Time management is absolutely critical to achieving success in freelance writing and in the rest of your life. Time is the great equalizer: we all have 24 hours in a day.
The big question—what do we do with our time?
How you spend your time — what you choose to do and with what intensity and focus — will determine whether you have a fulfilling life or a life of disappointment and regret.
Improve your time management skills and you can easily generate an extra hour per day, more likely 2 or 3. What could you accomplish if you created an extra 10-15 hours per week? More time with the people you love? More exercise? Higher income? Play a musical instrument? Finally write that novel?
Here’s what you need to do…
1. Commit to Excellence at Time Management
Resolve that you will continually improve your time management skills. How well you do this determines what you do in every moment in your life, and more importantly, how you feel in every moment in your life.
2. Create Clear, Realistic, and Important Goals
Being truly successful in life requires that you make the most of every moment you’re alive, that you always pursue your important goals. (See my post on goals for freelance writers and also this post where 19 freelance writers share their 2014 goals.)
I’m not talking about constantly focusing on your freelance writing. You need to be a well-rounded person, and often the best to do will be playing with your kids, eating a healthy meal, socializing with friends and family, or resting in deep and peaceful sleep. Your goals provide the blueprint for making the most of life, both in this moment and in the future.
3. Spend Your Time on the Most Important Things
Focus on getting the most important tasks done. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by minor items and trivial concerns.
Always ask yourself: “What’s the best use of my time right now?” You’ll be surprised by how often this will show you that you are not doing what you should be doing.
4. Concentrate on the Task at Hand
Give whatever you do your undivided attention and the full marshaling of your physical and mental resources.
5. Do Only One Thing
In most instances multitasking is inefficient, especially when you are writing.
6. Develop the Drive to Completion
See the end result in mind for everything you do. Make completion of the task a must and get it done.
7. Maintain Your Health
It’s vital that you take care of your health. Eat well, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and take any necessary steps to maintain a high level of mental health. When you feel good, you get everything done faster and better.
8. Decide What You Will No Longer Do
Which of your habits steal time or detract from your health or quality of life? For many it’s watching several hours of mind-numbing television every evening. Others eat unhealthy foods that drain their energy. Identify these life wasters and stop doing them.
How well do you do with these 8 techniques? What can you improve right now and how would it affect your life? What would you add to the list?