Procrastination for Freelance Writers

23 September, 2008

Freelance Writing, writing

When I jotted  a slapdash review a couple of weeks ago reporting my initial impressions of Office Time–a Mac-friendly time-tracking software program, I really didn’t anticipate how many web users would land on it while searching for “time tracking for mac.” I guess I thought I was the only one with serious time-management issues. SURELY every other self-employed writer has their crap totally together. The trial period with Office Time has been enlightening. I’ve spent more time evaluating the minutes I waste between timed bouts of billable work.

Here’s a sample of my daily scenario:

Say I stopped the time tracking “clock” on a particular writing project at 11 a.m. and got up to stretch, did it really take me 45 minutes to sit back down to work? Why…exactly and what was I doing–no laundry got done, dishes are still in the sink and I haven’t worked out or showered yet…..Did I transport myself to some  other zombie dimension? Very enlightening, but at the same time an utterly disturbing peek into my apparently “secret” freelance life.

What do we do and why do we struggle so with our time and other issues that PLOW our potential for big success?

Internet marketing maverick, Rich Schefren, released an intended-to-be-viral report last week titled: Entrepreneurial Emergency. In it he drills down rather technically into the “constraints” that bind us– I struggle with my time management, therefore I fail in my business. That’s a weak distillation, but the message is the same that Tony Robbins has been preaching for decades–the success we experience in life is largely tethered to our inner struggles, our self esteem, our families, etc.

For example, after reading Schefren’s report I immediately concluded one of my biggest obstacles right now is my perception of the value of various types of work. I was raised in a household where neither parent attended college and no one was allowed to consider themselves “above” a certain kind of work. I have found that during my years landscaping I somehow felt as though I earned my money, more-so than the creative work I do now.  I catch myself occasionally balking when I see what some people charge for their writing. Because of this I consistently set my goals and my value for my work so much less than peers. I’ve come to devalue my work because I don’t see it with the same value as physical labor. If I didn’t sweat and work physically hard for it then it can’t be worth that much. That is the scary black mud I’ve exhumed from my subconscious…

Wow, I shoot holes in my own boat everyday.

And I waste a lot of time doing it, too…

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One Comment on “Procrastination for Freelance Writers”

  1. Dan Says:

    Great articles.
    If you’d like a tool for setting your goals and managing time, you can use this application inspired by David Allen’s GTD:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    A mobile version and iCal are available too.


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