Managing Your Writing Time #TheOrganizedWriter
(Blog 3 of 12 in the 12 Blog Blogging Badass Challenge)
If I gave you $168, how would you spend it? Entrepreneurs should ask themselves that question daily. Why? Because, if time is money, then the 168 hours you have in a week is as good as money, right?
What do you do with your 168 hours? If it was money in your wallet, how carefully would you spend it? Would you save it? Would you bank it? While you can’t really “bank” your time, you can find ways to spend it that help you achieve your writing goals.
Managing the time you spend writing is a way to frugally spend your 168 hours. Just as not everyone would spend $168 in the same way, neither will all entrepreneurs allocate their hours in the same way. Pick the tips that resonate, incorporate them into your daily, weekly and monthly blogging routines and toss the rest. Knowing which tasks to complete will be based on your editorial calendar as well as your business plan; these items form the foundation for your entire business.
Ready. Set. Go.
If you have a goal to quit your full time job and become a full time blogger or entrepreneur you need to have milestones on place by which you can measure your successes. In this case “success” likely means making enough money to allow you to quit your full time job and undertake the job of full time entrepreneur. Make note of your monthly expenses. Write down the income amount you need to make to meet your expenses. If you have a spouse or significant other, have a talk with him or her to help formulate a financial plan that will allow you to live your dream.
Having goals means you need to set priorities to meet them. What are your priorities? To write a book? To become fully self employed? To speak at conferences? To dig up clients with whom you can work and perform your services?
If you’re a blogger or a social media guru you may find clients willing to pay for your help in keeping up with their blogging duties — this could be great side income or a full time job, depending on how you structure it. Note: Make certain if you’re seeking out clients that you are able to perform at the highest level for them and that you have the skills and expertise to perform the tasks you say you can. Don’t tarnish your reputation by doing shoddy work.
Your entrepreneurial path should lead you down the road of something about which you’re passionate. Something at which you can earn a living. And something you have the expertise to do and is sustainable.
How many hours are you working?
Do you work full time outside of the house? Are you grabbing hours here and there to focus on your business? Note all of the hours you’re working and for whom. If you don’t track your hours you can find yourself either working way too many hours and not being a healthy entrepreneur or you can find yourself whiling away the hours on Pinterest or Instagram and truthfully getting nothing accomplished.
Make note of when you start work and then add to that, what you accomplished during that work time. You may be surprised to find you’re spending more time on non essential tasks (recipes that you will never cook, ahem… yep, that’s me!).
Write a to-do list.
I cannot stress highly or strongly enough that if you write it down your goals will be more likely to come to fruition. Grab a physical notebook or open a text doc on your computer and make note of all you want to accomplish that day.
Even if you have recurring tasks, “perform social media tasks for clients” or “write a blog post” or “comment on the blogs of others” writing it down will keep you on task and it is a great feeling when you can cross those items off of your list!
Celebrate those wins of a to-do list completed! You’ve earned it.
Clean up your work area.
If you’re working on the corner of the kitchen table, keep it neat and organized. I know. I know. There are those of you who pride yourselves on being able to work in a workspace that looks as though a clowder of kittens has been on a rampage, but truthfully you will get more done if you work in a neat area.
Physical clutter becomes emotional clutter and even though you’re not consciously aware of it, clutter can be oppressive. File paperwork in file folders and in drawers. Stack paperwork so it isn’t falling off the desk and onto the floor. While you’re at it, tidy up your computer desktop. Put documents into folders, organize the desktop into folders and come up with naming conventions that make sense to you so you can find items when you’re looking for them at a later time.
What is your biggest organizational hassle? Where do you feel you fall down? What is your biggest organizational win? I’d love to know!
Robbi Hess blogs at RobbiHess.com and at AllWordsMatter.com. She is a pet blogger, pet lover and a time management diva. She is #TheOrganizedWriter. If writing isn’t in your blood the way it is in hers, drop her an email to schedule a Content Strategy Session for your small business.