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Save Time for Writing, Cut out Extracurricular Activities

As a freelance writer, you have the ability to set your own schedule. But even though this is a benefit in many ways, it can also act as a drawback as well. Since you do not have anybody telling you what to do, you are responsible for staying on track and getting your work done on time. One of the most common ways to get yourself in trouble with clients is to send them work past deadline. Not only will this infuriate them, but it will probably force them to leave you and find a new writer.

For me, the best way to save time for writing is to cut out extracurricular activities during the workday. Personally, I like to work between the hours of 700am and 5pm. While all of this time is not spent on writing, most of it is for business related activity. Early in my career, I had a difficult time staying at the computer all day long. After all, I had never worked from home with the freedom to do whatever I wanted.

Some of the most common time wasters for freelance writers include:

1. Watching television and/or listening to the radio. Not only will this slow you down, but it will also mess with your concentration at the same time. In the end, this will result in lost time as well as sub-par work; both things that will bring down your freelance writing business.

2. Leaving your home office for personal reasons. While this is often times impossible to avoid, you should give it your best shot. For example, you may want to do your grocery shopping during the day, but if you are supposed to be working, you should fight the urge. Flexibility is a great part of being a freelance writer. Just make sure that you do not abuse this benefit.

3. Spending time checking email and/or browsing the internet. All in all, this is the number one time waster for freelance writers as well as other professionals. In fact, many companies are coming up with new and innovative ways to block employees from wasting too much time online. Of course, since you have no boss, you will need to exercise self restraint. It is entirely too easy to look at one website, which turns into two and then more. Before you know it, you will be losing valuable time without even realizing it.

As a freelance writer, your main goal should be to write as much as possible during your business hours. This does not mean that you should get rid of your flexible schedule, but you definitely need to cut back on any extracurricular activities that waste time and steal your attention.

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7 Comments »Freelance WritingJanuary 24th, 2008

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