Do you feel stuck as a freelance writer during this pandemic? Are you looking for productivity tips?
You prepare to launch your freelance writing business and then boom! The world pandemic happens, and you aren't sure of what to do next. Your productivity as a freelance writer is crumbling.
Or you are a freelance writer and also a Mom/Dad. The kids are at home, and you are no longer productive.
So what next? Do you just give up on your business? Do you wait for another year or so to kick-start your freelance writing business?
I'll be honest with you; working at home during the quarantine is quite challenging. I have two kids under six years, and if you are a parent to toddlers, you get what I mean.
I've to run my business and, at the same time, assume my mommy roles full-time.
You get into your work desk, open your computer, and kids start interrupting you. Exhaustion takes a toll on you.
Welcome to the new normal.
It may take a while before you get the hang of it because we are living in uncertain times.
You aren't sure if you can send a cold email or not because the economy is on its knees, and companies are cutting on the number of employees.
My goal this year is to hit $5k/month but to be honest, it's been quite challenging because of self-doubts, which I'm currently trying to face head-on.
If you are feeling like me, I've got your back.
Below are productivity tips to help you if you feel like your life has been thrown into a spin.
#1→Create a home office to boost productivity
Are you working from your couch or bed? You need to create your home office if you are serious about your freelance writing business.
Working from your bed/couch causes distractions, and you may end up working less, sleeping more, and more time binge-watching.
There are times I've tried working from the couch, and I end up picking the remote and switching on my TV to watch.
You may be on a tight budget, and the good news is that you don't need a fancy working area in your home.
Nowadays you can get a second-hand home office furniture costing less than $200.
Another way is to be creative and DIY your home office table and chair.
You need a comfortable working area that increases your productivity and works efficiency.
#2→Set up a work schedule to boost your writing productivity
The work schedule is not only for employees in a company set up but also for freelancers.
Having your to-do list as a freelance writer increases your productivity because you know what to do and the time to do it.
You can use time blocks so that you can focus more on a project. Time management is super important if you are a freelance writer.
Things will be all over the place if you don't create a system for the day.
You can create time to write client work, send pitches, and time to learn. Also, allocate time for family.
#3→Ask for help.
Do you feel overwhelmed? It is okay to ask for help, you know, especially during the quarantine.
Many think that the life of a work-at-home parent is easy. On the contrary, it is messy and hectic.
There are house chores, kids, and a business demanding your attention.
Asking for help from your spouse or family member is another way to increase productivity as a freelance writer during the quarantine.
Work on your business while someone watches over your miniature beings or takes care of house chores like getting groceries from the store.
If you don't have any family near, you can hire a babysitter to help you around so you can earn more money writing.
#4→Use writing tools to increase productivity.
If you don't have the right writing tools, then you are not serious about your business.
When I started as a freelance writer, I had no idea about work tools.
But with the necessity to meet my clients' expectations, I found excellent tools I use every day.
And they've made my freelance writing life a breeze.
Here is how writing tools can help you be more productive.
Grammarly, for example, is a writing tool that helps you with spelling, grammar, and plagiarism.
Instead of writing and editing at the same time, you can write while the Grammarly App catches the mistakes on the fly.
By working this way, you save time and write even more.
Another tool I use is the Web Clipper to save references, notes, and screenshots to use as graphics to emphasize a point in my articles.
You will also need Google apps like Google Docs, Forms, Sheets, and Calendar.
They come in handy when you need all your work in one place you can easily access.
#5→Get enough sleep.
Having a schedule means that you need to keep time management.
To stay productive, you need enough sleep to relax and get ready for the following days' work.
Without enough sleep, you can lose the creativity that you live by, get tired quickly, and unhappy.
And all these can pull your productivity as a freelance writer.
Try as much as possible to get enough and quality sleep.
Maintain your regular sleep cycles regardless of the time you go to bed.
I know that there are writers who love writing at night and so sleeping during the day makes sense.
Disclaimer, I used to write at night when my son was less than two years but not anymore.
I'm happy he's growing and giving me ample time to work during the day.
Here is where you hear the proverbial phrase "work without play makes Jack a dull boy."
Exercise is another way to increase productivity as a freelance writer in quarantine. Regular exercise boosts your energy, moods, and makes you feel more productive.
However, getting out to exercise can be a challenge when you are a remote worker.
It is either you don't have the psyche to work out, or the gyms are far away.
Ever since I realized how important it is to exercise, I've never missed my morning jogs.
I wake up at six in the morning and run three kilometers to and from, and it makes me feel better and ready for the day.
Find exercises that work for you. It is not a must to do outdoor activities but if you can, well and good.
We are in quarantine, staying indoors all day and every day.
And this means that you can slip into poor eating habits. It is crucial always to watch what you eat and make sure that you are ingesting healthy foods.
Bring a bottle of water to your home office and take water regularly.
Don't skip a meal just because you want to finish a project.
#8→Use automating tools
Some of the things that can take much of your time include creating social media content.
You can get distracted when you want to post something on Facebook or Twitter.
Before I found automating tools, I used to spend much more time on social media than working.
You open Facebook to post to your page/group, and before you know it, you've spent three hours or more watching Facebook videos.
Guilty like me? Automation tools are of great help.
I use automated tools like Tailwind and Facebook publishing tools to schedule Pinterest images and posts on my Facebook page.
Additionally, I use Mailerlite to automate emails to my email list, and what's more, it is free to use if you have less than one thousand subscribers.
#9→Create a pitch template
As a freelance writer, I don't have much time to look for freelance writing jobs. So, I created a pitch template that I use every time I'm pitching to potential clients.
You can get the same template on this page and use it to send pitches to your potential clients.
It doesn't mean that I send the same pitch to all potential clients but rather have an outline that I can edit to suit the job post I'm applying for.
You can create a pitch template to increase productivity and save your time as a freelance writer.
#10→Get on a distraction-free environment
Social media is my biggest distraction as a freelance writer.
I struggle not to pick my phone and log in to TikTok during my working hours.
To cut on the time, I spend on this app; I put my phone far away from my office. This way, I can be more productive.
You can get rid of the things that distract you during working hours. Distractions can be websites, apps, or even a cluttered space.
If you don't like your thoughts wandering and opening unnecessary sites, you can use block site extension on chrome.
I outsource to other writers when I have more work than I can handle.
There are times when your business is doing well, and clients keep pouring in, and instead of turning them down, why not take up the work and outsource.
Other competent writers will do a pretty good job. It is a win-win for you and your fellow writers.
You can also outsource other parts of your business, like social media management, website management, or even client sourcing.
#12→Accept the new normal
This may sound weird, but we have no option but to accept the new normal.
Don't stress over it because we are all going through the same thing around the world.
Keep looking for writing jobs, working on your projects/business and you will get the hang of it soon.
Boost your productivity as a freelance writer during the quarantine.
Stay productive as a freelance writer during the quarantine
Now you know what to do. These 12 productivity tips will help you get back on track, hopefully.
Keep your focus and coach your mind to accept the current situation.
Do you have any productivity tips to share? Let's chat in the comments.
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