I don’t care if you’re an online copywriter, an Internet marketing consultant, or a social media marketing expert… you probably welcome effective time management tips that show you how to be more productive.
There are a lot of time management systems out there and certainly no shortage of productivity tips, but I came across a book that lays out a brand new method for how to be more productive.
Now, I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all tools, but I think this one might have good potential, especially for freelance online copywriters, who tend to be independent thinkers to start out with. This tool comes from a book called “The Now Habit” written by Dr. Neil Fiore. The tool itself is called The Unschedule.
First let’s look at the underlying theory behind Dr. Fiore’s approach. He doesn’t believe that procrastination stems from laziness. He thinks people procrastinate for a deeper reason. And I quote:
Procrastination is a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.
Whenever you begin a project or make a decision, a number of things can cause anxiety from fear of failure to perfectionism to fear of success to self-doubt. There’s also an underlying belief in our society that work should be hard and play is really a waste of time.
The Unschedule attempts to provide an effective solution. One that’ll make you a more successful, more prolific online copywriter that gets the job done every single time.
A closer look at The Unschedule…
Instead of scheduling the things you believe you HAVE to do… plan your day around the things you WANT to do… anything you consider fun. It could be a trip to the movies or a day at the park with the kinds or playing a round of golf. Whatever tickles you.
Once you’ve scheduled your play activities, the next step is to schedule other non-work activities, like eating, getting ready for work, going to the grocery store, paying the bills. Even sleeping.
Once you put all that on your schedule, you have a realistic assessment of how many actual hours of work are available to you every day.
So, your schedule should have all the fun activities and non-work activities filled in at the time you want to do them. In between, you have open blocks of time free for work. As your progress through your day, work during one of these open hours, for no more than 30 minutes. You’re trying to build up your productivity muscles, so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself.
After 30 minutes, record what you did on your Unschedule. And then give yourself a reward. It doesn’t have to be huge. Maybe you read a chapter in a book you’re enjoying or have a small piece of chocolate or step outside and breathe in the fresh air. The only rule is that it’s something you enjoy.
At the end of the week, you’ll be able to see at a glance how much quality work you actually put in.
Here are five rules Dr. Fiore recommends for successful Unscheduling.
- Fill in your Unschedule with as many non-work activities as possible include everything you can think of.
- ONLY record work sessions that last for 30 uninterrupted minutes.
- Reward yourself with a break or enjoyable activity every time you record a work period-this creates a positive association with work.
- Keep track of how many quality hours you work per day and per week-focus on what you did accomplish to increase your momentum towards more productivity.
- Take one day off from work completely in order to re-engergize.
The Unschedule uses behavioral science to train you to become someone who starts projects and gets them done.
By recording your progress, you can see what you’ve accomplished with just a glance and you can identify patterns where you are using your time ineffectively, or simply procrastinating.
Give The Unschedule a try and let us know what you think!