I often get asked how I’m able to “do it all.” Though, sometimes it’s not so much a question but more a concern (hi mom!). Well, I’m here to tell you that while some of my days are long, I honestly think I’m doing a really good job in the work-life balance. Everybody’s busy. But the truth of the matter is if you want to accomplish something, you will make time for it in your day. That’s why I freelance and blog (and work FT and am a mom), I want to. It’s something I enjoy doing and I’m growing a business, so I put in the work.
Before I get started with today’s post, I wanted to see if anyone would have any interest in reading some sort of guide/eBook on how to better manage your time so you can accomplish all of your goals? (Title TBD.) I’m currently working on a FREE eBook as a “Thank you” for signing up for my upcoming newsletter, but after that I’d love to create an actual eBook that goes in-depth and gives readers something to learn from and take away. If you don’t mind, let me know in the comments what you think of that idea or if you think it’s too overdone.
If you’re new to blogging and freelancing, or if you’ve been at it for years but want to increase your productivity, this post is for you. The secret to getting a ton of work accomplished is by learning to write fast and focus. I’m not saying you should sacrifice quality for quantity (in fact, you should never do that), but I am saying you can learn to write quickly so you can make more money per hour, accomplish more each day and have more free time with your family.
How to Write Faster and Increase Your Productivity
Everyone works better under a tight deadline. A few examples – I didn’t work one semester during college, and my grades were the worst they’d ever been. The reason? Since I was only taking four classes, I always assumed I’d have time to study. So, I’d leisurely read my textbooks and work on my assignments. I appeared busy, but really I was just sitting their daydreaming. I didn’t put any pressure on myself, and therefore I didn’t do well with my studies.
Another example is with freelancing. If I have an assignment due in two weeks, for example, I could take the long road and do a little bit here and there. I’d probably research for the first 20 minutes, then write the introduction, take a break, do a little more research…you get the idea. If I do this for 10 days in a row, the assignment will certainly be completed, but I’ll have probably spent 15 hours on it when all is said and done. On the other hand, if that assignment was due the next day, I would have sat down and cranked it out in a matter of hours. See the difference?
Below are my four strategies for writing faster.
Give yourself deadlines
I don’t care if your assignment isn’t due for two weeks, when do you want it done? Set your own deadlines. This also gives you a leg-up if anything were to come up. I always work at least one week ahead. By doing so, I’m never rushed. If one of my kid’s is sick or if I feel like taking the night off, my schedule allows me to do so. Part of freelancing is the ability to choose your own schedule, so take control by setting your own deadlines ahead of when they’re actually due. I can guarantee this will increase your productivity tenfold, leaving you more time to take on other projects or spend time with your family.
When you write, write
I personally work the best in complete silence. I can’t have music playing or the TV on as background noise. I write my best work when the house is quiet, whether that’s early in the morning, in the evening hours or when my girls are napping. If you have kids, I don’t recommend writing when they are awake. There will be too many distractions and it will take you 10 times longer to get your assignment done. Instead, give your kids your undivided attention or work on easy tasks like social media promotion or commenting on other blogs while they play.
Know what you’re going to write before you write it
This, for me, is key. When I get an idea for a blog post, I quickly write it down along with a few key points. Then, before I write the actual post, I spend a good amount of time brainstorming my post while I’m doing other things, like driving or showering. I think about my post a LOT before I actually sit down to write it. Then, when I finally do sit down, I cruise right on through. The same is true for my freelancing work. I think about my assignment for a good chunk of time and plan out the direction I want the article to go before I sit down to write it.
Don’t force yourself to write
I write a lot. I write for my blog, for my freelancing clients and for my FT job. Not a day goes by that I don’t write. But like anyone, I sometimes find myself completely lacking inspiration. When that happens, I don’t try to write because I know it won’t be my best work. I also know that if I’m not feeling inspired, it will take me significantly longer to write the piece. So what do I do instead? Easy, I get caught up on emails, work on social media promotion, pitch new clients, work on audits at my FT job, etc. If you own a blogging or freelancing business, you know that “writing” is just one small piece of the puzzle. If you’re not feel inspired, don’t stress. Do something else instead.
How Long it Takes Me to Write
This blog post is currently over 1,000 words and I’ve been writing for 23 minutes. However, I came up with this idea a few days ago and spent my time at the post office (an hour) earlier today brainstorming what I wanted to say. I thought about it more in-depth as the day went on and so when I sat down to write (now 25 minutes ago), the words just starting flowing.
I do spend more time on my freelancing work simply because there are guidelines I need to follow and the articles must be written a certain way. Even still, I normally don’t spend more than a few hours writing for clients by the time I actually sit down to write.
This post, now 27 minutes in, is not yet complete, though. I need to add in an image, re-read this piece about three times, edit it, make it SEO friendly, schedule it to post, and then promote it across my social media channels. That will probably take a good hour, which is interesting considering it took just 30 minutes to write this 1200-word post.
Are you interested in freelancing and blogging for a living? Moms, I have to tell you, this really is an amazing way to bring in an income for your family. You get to work from home, set your own hours, connect with other moms and bloggers, and write about topics you’re passionate about. If you want this lifestyle for yourself (for me, I have a goal of making $10K per month within one year so my husband can work from home, too!), the first step is to start a blog*. I created a tutorial to walk you through the process. As always, you can email me directly if you have any questions!
How long does it take you to write a post? Do you think my tips could help you? What would you add?
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