Are you a blog owner, business owner or freelance SEO article writer? Great…How’s your self-discipline level?
If you are like most freelancers, you LOVE being free from punching that time clock and spending all of your time working to make money for someone else.
Now that you are a freelancer, those days are over…but I’m sure you’ve quickly realized that in order to profit as a small business owner or an SEO writer, you’ll have to up your accountability level. Instead of reporting to a boss, you are reporting to yourself and your bank account is keeping the score.
It’s ironic, to be sure. As you strive to increase your income and become more successful, you’ll realize that neither will come without strict time discipline on your part.
Setting Your Business Policy
Now that you work from home, friends and family will think that you’re available for babysitting services, errands, phone chatting, etc. Since part of the pleasure of freelancing is in the area of time flexibility, you may say “yes” to some of the requests.
Be careful though, the “occasional favor” can become a slippery slope and your lack of attention to the projects at hand can quickly lead to part time wages in your bank account. If you have a family, enormous chunks of time can slip away through small but numerous interruptions.
The best way to deal with time thieves is to have a clear “policy,” worked out in your mind. When you are able to say “I’m sorry, my policy is to devote two hours per week to doing favors and this week I’ve already used them up,” you’ll probably be met with very little resistance. Having these types of personal boundaries in place, shows others that you are serious about what you do.
A Simple But Powerful Daily Schedule Document
As a freelancer, you’ll need to create a system of scheduling that works best for you. Everyone is different, which is most likely why there are so many programs out there. I’m extremely old-school. I like my assignments written in a daily planner.
Another extremely powerful document is my “Daily Scheduler & Time Sheet” It helps me prioritize my most important projects by blocking them out in half hour increments. This one powerful tool, single-handedly shames me into doing my daily exercise routine, and forces me to be accountable throughout the day. If someone needs a favor of me, it must go on the Daily Scheduler where it “bumps” a work item.
Want to Create Your Own Merciless Task Master? Here’s How:
Since it’s so easy for us freelancers to procrastinate when we’re faced with a task we’d rather put off, I like to write “How will I earn money today?” at the top of my Daily Scheduler.
This forces me to put aside the fun but less important jobs, to focus on those that are immediately lucrative. SEO article writing projects, blog creation, and web research are a priority. They make my daily bread and butter. Even if some of my side tasks include developing tutorials and websites that will eventually make money for me…I have bills that are due TODAY, so today’s pay must be dealt with first.
My Daily Scheduler also has two columns: the left hand column is for “Task”; the right hand column is for “Activity.” The Task column shows what I should be doing at any appointed time during my day. The Activity column shows what I am actually doing. Now this kind of thing only works if you are truthful and cooperative.
Having to write down what I’m actually doing under “Activity” helps prevent me from veering off in the wrong direction, off on rabbit trails that detract from my income. You can just imagine how powerful it is to acknowledge — through the act of physically writing it down — the fact that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing!
If you want to put this method to use for yourself, be sure to create your daily schedule the night before. That way you’ll have time to prepare your research and gather whatever additional items you will need so you can truly stay on schedule throughout the day.
By working from your Daily Scheduler you’ll be able to increase your productivity, quickly recognize your personal work weaknesses, and conquer the procrastination monster.
Try the Daily Scheduler for yourself and see if you don’t get more done, increase your income, and feel more successful — because you will be!