CONTENT CREATION TIPS: 5 Ways to Keep Focused and Beat Deadlines
Deadlines are a part of every freelancer’s daily grind. But not everyone can honor timelines graciously. Most freelance writers, bloggers, Internet marketers, and SEO professionals hustle up to meet deadlines and end up botching their assignments. This can cause you to make mistakes and also gets you mentally exhausted. In addition, the work churned out is often low in quality.
If you are having hard time meeting your timelines, here are a few tricks that can help you set things right.
1. Create a time table
This is the most important part of getting an assignment done on time. Break up the work into specific tasks and mete out time for each activity. You can create a detailed timetable with hourly tasks or just make a rough weekly sketch. Create a checklist of all tasks and tick each one when you complete it. Thus, you will know how much work is done and what is still pending.
2. Understand your work persona
Everyone requires a certain setting to get work done as some things pep you up while others can slow you down. Some people can get work done in the morning while others are energetic at night. Breaks are not always a waste of time; they give a boost to your energy, so include them in your schedule. Take all these factors into consideration before you chalk out your work plan.
3. Time yourself
Keep yourself organized and track time as it goes by. Some of us tend to get absorbed with a single activity and lose focus of the time line. So, use an alarm clock or stopwatch to keep a check on time. If you do not finish the work allotted for the day, do not leave it on for tomorrow. In case some other hiccup surfaces on the following day, then making up for the lost time will become difficult. Take breaks whenever your mind is really cluttered and drained.
4. Stay on agenda
Create a reasonable schedule by splitting up the assignment in various tasks and allotting a time frame for each activity. (Editor’s note: Our favorite management systems are Basecamp and Teambox. Be sure to check ‘em out!) Spend only the apportioned hours on each task. Stick to the schedule and do not get engaged in other activities during that time. Simple things like answering phone calls, checking E-mails, playing games or reading news updates can take up a lot of time and hamper your schedule. Moreover, they disturb your thinking process and you end up taking a lot more time to do your work.
5. Leave perfectionism behind
Everyone wants their work to be perfect but this does not mean that you should fritter away excessively long hours, fine-tuning your project. One can spend endless hours analyzing, finding flaws and getting to the core of the matter. Ditch this habit and be practical about the amount of time you spend revising your work. Perfection will come with practice.
There are many things freelancers can do to manage their time better. Thorough planning and keeping a watch on the clock ticking away helps greatly to meet deadlines. If you cannot do it on the first go, then keep trying as some things are only learnt with time.
About the author: Brianne Walter is a blogger and writer. She loves writing on technology and gadgets. Beside this she is fond of iPhones. She recently bought a USB flash drive herself. Her article on iOS 5 features was appreciated a lot by her readers.
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