How to manage your workload

As a freelancer, my time is sacred. That’s why I recently set myself a goal to ensure I always have the right tools and working methodologies to hand in order to remain productive and keep on top of my incoming jobs.

If you’re concerned about letting people down and never reaching the bottom of your to-do list, the solutions are closer than you might think. Here’s what I’ve learned:

A productivity app is essential

If, like my desk of old, your workspace is cluttered with Post-It notes, countless notebooks and printouts of emails, the first thing you need to look into is a productivity app. A clean desk is a clean mind, and I’ve found Trello to be the perfect antidote to the mess I once worked in. It enables me to keep track of multiple projects and offers an addictive, satisfying way of completing tasks. Try it!

To-do lists save my bacon

I’m not blessed with the greatest memory and, with so many copywriting projects to keep on top of, it’s all too easy for me to neglect those essential (and often dull) tasks I need to perform. Experts have long championed the humble to-do list and I have to agree; they can be lifesavers. We have good ideas for a reason and there’s no greater shame than forgetting they existed. Plus, with a good to-do list, you’ll never forget to invoice that client…

My office can be anywhere

Quite often, I’m not sat at my desk. I may be on a trip to see a client, or in a coffee shop, but wherever I am, I’ve been amazed at how simple it is to continue working and be productive. Technology plays a key role here; a laptop with a good battery, tablet and smartphone provide all of the computing power and connectivity I need to get things done, but there’s a lot to be said for the smaller things you can do whilst traveling.

It’s easier than you think to get out of a rut

As a copywriter, I’m all too aware of the unnerving beast called ‘writer’s block’ which may be lurking around any corner. As a result, the prospect of getting stuck with seemingly no way out can occasionally become a reality. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned while freelancing, it’s that it is possible to apply ‘traditional work’ tactics when such disasters strike. Seeking more responsibilities, looking to peers and never – ever – giving up will help you get out of any rut you happen to fall into.

Conclusion

If you act on just one of the pieces of advice above, you’ll find yourself achieving so much more. That said, and if you find yourself continuing to sink under the weight of your to-do list, never be afraid to say “no”. If you can’t take a job on – be honest!

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