One of the keys to successful freelance writing might be called time management. Ugh! I know – it sounds both awful and impossible. Today, however, I’m talking about the need to time your work.
If you don’t know, at least in a general way, how long it takes you to do a piece of writing you have no idea how to manage your time or what to charge.
Our perception of time is wonderfully fluid. When I’m writing something I’m really interested in, time flies. I can easily think I only spent an hour when in fact it took me two or even three. On the other hand, if the writing I’m working on is boring, 15 minutes can seem like half a day. The only way you can know for sure is to time yourself.
Online Stopwatch is a dirt simple tool – you can time yourself there starting, pausing and stopping. You can also set it to count down – great for timing eggs or bookending an hour or two of writing.
You don’t have to time every piece of writing every time, although that wouldn’t hurt. I time the kind of writing I do most often every couple of months just to double check myself.
I also time any work I start that I’m billing by the hour.
And if I take on a new kind of writing I time that too so I know how to plan for it.
I also time other stuff too. For example, I’m blown away by how much time I actually spend on email and wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t timed it.
We’ve all got 24 hours a day. As freelancers we have real control over how we spend those hours. Tracking our time is one way to be sure we’re spending it the way we want to.
You may also want to read: Carving Out Writing Time
Do you have a writing tip to share? Leave it in comments.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu