When you’re a freelance writer, it can be a challenge to be productive. Some days are inspired, especially when you’ve got a new project you’re excited about. And if you’ve recently been on vacation, you might feel inspired when it comes to diving back to work. But sometimes, you come across difficult times at work. Maybe you’re burnt out, or maybe you’re stressed out because you’ve got a ton of deadlines coming up. Maybe some personal obligations have distracted you recently. Whatever the reason, you suddenly aren’t as productive as usual. That’s why it’s so important to use the right strategies for staying productive, even when you aren’t in that mental space.
If you want to be able to be a productive freelance writer, check out these productivity tips. Once you’ve made them a regular part of your workday, you’ll get through even the most challenging of times.
1 Create a daily writing plan
Oftentimes, getting distracted is due to the fact that we don’t have enough of a routine set up. And for many freelancers, it’s easy for this to happen. Unlike a regular 9-5 job, you might sometimes have months where you have no work at all, and then months where you’re working on five different projects at the same time. If you’re a freelancer who travels a lot (many of them are digital nomads), then that can be especially disruptive to your schedule.
But you need to have a daily writing plan that you can adapt your schedule to, no matter how busy you are. Set up some hours every day fully dedicated to writing and take breaks so that you don’t get burnt out. If you need to work toward a deadline, prioritize that. According to a 2016 report from the US Bureau of Labor, employees are less productive than they used to be–and chances are, they aren’t using this kind of strategy.
2 Get off social media
One of the biggest distractions out there for everyone, from freelancers to students to busy moms, is social media. It’s not entirely your fault if you’re on it constantly; Facebook has already admitted that they created the notification alert so that it’s addictive. But if you are on social media constantly, whether your preference is Twitter or Instagram, you need to get offline when you’re working. Put your phone on airplane mode, and use apps such as BreakFree if you’re really struggling.
In the workplace, 57 percent of interruptions come from either social media tools or switching between applications. So imagine how much time you’ll suddenly have when you get offline! If for some reason you need social media to get your work done (for example, you’re writing social media content), consider using a buy real Instagram followers service so that you can spend less time online and more time planning your content.
3 Get a workout
Sometimes, you need to clear your head to get your work done. You’ve spent so much time in front of a blank computer screen, trying to figure out what to write about. But it takes a lot of time, the same way a business background check does when an employee’s first getting hired. What you need is a break that will get you thinking subconsciously. And going for a run or walk will do that. Even a quick twenty minutes of yoga on a busy day will make a difference.
Considering that the fitness industry growth rate is 2.6 percent globally, you’re bound to find a form of exercise that works for you.
4 Create a work calendar–with days off
When you’re a freelancer, it can be easy to forget to take days off. Especially because the nature of work can be very intense one week and barely busy the next, you might feel under pressure to work constantly. But this will mess with your productivity, tiring you out. Create a work calendar that’s right for you. For example, you can give yourself time to work on projects Monday-Thursday, and then Friday to work on developing your career with certifications or finding new clients. If you’re a digital nomad kind of freelancer, take one day off a week for traveling to or exploring the new city you’re visiting.
Don’t forget to take days off for vacation, too! Especially with the holiday season around the corner, this is something you should think about. The last thing you want is to be stressed about work and family at the same time–especially considering that 31 percent of Americans describe the holiday season as “frantic.”
These are some of the best ways to stay productive when you’re a freelance writer. What other strategies work for you?