Do you know the difference between busy work and productive work? Do you need some productivity tips for freelance writers?

Are you busy?

Of course, you’re busy. You’re a freelance writer working from home: taking care of clients, answering emails, and putting together marketing campaigns. Ever since you decided to become a freelance writer, you probably don’t have much time to spare, and you have a lot on your plate that never seems to get finished. You’re extremely busy. But…are you productive?

We’re going to talk about that right now.

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Busy work looks productive, but it also gives a false sense of productivity. Busy work includes include activities that don’t actually generate revenue or activities that take time but don’t give a return on the time investment.

Here are some examples of busy work:

  • Reading non-essential emails that don’t pertain to revenue-related work
  • Browsing through Facebook or other social media
  • Printing material to “read later
  • Moving materials from one place to another in your office
  • Answering the phone every time it rings
  • Allowing others to interrupt you – no matter what they need

That’s not to say that busy work isn’t made up of important tasks. Indeed, chances are those email that you are reading are important. Maybe you’re browsing through social media to check on your marketing strategy or make your post for the day. Maybe that phone call you answered had to do with something important.

But the point is, that while they may be important, these activities do not generate revenue. Unfortunately, so much time can be spent trying to catch up on busy work that we forget to make money.

But that’s not all…

On average, humans require 20-25 minutes to get their brain refocused and back on task after an interruption or distraction.

That’s twenty-five minutes lost every time the phone rings and you have to tell a telemarketer to place you on the do not call list. Twenty-five minutes lost every time you decide to scroll through Facebook to see if someone responded to your ad.

Not only are you losing time on an activity that doesn’t generate revenue, but you’re losing the time it takes to get back on track. Being distracted from productive work leads to time slipping away and a sense of overwhelm.

Though the tasks may feel important – they may even feel unavoidable – you can manage them in better ways.

Here are some productivity tips for Freelance Writers:

  • Set up filters on your email inbox to hide unimportant emails, or screen them by subject before opening.
  • Use an app to restrict and manage social media usage at certain times of the day.
  • Only print material when you know you are going to read it that day because it’s on your to-do list.
  • Clean and tidy your office at the end of the day so it is fully functional at the start of business.
  • Set office and phone hours and stick to them. Use voicemail and close the door when you are focused on productive work.

Busy work is often disguised as productive work, but it doesn’t generate any sort of outcome. In contrast, productive work directly affects sales, growth, or other goals you have set.

Busy work is often disguised as productive work, but it doesn’t generate any sort of outcome. In contrast, productive work directly affects sales, growth, or other goals you have set.

Here are some examples of productive work:

  • Crafting copy for a blog post or new website
  • Writing and sending an email with an offer for your tribe
  • Setting up a new sales page
  • Developing a new program or service and taking steps towards launch
  • Setting up sales calls with interested clients
  • Adding content to a membership site

Productive activities generate leads and revenue. These types of activities should be done early and intentionally each day, prior to the non-essential busy work that matters but doesn’t result in income.

Learning the difference between busy work and productive work can be the ticket to change for your productivity and help make progress each day in your business and your life. Get focused and engage in productive tasks before you get busy.

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