The amazing thing about being a freelancer is that you’re the master of your own time.
The challenging thing about being a freelancer is that you’re the master of your own time.
The better you are at managing your time, the more of it you’ll have to spend on the things that matter most to you. Unfortunately, most of us fall into various inefficiency traps:
- Stalling on projects that seem too overwhelming to start
- Losing focus on a project and wandering off into something less important but more effortless (social media, online games, etc.)
- Taking too long to perform tasks that we know we could/should perform faster
Fortunately, it’s a new year, and that means we don’t have to stay stuck in old patterns. We’re not saying you’re going to magically transform overnight, but we’re suggesting that if you make some key changes, when you look back at your productivity a year from now, you’ll see that you’ve made impressive progress in becoming a more productive, efficient freelancer.
We polled our network of freelance copywriters to find out how they increase efficiency in their lives. Whether you’re a freelance marketing copywriter or a business owner, here’s a list of their best tips for getting the most out of your time in 2022:
Journal your time. You can’t fix a problem that you haven’t identified. To find out where you may be losing efficiency, keep a record of how you are spending your time over the course of a week. You might be surprised to find how much time is spent on unnecessary or unimportant activities. Are there meetings you don’t need to be at? Commutes you don’t need to make? Could you reduce the time you spend on social media by confining the scrolling and online interactions to a short window of time each day (i.e., only get on social media between 3 and 3:45 each afternoon)? Could you shorten the amount of time you spend grocery shopping or going out to eat by doing more effective weekly meal planning?
Automate. As you examine how you are spending your time, look for any repetitive or clumsy processes that could be automated. Tired of going back and forth with clients or colleagues to schedule meeting times? Consider a client-facing scheduling app that syncs with your calendar. Or maybe you need a content management app to schedule and post social media posts or blogs for your website? That way, you can write them in batches and forget about them. If you’re spending a lot of time onboarding clients or sending invoice reminders, client management software can automate tasks that needlessly monopolize your time.
Delegate. Smart business heads know that they should only be doing the things that nobody else can do. Whether it’s a housekeeper to save you time on the home front or a junior writer to handle some of your less-complex copywriting jobs, use others’ expertise to allow you to focus on the tasks that need your specific skill set.
Do the things you don’t want to do first. The temptation here is to do the easiest, most enjoyable things first. It’s why the dishes sit in the sink while we scroll mindlessly through social media. It’s so effortless! Switch your thinking and tackle the things you don’t want to do first. That way, the “undesirables” won’t hang over you all day. When you knock them out first, you can fully relax when they’re done.
Manage your energy—not just your time. “Know thyself” for this tip. When do you feel the most energetic? When is your mind at its clearest? Seize these times to knock out the big needle movers in your life. Nervous about a looming sales letter? If you’re a morning person, get a start on it as soon as you wake up. Chances are, you won’t want to return to it at 3 pm. If you typically get your big burst of energy at night, use that quiet time when everyone else is sleeping to accomplish your biggest tasks.
Use proven copywriting methods. Sometimes it’s not enough just to want to be efficient; you might lack the tools to get there. Check out online copywriting courses that systemize copywriting. For example, my RMBC copywriting course has helped people reduce their writing time by as much as 90%. If you feel like every sales letter is a confusing new frontier, you’re working too hard. There’s a proven, step-by-step framework that helps you write better copy no matter the project. You can tweak the details, but the framework is the same and works every time to help you generate consistently high-grossing copy.
Get to bed on time. Untold amounts of time are wasted at night when your self-discipline is ebbing. You can get yourself into all kinds of trouble hanging around the kitchen and mindlessly snacking or entering the vortex of social media scrolling. Know exactly what time you need to be getting ready for bed in order to get the needed amount of sleep. Set an alarm, get a sleep management app, or get your significant other to encourage you to stick to your schedule. A healthy bedtime routine will cut down on evening dilly-dallying and ensure that you get the sleep you need to wake up energized the next day.
Most of us find ourselves in inefficiency ruts in certain areas of our lives, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Leverage the momentum of a new year to make changes that will allow you to spend your time on the most worthwhile things in 2022.
Want more tips? Watch for my next blog post with more tried-and-true ideas to get even more out of your time.