As freelancers, 100% of what happens takes place because we make it happen.
We have no bosses or co-workers to make things happen for us.
This means we not only have to hone ours skills as writers and copywriters, but also have to develop new skills that are essential to our business success.
We have to be marketers, customer service representatives, bookkeepers and business administrators. We also have to learn a variety of software programs and learn to use a range of online services.
That's a lot of responsibilities.
It's certainly possible to wear all of these hats and do a great job. But most of us have to scale a steep learning curve in at least one of these areas.
Then comes another hurdle.
While we may become proficient in all the skills we need, we still have to learn how to manage our time well and maintain a high level of productivity.
During a typical week, how well do you manage your time when you have to do some writing, and some new business development, and some bookkeeping, and some invoice chasing?
And when you come to a task you don't enjoy much – like looking for new work, for instance – do you maintain a high level of productivity? Or do you slowly grind to a halt?
The most productive and highest-earning freelancers maintain a constant pace and demonstrate a high level of productivity across all the tasks they have to deal with.
If one or more tasks are slowing you down, you need to address the problem head on.
More often than not, the slowdown occurs as a result of bad work habits in one particular area.
Many of our work habits are deeply ingrained in our behaviour. Some of those habits we may have picked up while at school or at college, before we even entered the work force.
For instance, when faced with calculating income, cash flow and your taxes, you might fall into the old habit of putting the task off until the last possible moment. (Like you did with your math assignments at school.)
If any of those deep-seated habits are slowing you down, you need to make a change.
But it isn't enough simply to acquire a new, better habit.
First you have to dismantle and free yourself from that bad habit.
In other words, you can't rebuild your house without first repairing the foundations. You need to rip out the old, rotten foundations and build new, stronger ones.
The failure to deal with old habits before trying to create new ones is probably the single biggest cause of failure when people try to "do better" in areas where they don’t excel.
Your next step? Figure out which of your old habits are holding you back and slowing you down.
Then work on weeding out those habits before applying new ones.
NOTE: If you don't have a copy of my Writing Rituals guide, I recommend that you get yourself a copy. It will give you a strong framework in which to build new and more productive work habits.
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