So, you found a lucrative career with freelance writing. Your business is skyrocketing and you have too many clients to keep up with. You may be stressed and unsure of how you’re going to get all of your work finished by each deadline. This is why a freelance writing schedule is crucial.
Why is a Schedule so Important?
You are more apt to hold yourself accountable when you have a schedule in front of you. When you consistently miss deadlines, clients are not going to want to stick around; they have strict deadlines with their content. Submitting work on time, every time is a must or the client will most likely find another freelance writer.
Committing to a schedule will allow you to know when you need to start “work” each day and when you will be finished. It’s not wise to just go into each day blindfolded and not know what is on the agenda.
For example, say you had three clients and the deadlines are all close together – you get ready to write each day and you don’t even know what you have for the day and you possibly even forgot about one of the clients because you didn’t have it planned.
Other reasons to have a schedule include:
- Focusing more when you have a time scheduled for each task
- Doing the same thing each day allows you to not forget anything
- Develop more respect for your time
- Less apt to put things off
As a freelance writer, it’s easy to pride yourself with flexibility. You work from home and have the mindset that you can work on your own time.
However, although you are working from home and have more flexibility than a brick and motor job, you still need to respect your clients and get the work done on time so first make sure you get rid of all kinds of distractions, you can do that by turning off notifications on your phone and closing all browser tabs except for the ones that you use for researching things.
Without caring to schedule each task accordingly and provide specific days and/or times to complete each task, it leaves room to neglect those tasks, leading to an unorganized business.
So, how do you create a schedule anyway?
Okay, so you’re ready to be more organized to establish a professional, organized freelance writing business! How do you start scheduling?
Scheduling projects and tasks will depend on your current daily life. Think about the times of the day you are busiest and definitely can’t commit to writing. Don’t schedule anything during those times. The idea is to create a schedule that is effective and flexible, but also realistic to allow you to meet each deadline. There are a few tips you should keep in mind while you are creating your new schedule.
First – Know the time needed to finish each task
The most important factor to consider when making a schedule is knowing how long it will take you to finish a specific task. For example, if you have a 500-word article/blog and it takes you 20-30 minutes to write, don’t schedule anything less than that time frame. In fact, it is best to schedule over the time frame so you can allow for any unexpected interruptions.
Write down your new schedule
Whether you have a planner or a notebook, write down your schedule. It may be best for you to take 10 minutes each weekend to prepare your schedule for the upcoming week, that way you know what you can expect.
Leave extra cushion in your schedule
Between the mailman coming to the door, unexpected company, or some other unexpected interruption, it’s beneficial to have extra room in your schedule for small breaks. Even if it’s to just get up and walk around, grab a drink, or make some lunch, it’s important to make room in your schedule for everything, even if it’s just 5 minutes.
Leave room for extra freelance tasks
Although you are a freelance writer, you may be thinking you should be scheduling each client. While that is true, you should also be scheduling times to check emails and send out emails, update your blog, search for new clients, and other business-related tasks. Without scheduling these important business tasks, you may never find the time to get them done.
Create daily and weekly routines
Decipher what is best for you each day; be sure to make it a constant habit. Do you enjoy writing first thing in the morning and leaving your phone calls to the afternoon? Or the opposite? Whichever works best for you, make sure your schedule is organized accordingly. As your schedule becomes more of a routine, you will always know what to expect.
Don’t be afraid of tune-ups
It happens to many people. You come up with the perfect schedule, but then life happens. You start noticing your schedule isn’t as suitable for you as it once was. That’s okay! You can create a new schedule based on the changes that have occurred in your life. It’s okay to change up your schedule from time to time in order to stay consistent.
If you’re not a pen and paper kind of person
Not everyone likes to have a paper planner and write things down. That’s okay, too! There are several programs and software online. Not to mention, there are many apps you can download if you have a smartphone. If you want to keep it simple, you can even schedule different alarms on your smartphone to let you know when you should be working on your next task.
By following the above tips on how to create a schedule and why you need one, your freelance writing business should notice a positive change. Scheduling your time consistently can potentially bring in more business as you will be finishing tasks on time, leading to more work from current or new clients.
A huge benefit is that you will notice less stress. No longer will you have to worry about when you’re going to find the time to finish up a client’s order. Everything is right in front of you, either in writing or on your phone or program. There is no room for an unorganized freelance writing business anymore.