…a day job/the school run/writing a book/having a life (delete where applicable).
If you only had freelance writing work to do then you could cope, right? If you could just sit at your computer/laptop/desk-with-quill all day long and get paid to write, life would be pretty sweet, wouldn’t it?
But invaribly, unless you’re some kind of robot, you’ve probably got other stuff going on.
Perhaps you’ve got another job – yes, an actual real-life day job to hold down while you build up your freelance writing career.
Maybe you have other schemes you’re working on other than your freelance writing work – a book or website to launch for instance.
You probably need to write blog posts and market yourself on social media. Not to mention all the while constantly seeking out even more freelance writing work.
Of course there’s the odd chance you’re actually trying to fit in a life between all this too.
You remember – a life. Complete with friends to see, kids to play with and a partner to try not to completely ignore.
Even if you don’t have a family vying for your attention it’s likely that you’ve at least got hobbies and friends that are feeling a bit neglected.
So how do you fit all this in around your freelance writing work?
Well, first of all you need to remember why you’re doing all this in the first place. Why are you neglecting areas of your life? Why are you getting up early and going to bed late and hardly seeing your friends?
Asking yourself this one important question can help you to focus and clarify your goals, both for your freelance writing work and for other areas of your life.
Your answer might be because you’re gearing up to one day make freelance writing your full-time job so you can quit that other one that keeps taking up all your valuable time.
Or it might be because you feel it’s important to leave your own little dent in the world – to leave a lasting legacy behind – so you’re creating a masterpiece blog and inspirational books and products so all your writing isn’t used up on other people (i.e. clients).
Whatever the reason, it helps to write it down. It always helps to write it down.
OK. What next?
It’s simple really: Think about (or better still, write down again) all the things you spend your time on that aren’t directly related to getting paid.
List them all and ask yourself why you do each thing. Write down why you’re working on everything you’re working on at the moment and if the answer doesn’t either make you money or align with your overall larger goals, eliminate those tasks (or at least make plans to eliminate them gradually).
I’m going to say that again so it really goes in:
[Tweet “If a task doesn’t make you money or align with your overall goals, eliminate it.”]
Bit drastic, isn’t it?
There’s really no need to carry on doing something out of some kind of misplaced sense of duty or – worse still – out of pure habit. If certain tasks don’t either go towards keeping a roof over your head (and perhaps the heads of a few loved ones) or fit in with your grand scheme to take over the world, stop doing them!
And guess what I find happens when I eliminate all the unnecessary things I think I should be doing? Apart from having more time, more money and more friends I mean?
That’s right: NOTHING.
Nothing bad ever happens. Nobody cares. Nobody even notices.
What do you think? What can you eliminate? Or is this all far too simplified for your liking? Let me know in the comments below.
You may want to check out some other things I use to save time on the Resources for Writers page.
photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc