One of the questions we’ve been getting a lot lately is this: How do you maintain focus as a freelance writer?
This can be a tough one, especially if you have ADHD or some other attention issue. Both Miranda and Kat experience ADHD/ADD, so they know how tough it can be to focus sometimes.
Here are their top three tips for staying focused as a freelance writer:
Both Kat and Miranda use Sundays to map out the next two weeks. Take a look at what articles are due, which need interviews/sources, and when you have scheduled interviews.
Because the schedule changes week-to-week, this also provides a chance to make tweaks. Perhaps you build in a re-set day or set your personal due dates ahead of client due dates. Dedicating time to planning in advance and setting a schedule can help you stay on track.
Find a routine that works for you. Miranda likes to batch writing on certain days and blocks out time in the morning to get that writing done. Then, she sets aside time for interviews, answering email, and other items on specific days. Miranda even schedules in social media time so that it’s less tempting to scroll endlessly.
Kat goes to bed at the same time and has a daily schedule that helps her avoid getting distracted. She knows when she’ll be accomplishing specific tasks, and that can help her focus. Using a timer can also help you stick to your routine/schedule.
Miranda and Kat keep notepads handy at all times, jotting notes down. Miranda is pretty basic, just writing something down so that she doesn’t dwell on it. Kat, on the other hand, has a column list. She writes the actual idea or thought in one column, and next to it, in the second column, she notes whether it needs to be handled ASAP, tomorrow, or if there’s no time limit. The idea is to get the idea down so you can move on, rather than be distracted by stray thoughts.
Times are still unsettling, and it can be tough to stay focused with everything going on. Sometimes you just need to take a break and get back to it later. But, ultimately, to succeed as a freelance writer, some sort of system to ensure that your work is turned in on time is important.
Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it.