Being productive without a deadline

One thing about freelance writing is that it tends to go in spurts. Some days you have no assignments pending; other times, you don’t know which story to tackle first.

I’ve been trying for a while to figure out how to stay focused and productive when a deadline isn’t looming. Working at home means there are a lot of distractions. It’s easy to delay work because you know you can go back to the computer after throwing in a load of laundry, or cooking a pot of soup, or cleaning out a drawer, or running an errand, or… the list is infinite.

I love the flexibility of freelancing. I like being able to work coffee dates, appointments, and household tasks into my schedule no matter what time in the day they take place.

So I’ve resisted scheduling consistent work hours. I know there are advantages to having them. Family and friends will be less likely to interrupt your work, and scheduled hours impose discipline. Productivity is bound to go up.

I was relieved to learn at the most recent meeting of my freelance writing group that I’m not the only one who struggles with time management.

Yesterday, I decided to try something new. Not only did I slot “writing time” into the calendar on my phone, but before I left the computer at the end of my two-hour morning session, I slotted a second session for the afternoon.

It’s like going to the dentist. I book my next check-up before I leave. That way, I don’t lose momentum, and I don’t leave it too long.

I had a very productive day, and I’m back at the computer this morning. Could it be that simple?

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2 thoughts on “Being productive without a deadline

  1. Glad you had a productive day Frances. Writing and Time Management? Issue #1. But when it works… it’s euphoria. Thank you for this excellent post and thank you for staying in contact. I’m sending you all my best karma. Thanks. John O.

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