence. I turn my phone on silence or if you have the “Do Not Disturb” option that works perfect as well. Try to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Even if that means going to a place where you know you wont be able to connect to the internet.
There are other distractions aside from technology that you have to be aware of as well when completing your writing tasks. I also found that if I ate a light meal or snack before I started to write, that I was more compelled to compete the task. Writing on an empty stomach always gave me an excuse to get up and grab a bite. Or writing on a full stomach, always made me drowsy and just want to sleep.
5. Pat your self on the back when you’re done
Once you’ve completed your writing tasks aways review and praise yourself for your work. Treat yourself to something nice. It doesn’t have to be to anything major like a shopping spread or 5 course meal. In my case, after completing a writing task, I would treat myself to an episode of one of my favorite shows on Netflix or to going out somewhere to relax.
I hope you guys found these tips to be helpful and can apply to your daily life as well. What tips do you use when accomplishing writing tasks?
Stay focused and inspired!