When you first start out working as a freelance writer/blogger you won’t have to worry about devising ways to manage your time since you more than likely won’t have all that much work to do. If you don’t get discouraged and stick it out, you’ll find that after more than a few false starts your business will start to roll forward. That’s the time you’ll need to start managing your time properly.
It’s important that you know which project to work on and when—that stands to reason and is only logical, but like everything else there’s more to the reality than what it appears at first. For me, managing my time means that I need to use the speed and accuracy of new technology combined with some of the other older ways that journalists and other writers have been using for years.
Now to each his own but I’m not one for scheduling my time using online worksheets and other methods that you can find on the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no way I could make the living that I do if it weren’t for computers and how they’ve been able to speed up the process of writing for a living, but I still enjoy going to the local business supply store to get some of the things that I need to keep things organized.
For me, switching back and forth between screens to get the work done that I need to can be a problem enough ( I’ve heard that Windows 7 has a great split screen feature that I’ll need to check out ) but I prefer to look away from the screen to see what’s next on the agenda and here’s why.
Having a paper day planner means that I can look away and as things occur to me ( and they do all day long as I work ) I can jot them down without having to go from one screen to the other. For some reason that helps me to stay focused on what I’m working on.
So it’s the old fashioned day planner for me. I know there are those of you who are saying that there is great software that will alert you when some important date or time is coming up, but I find that kind of intrusion on the screen can easily throw you when you’re trying to write something and concentrate on what you need to say. In fact, that’s the reason that I got rid of that pesky Google email alert icon that used to sit in the right hand corner of my tool bar and distract me every time someone sent me an email.
I also use a dry erase board that hangs on the wall in my office. Anything to get and stay organized so that I know all the information that I’ll need that lets me know what to do next is waiting patiently and not lurking ready to strike with a pop up or beep. I do have a BlackBerry though, but even so I turned down all the notifications so I could enjoy the red blinking light in silence.