PureNews

PureNews is an amazingly sleek and powerful news theme with unlimited color variations.

View full feature list Check out the live demo Buy this theme today

Some More Helpful Hints To Stay On Top Of Things

Posted by on 14th Nov 2010 | 17 comments

Anyone who writes web copy knows how difficult it can be to stay on top of things and juggle all the different requirements at once. Working on the Internet is great because you always have lots of work to do but to be efficient you need to have a few techniques under your belt that will help you manage your time accordingly.

One of the first things I learned is not everything is about technology. To each his own of course but I don’t use anything electronic to help me plan my day. There’s lots of great calendars and BlackBerry apps available to help you along, but I still prefer to use a paper day planner that I can flip over and hold in my hands. I still like to cross things out with a pen and write things in as the day goes on and maybe it’s a bit old-fashioned but it still works for me.

Of course planning out my day is still important and beyond the day planner I like to use a dry erase board as well for those clients that have a lot of changing demands. It’s important to be able to juggle all of your work requirements but those aren’t all that you need to look at.

The idea here, especially when you’re working from your home, is to be able to juggle work and a reasonable home life. For me that’s the hardest part because there are always distractions and unintended noise that I really find quite a distraction. ( Of course having to Labrador retrievers doesn’t help any with the way they like to run around and accidentally rearrange things while I’m sitting at my laptop.)

All this brings me to the point of this week’s effort. Us stay at home writers need a support network of sorts and that means we need to share ideas about how to keep that dripping tap in the bathroom from finding its way into your work. I did write a column about this a while back and got some interesting feedback but I have a great feeling that there’s a lot more out there.

Another one of the techniques that I’ve found is a leftover from my younger days when I used to work in shipping and receiving while I was writing one of my short story collections. Earplugs of the industrial variety are a great way to block out a lot of the high-end noise that you can find distracting, but I’ve also found that when you let a neighbor’s thumping stereo get inside your head it’s really hard to ignore.

Don’t get me wrong.  I feel very fortunate to have a career in an expanding industry considering the fact that I live in a primarily industrial town and I’ve seen many friends lose their jobs. I just thought this may be a good time for a few of us to circle the wagons and share a few ideas about how to best work as freelancers from home.


17 comments - Leave a reply
  • Posted by Scott Hampton on 14th Nov 2010

    I jealously guard "my" time. I've learned to be firm, but reasonable, in my demand that I be left alone when I have "my" work to do. I either go out or allow everyone else to leave the house on Sunday, my only "day off". I'm a SAHD blogger and freelance photographer/filmmaker. I do my daddy duties, like driving children to school, cooking, etc., but have enforced a rule that you have to leave me alone when it's my time.

    Unlike you, I prefer technology for the planning. I integrate my iPhone with iCal to do scheduling. I find it quicker and easier. They both sync with my Mac so I can have my organized schedule wherever I am, whichever computer I use.

    Another thing I do is get up a few hours earlier than everyone else. I have my Bible study then jump right into blogging, ghost writing, tweaking, etc. Those few hours give me a sneak attack on my day.

    Those are my three pieces of advice: jealously guard my time, tightly plan my day with tech, and get up earlier than everyone else.

    Thanks for the article. it was a great read.
    My recent post Recall of Frozen Green Peas

  • Posted by Angie on 14th Nov 2010

    I am also a big fan of paper for task management. I keep numerous notepads going, each related to a different aspect of my home business. Does it look like mass confusion to others? Probably. But, it is the method that works best for me.
    My recent post Happy Anniversary…To Me!

  • Posted by Rahul on 14th Nov 2010

    Indeed , very interesting post and brilliant thought and tips , thank you i got many new ideas and changed my ways of vision towards stuff !! Thanx

  • Posted by PayPrClickManagement on 15th Nov 2010

    well time management and task management are two most superior tips for every one to stay on top. other wise their is no way you are.

  • Posted by dotCOMreport on 15th Nov 2010

    I had to learn how to work at night. That was the only way I could truly focus – when the whole house was asleep.
    Technology has its place but like you and Angie, I am also a huge fan of paper to make lists and cross out items on the lists.
    My recent post Make Money With the Google Vulnerability Program

  • Posted by Pete BloggingGenius on 15th Nov 2010

    Hi Rob,
    I use a system of "Daily do sheets" and "daily did sheets". So one is for what needs doing that day and then at the end of the day I do a Daily did sheet so I can see how productive I have been.
    Also whiteboards. I have 2, one with my ultimate goals on it, so I can see what I am aiming for, and the other I use for brainstorming, I just jot my ideas on it as they come to me.
    As for keeping out background noise and distractions, well that will remain a challenge.
    Pete
    My recent post Start A Blog-Step 1-Hosting

  • Posted by davi on 15th Nov 2010

    paper is still for us folks, its so easier to us
    as for time management i need serious advises cause i keep on lacking behind my work, people and noises keeps on distracting me. i have gotten better due to motivation but i still need to improve
    My recent post Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

  • Posted by Karen Scharf on 16th Nov 2010

    I understand you guys why you still stick on using papers for doing work rather than any software i your computer. Well for me, it doesn't matter what you will use just as long as you do your best. It's about the content wise. :)

  • Posted by radii footwear on 16th Nov 2010

    Unlike you, I prefer technology for the planning. I integrate my iPhone with iCal to do scheduling. I find it quicker and easier. They both sync with my Mac so I can have my organized schedule wherever I am, whichever computer I use.

    Another thing I do is get up a few hours earlier than everyone else. I have my Bible study then jump right into blogging, ghost writing, tweaking, etc. Those few hours give me a sneak attack on my day.

    Those are my three pieces of advice: jealously guard my time, tightly plan my day with tech, and get up earlier than everyone else.

  • Posted by George Phillip on 16th Nov 2010

    Still using paper. I love paper to do things. And you can save from using papers. But I'm open to any software could be available FOR FREE.
    Twitter Marketing

  • Posted by ramos1167 on 16th Nov 2010

    Very interesting post and brilliant thought and tips , thank you i got many new ideas and changed my ways of vision towards stuff !!
    Internet marketing

  • Posted by ramos1167 on 16th Nov 2010

    Very interesting post and brilliant thought and tips , thank you i got many new ideas and changed my ways of vision towards stuff !!
    Internet marketing<a/>

  • Posted by Online survey India on 17th Nov 2010

    hi..!!

    Very interesting post..!! Good time management and Planning always help us to be stay on top. else we can't find where we stay…!!!!! I learns some idea's from your post. Your Post is really good .Thanks ..!!!

  • Posted by Josh Ray on 17th Nov 2010

    I have a Day Planner too but I find myself adding things to my Google calendar because it sends me emails and push reminders to my iPhone. It's definitely hard to find quiet time with kids running around and sometimes I feel like a bad parent when I lock myself in the office. I just have to tell myself that if I was at a normal job I wouldn't see them and the faster I finish the writing the more time I have for the kids.
    My recent post Blog Goals Update – Week 2

  • Posted by Kenyan Jobs on 18th Nov 2010

    Time management is very good and helpful but I must admit that it is difficult for me. I'd keep trying though.

  • Posted by Rich, Joomla Dev on 20th Nov 2010

    "not everything is about technology." is very good advice. I've found that buying a cheap whiteboard with a to-do list is far more effective than an easy to ignore on-screen version.

  • Posted by Voice In The Dark on 21st Nov 2010

    There's nothing like the old legal pad to stay on top of things!
    I use software for most stuff, but when it comes to writing down ideas or new tasks I use yellow sticky pads. I know they can get messy but when you clear em out…it feels good. lol

    As for the 10k ft view.. I still use a legal pad to org my thought and goals and to put it all in perspective. You could say that it's a rather "healing" process. Somethings don't change.
    My recent post Someday