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10 Ways Freelance Writers Can Become More Productive

Guest article by Brian Jenkins

fast writing productivityWithout a boss to please it’s easy for freelance writers to procrastinate and be unproductive. Distractions at home can also be a problem. By implementing some simple tricks writers working from home can increase their productivity. A higher level of productivity increases your income. That should inspire you to pay attention! Let’s look at some useful tips:

  1. Schedule
  2. You’ll be more efficient and productive if you have a schedule. The notion of being able to work whenever you want because you’re self-employed can easily lead to procrastination. You’ll feel more professional by working from a schedule. Yes, there might be days where you’ll to want to deviate from your schedule. But keep these to a minimum!

  3. Email: Respond to email at set times. Don’t respond to each email after you receive it. Set chunks of time to respond to them so you’re able to concentrate on your work. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, such as a customer desiring a quick change to an article to meet a deadline or an offer of an assignment from a new client.
  4. Work area: Keep your work area and living area separate. Make your work area look like an office and keep it tidy. If you don’t have a separate room for work, at least define a workspace and know that when you’re in it, you’re supposed to work! Make sure your family members and friends are aware of your strategy.
  5. Beginning the work day: Begin with an easy or interesting task. This will make it easier to get started and it will help you build momentum.
  6. Pajamas: Don’t work in pajamas. You’ll feel more motivated to work if you get dressed before working.
  7. Exercise: Exercise makes you feel better. Walk an hour a day, either all at once or in two sessions. Perhaps some aerobic exercise or jogging. And try not to think about work while you’re exercising.
  8. Errands: Group together your errands in order to minimize the amount of time you’re out of the office.
  9. Yappers: Find a way to deal with family members and friends who call just to chat. Since you work at home some of them think you have plenty of free time. Politely inform them you’re hard at work and you’ll be happy to call them back after your work day is over.

  10. Change of scenery: Many experts suggest people working from home have a defined workspace. However, working by yourself all day can get boring – which can easily cause a decrease in your productivity. If you work from a laptop computer, occasionally go to another room of the house and plug it. Or better yet, go outside. The change of scenery will do you some good.
  11. Take breaks: Without co-workers around, you can easily get very involved with work for hours at a time with no breaks. Without breaks, though, you’ll be less efficient as the day goes on. During a break avoid social media websites such as Facebook, which can easily turn a short break into a long break. It’s best to get away from the computer during breaks.

You may also  want to read this review of Intelligent Productivity for Freelance Writers.

What do you do to increase your productivity?

Brian Jenkins, a member of the BrainTrack.com writing team, contributes content about many different topics, including college degrees and careers for writers.

Write well and often,


Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • jorgekafkazar

    My PC wallpaper is a jpeg with a pleasant scene in the middle, surrounded by my major to-do items. As soon as I log in, I see what I should be attending to.

    Occasionally, I go down to the library, 2 miles away, and do research or write for an hour, just for a change of scenery.

    • I want a screen shot of this Jorge… and maybe instructions on how to do it… send em to me and I’ll turn it into a blog post with a link back to you if you want.

      • jorgekafkazar

        Okay, Anne, the jpeg and instructions are winging their way to your email inbox, through the miracle of modern engineering. Take a look and please let me know if you want anything else.

        JG Collins

  • Great post! Although I usually find that I can’t see the screen when I go outside. Very disappointing, especially on beautiful sunny days 🙁

  • One of the best things I do for myself I just recently started: I schedule the hours I will work and then I work in 50 minutes increments. So, each hour I work for 50 minutes and get a 10 minute break. I read about this somewhere a long time ago and had forgotten about it. It works so well for me. I force myself to get up from my desk for the break and move around. If I’m really engaged in a project and don’t want the full ten minutes, I make a note that I can have a longer break later in the day. Usually, I don’t want to stop working in the mornings, but around three in the afternoon it’s nice if I can grab a 20 minute break.
    Erin recently posted..Community Cooking Challenge Bloghop!My Profile

    • That’s a good idea; I’m going to borrow that for working on the weekends. It’s bad enough that’s the only time sometimes I have, but when I don’t take breaks often it makes it worse.

  • Thank you for the reminder of ways to stay productive. These are so simple, but still are so easy to blow our quality writing time.
    Andrea Altenburg recently posted..When Technology Gets in the WayMy Profile

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