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  • Writer's pictureJames Cullen

4 Surprising Things I've Learned About Productivity as a Freelance Copywriter

I'll tell you one thing Dolly P didn't sing about in her song of the film of the song 9-5 (What a Way to Make a Living) and that was the shining beacon of benefit that comes with a 9-5: conditioned motivation into being productive.

In the working world we are negatively conditioned (if you don't do this, something will happen) to work hard in order to not lose our jobs and have no money to renew our Netflix subscription. But, as a freelance copywriter, aside from ensuring you have the minimum required per week to survive - each week can differ with how much work you have - the only person pushing you up that hill, Sisyphus, is you. And sometimes you can be your own worst co-worker. Motivating yourself isn't necessarily always easy, but here are some tips I learned along the way to lighten the load.

1. Find your oasis in the desert

As a freelance copywriter in Leeds, there aren't many deserts, isn't much sun, and are no refreshing lotus flowers appearing as a mirage. What I mean by oasis in the desert (not that Oasis) is that amidst all the deadlines, pressures, and must-dos, find a constant of pleasure that can help you through it all. When you're feeling your least productive, lean into that spiral, do something enjoyable, and you'll come out of it feeling motivated and relaxed. Find your good place (mine is actually The Good Place)

2. Have-done, not to-do

I make to-do lists like every other sucker out there. But, where I've bested the rest is that I also keep a note of things I have done. So, instead of keeping aggressively crossed off lists lying around, I keep a diary of productive things I have done that day. You'll be surprised how helpful writing down achievements, however small, is in the face of mounting work and dwindling time.

3. Work to fun deadlines

I'm not talking about working to necessary content creation deadlines here. Because...duh. I'm talking about working towards fun things throughout the day/week/year/life. As a freelance copywriter, it can be easy to plug into the matrix and not move until your fingers become arthritic. As a freelance copywriter, I know the pull of not breaking out of the blog zone for fear of never finding the zen again. As a freelance copywriter... you get it, it's hard to decide when to start and when to stop. But, as the Pomodoro Technique (Italian for tomato) of working in increments of 25 minutes proves, working to deadlines you set throughout the day can be useful. Magnify this and the working day is just 12 segments (I work Swedish time of 6 hours then a meatball supper), the working week 60 segments, and the working year 3,120 segments. That doesn't sound so difficult now, does it?

4. Smash tasks by smashing tasks

Tasks can be taxing, that's why sometimes it can be nice to smash them up. Not like the photocopier scene in Office Space, but as in smash them into fragments that are more edible for your overworked brain. Take a task and break it into compartments of work. Say you have a big campaign to produce content for. Break this into the various platforms of the content, or the various topics of the content. Then, work on each task as though it is a sole task. I'm fairly sure that this is how they do it in hotdog eating contests, taking each hotdog one at a time, forgetting about the any other hotdog they have yet to eat. (SEO target: hotdog)

So, hopefully I have helped motivate you. Or, alternatively if I have added to your procrastination, I apologise. And since you are procrastinating, check out the rest of the posts on my blog or even write your own.

Be even more productive by hiring me to be productive on your behalf. You know I already have the ability to speak at least one word of Italian, and can give you multiples of 25 easily. So you're be a fool not to. Check out what I can offer your business, and use my freelance copywriter know-how to enhance your business productivity!

Need blog content written, social media managed, or an entire campaign devised - look no further than James Cullen the Writer, the finest* freelance copywriter in Leeds (*probably) boasting a wealth of experience in all things digital.

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