When I first started freelancing I knew that good time management would be mandatory. I started out strong. It was easier in the beginning. There were fewer projects and I was spending a fair amount of time conceptualizing. If you’re not careful, though, conceptualizing can become a substitute for working. Recognizing that, I’ve been thinking that instead of making a schedule of each workday, which is what the time management gurus recommend, perhaps I should actually promise myself to write xyz today. I’m going to work on ___ article. I’m going to write a Houston Chronicle post. I’m going to write a MuslimMatters post. I’m going to write five pitches. Whatever. Just promise. The productivity gurus also say that goal setting should include accountability. I think accountability is why I’m afraid to start the day with a promise. If I don’t follow through, who cares except me? That’s the crux of freelancing. It’s up to you. If you make a promise to yourself, you’d better keep it. Advertisements
I read this article this morning about the “bad” habits of productive people, and was so glad to discover that it can actually be good to be a little distracted, a little flaky, a little thin-skinned. In other words, being a vulnerable and imperfect human sometimes garners success as much as having “good” habits (a la 7, a la effective). A couple days ago I was helping a not-so-computer-savvy friend download software updates. He had been ignoring the notices to update for so long that it literally took at least 20 minutes to get his system up to par. When it became clear that the process was going to be a little lengthy, he immediately said, “all right, now what can I do?” and picked up the phone and started making calls. I know that he works a lot, but it struck me that I would have spent at least 10 of those free minutes just to sit and let my brain ramble. Those seemingly idle moments are when my creative juices flow and also when I look at the big picture a little and figure out what I want to do next – not in terms of tasks, but in terms of projects, goals, sometimes even my life. So who is more productive, him or me? Obviously it depends on how you define productivity. He is a project manager and his work depends on completing tasks. I am a […]
Phew! It took me quite some time, but it looks like I have at least gotten a good start on my personal website. I’m looking forward to adding more to it – I have a couple articles that will be published in the next few months as well as new blog posts on The Straight Path. The biggest challenge since I entered the freelance world is just structuring my time well enough to manage a website…a blog…and wherever else my writing leads me.