Put on Clothes and Other Productivity Tips for Freelance Writers
How many words does the average freelancer write in a day? According to the first three links that popped up on my Google query, the answer is: It depends on the writer. Sort of a cop-out if you ask me. Then again, I may write anywhere between 1,000 and 6,000 words per day based on my workload and how I’m feeling. The real question then becomes: How can you maintain the sort of productivity that is right for you on a day-to-day basis? Here are some productivity tips for my fellow freelance writers.
Writing Tip #1 – Set Word Count Goals and Project Deadlines for Yourself
If you need to write 2,000 words per day to maintain your workload, then set that goal and record your daily word count somewhere. When you reach your objective, reward yourself. When it comes to large projects, set a deadline for completing the project and for a few milestones along the way. Then you can gauge how many words per day you need to write in order to reach those deadlines.
Writing Tip #2 – Use a Minimum of Two Monitors
Whether you are a content writer or a fiction writer, all writers have a common need to do research. Flipping back and forth between your research and your word processor is productivity doom, regardless of how comfortable you are with the task management function of your operating system. Even if you have to set a tablet up next to a laptop as your research monitor, using two or more monitors is a productivity must. The only downside is that once you have used multiple monitors, you can never go back.
UPDATE: That having been said, I’m currently working on a laptop because I haven’t been able to get to my home office for over a year. I haven’t imploded, but I have figured out how to be productive on one screen. I just had to get a nicer laptop with a higher resolution that allows me to split the screen. I still get to have my research and Word doc open simultaneously, just side by side on the same screen.
Writing Tip #3 – Don’t Multitask While Writing
Writers often use the hashtag #amwriting, but for many, that is just code for #amfacebooking, #aminstagraming, #amtweeting, #amdoingchores, or #amwatchingthekids. Being divided makes it virtually impossible to be productive. How can you avoid the temptation to multitask?
For many, it is as simple as not trying to write for eight hours straight. Schedule breaks that let you enjoy a meal, go for a walk, or check your social media. Then stick to the schedule, and keep writing time for writing.
Writing Tip #4 – Dress for the Writing Career You Want
If you are anything like me, you face the temptation to roll out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down in front of the computer in your PJs. This is productivity suicide for three reasons:
When a person dresses lazy, they feel lazy and work lazy
Family and friends don’t take your work period seriously, resulting in numerous interruptions
You can’t take a Skype or Facetime collaboration call without putting on a different top
That’s just a few of the reasons. The fundamental idea behind this tip, however, is to create the right environment for productivity. That, however, is a topic all on its own and best left for a future post.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s article. Fellow writers – share your productivity tips in the comment section, and don’t forget to subscribe.