Time management and planning is the best way to ensure success in any business. This same principle applies to both aspiring and advanced copywriters.
Newcomers to the business that are beginning their business from fresh, building their clientele and have a little more time on their hands than they would like to admit, need to focus on organisation during this time and start as you mean to go on.
This does not mean that if you have a large workload, ten years of experience in copywriting and hardly any time to spare, you can skip this step! How do you expect to give every client your best when you are stretched thin, your diary is full of mistakes and Tipp-ex, and you’re a little bit all over the place?
Keeping to an efficient time management system and creating a plan to match your workload and its specific needs will clear up time you didn’t know you had and allow you to plan to be your better self.
According to Dr Donalds E. Wetmore, 20% of the average workday is spent on crucial things, while the remaining 80% of the average workday is spent on things of little value.
Not very time efficient at all! You want to distance yourself from this statistic as far as possible.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Although it may not seem time-related, the work smarter philosophy is one of the most effective ways to improve your time/workload balance.
Feel like you’ve been busy all day, answering a million emails and other administrative tasks, yet got no further on your copywriting project? We often spend more time than we realise in the planning stages of a project, and most of these can be made redundant.
Tools such as Rescue Time and the Todoist are brilliant tools to help you plan efficiently and smarter. Saving you hours that would have gone to waste on a spreadsheet you’d never return to! Using your time more wisely and utilising many of the great tools out there is just the first step in becoming a time-efficient copywriter.
Knowing yourself and your capability at different times of the day can be a great way to manage your time. Not a morning person? Then don’t force yourself to get up a 5 AM. You’ll only waste more time proofreading and correcting the work that your half-asleep brain produced during this time.
Plan your time to your schedule, optimise your productivity, and you’ll see a positive difference in time-frames for progress in your workload.
On average, individuals use 13 different methods to try and improve and control their time management. How many do you use currently, or think you’ve tried in the past?.
3 Obvious, Yet Often Skipped Principles of Time Management
At first glance, these will seem like the usual tips and tricks that any Google search would tell you, but when put into practice, these can produce great results. Consistency is key, and planning one week of the year isn’t going to cut it!
1. Being Self-Aware and Motivated
We often lose ourselves in our workdays, and our brains can sometimes clock out when we clock in. Keeping self-aware of your goals, determination, and future is the only deterrent to this dissociation.
Keep yourself on track by reflecting on what you will complete in the day and how it is progressing in your career, which will motivate you to work better. Doing this will make your daily tasks more meaningful and your goals more reachable.
Motivation is often forgotten when it comes to time management and planning, but studies show that it directly impacts how well your workday goes!
2. Knowing How to Prioritise
Prioritising your workload can be difficult at first, but creating a system that works for your copywriting clients will bring to light the best and most efficient route to take weekly.
Using online tools crafted to increase productivity and time management skills is the first step in this process, and using Todoist will help you do just this. With Todoist, you can organise your tasks and projects and then share, collaborate and delegate these between you and your team.
Haven’t you got a team to delegate? Todoist lets you set labels, filters and priorities to help you create a visual window into your workload. You can even create reminders and notifications for yourself to remind you of projects requiring more attention than others!
Try their free 30-day trial today and learn the best practices for prioritising.
3. Plan For Your Day First, Then Your Week
Workload planning when you are juggling 20 plus clients, 30 plus projects, and your everyday life can be daunting and is a task that is often shelved or abandoned. Taking a step back and looking at everything from a different perspective can make this task seem much more effortless.
At The Authors Pad, we encourage self-enhancement, the refining of your skills, and efforts to make you stand out from the crowd, but these are hard to complete when you don’t know your plan for Monday morning.
We understand that not everything always goes to plan, but even if 80% of your goals for the week are ticked off by Friday, it's better than 0%!
A Gallup study found that the average employee works 20% better when they are motivated about their workload.
5 Steps That Will Help Plan Your Week
Make that plan, write that checklist and set those goals for the week. Without them, you may as well be writing aimlessly. Here are five steps that will help plan your week.
1. Look at the timeline of your current projects, and list them in order of deadline. Be realistic with the time you allocate these tasks to ensure you don’t overlap. Doing things quicker than originally planned is better than running out of time.
2. Break these larger projects into smaller goals and tasks, this will help manage your time between each checkpoint within the project.
3. Avoid multitasking between projects, each client and their project deserves your full attention and effort.
4. Ticking off your successes towards the end of the day isn’t the only benefit of a checklist. Tasks that are often incomplete at the end of the day, or even the week may not be necessary at all. Analyse your checklists monthly to see if you are wasting time.
5. Regularly review your planning, changing time-frames or goals isn’t cheating, copywriting is a flexible career and you need to be able to change your schedule to suit clients.