I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember the last time I didn’t want to get more done during a day than was reasonable.
There always seems to be one more thing I think, “Hey, that would be great to get done today!” It’s like my own personal brand of Shiny Object Syndrome.
The thing is, over time, this kind of over-planning creates the kind of stress that can lead to burn out. Especially if the things on your to-do list involve commitments to other people.
Fortunately, there’s a simple formula to put an end to over-planning…
Step 1: Start Using a Calendar… and Don’t Stop
Putting the work you’ve committed to into a calendar is kind of an obvious step, I’ll admit.
But I figure, given how much trouble I have maintaining a calendar habit, there have got to be others in the same boat.
If that’s you, join me in making a calendar check part of your daily routine.
You can use Google Calendar or a day planner… but choose something that allows you to visualize how much time you have in a day and how full that time already is.
Step 2: Cushion Your Time
For every project you commit to, for every block of time you add to your calendar, add in some cushion.
If you think that blog post you want to write will take you two hours, block out three hours on your calendar.
If you think writing eight pages for a client’s website will take you about three hours a page, plan for four hours a page… and then block out 32 hours on your calendar (oh… so that’s how things fill up so fast).
Also, when you have a webinar to attend or a Zoom meeting to log into, give yourself some prep time and recovery time before and after. So if your Zoom meeting starts at 11:00 and lasts an hour, block out 10:45 to 12:15 on your calendar.
If all this cushion you’re planning in means you’re finishing your days a little earlier, pat yourself on the back. Take some time to relax. This means less stress, and more free time for you.
Step 3: “Pay” Yourself First
The big source of my over-planning is all the things I want to do that are not client related. You know, things like getting in the occasional work out, mastering a new skill, marketing my business, and hanging out with my friends and family.
Schedule this time first. Then look at what’s left over. Can you earn what you want to earn in those remaining hours? You might have to raise your fees to do it, but that option is on the table!
If the answer is yes, that’s great. If the answer is, “What left over hours?” you might have to shift some of your priorities. But at least you’ll know what’s possible!
Over-planning can be a great driver for getting things done. But it can also leave you stressed, exhausted, and disenchanted with your work. Start taking these three steps as you plan each week and give yourself room to love what you do!
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Andrew Murray shares a Pay-Per-Click marketing strategy he tried that delivered a good result. It’s one you can adapt for your own Money-Making Website or to serve your clients. Give it a look right here.
Mark Your Calendar
June 18: Whether you’re trying to land a new client or looking to line up work with your existing clients, knowing how to pitch those projects can make a big different in your confidence… and in your success rate. In this webinar, I’ll dig into the art of making a good pitch. I hope you’ll join us!
June 24: This year, Wealthy Web Writer’s Reality Blogger, Andrew Murray, has set his sights on rapidly growing his email subscriber base… with high-quality names from people interested in his and Peta’s adventures. During this check-in, we’ll talk about the ups and downs of building an email list, what’s worked and what hasn’t, and the lessons learned so far. Join us for a lively conversation that will give you some ideas for building your own list. Details will be posted soon.
July 8: Our next Monthly Member Update will be here before you know it. During this month’s meeting, I’ll discuss ways you can open a conversation with a potential client… each of them low-pressure and low-stress. Plus, we’ll explore top content on Wealthy Web Writer, take a sneak peek at things to come, and get your most important freelance web-writing questions answered live. The details will be available soon.
Around the Web
Over on Copyblogger, Brian Clark has some very insightful things to say about what people really want when they say they want you to be authentic.
Thinking about writing a novel? Here’s advice from 21 different authors.
If you know how to use it, Pinterest can be a great source of traffic. Here, you’ll find some tips to get you started.
Some backlinks are just more useful than others. Content Marketing Institute shares best practices on landing the most high-value external links.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!