When Panic Attacks Writers
By Nick Usborne
Starving Writer No More
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by Nick Usborne
This may not sound like a big deal. But it's amazing how completing one extra task each day can quickly add up and make a difference.
Here's how it works for me...
Each day I look at my 'Today's Things To Do List'.
Oh yes, I have a list. Without it I would be lost. I schedule upcoming work. I list deadlines. I make notes of the people I should be calling or emailing. I look for the spare moments when I can write an article or two. I list all my personal and family commitments too.
And then I add one thing more
In addition to my daily list of things to do, I also have a general 'Needs to be Done' list. These are items that don't really have delivery dates or deadlines, but should get done.
Examples? Maybe a follow-up email to a company I worked for a while ago but haven't heard from since. Maybe a note to myself to get back to a happy customer and ask for a testimonial. Perhaps a reminder to myself to check out a particular website or new service. That kind of thing.
These are all things that are important, but not urgent.
Important, but not urgent
This is worth dwelling on for a moment. For many of us freelancers, our days and sometimes nights are filled with completing tasks that are urgent.
We have deadlines to meet. We have to get the work done.
And for most of us, we have only ourselves. No assistants or office managers to take care of the paperwork, administration and bookkeeping.
So we rush, rush, rush and feel that our day is complete once we have completed all of the urgent tasks.
Time for one more thing
But before you close down your computer, do that one extra thing. It's important.
Often that one final task will take just a few minutes. I'm not talking about spending another hour or two at your desk. I'm talking about tackling a non-urgent, but important task.
Will it make a difference?
Yes, it will. At the end of the month you will have completed 20-30 important things that otherwise would never have been done.
Perhaps just one of those things will lead to an extra contract.
Now keep this habit going month by month, year after year. If just one in fifty of these extra tasks completed leads to a new client or job, think of what that means in new income over the next few years.
There is no magic about doing one thing extra each day. It's just a simple, useful discipline and habit that could end up making a big difference to your future income.
NOTE: To increase your productivity as a writer, follow the 5 rituals I lay out in my guide for writers, Writing Rituals. Learn more at the Writing Rituals web site...
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