Freelance job search and scheduling

By Katharine Swan On Friday, February 22, 2008 At 11:18 PM

I learned something yesterday about scheduling and my freelance job search.

It seems like most people who give advice to writers suggest trolling the markets at the beginning of every day. I've been doing that since — well, since I started freelancing, and I've always noticed how the job search more often than not eats up most of my day. It's amazing, really, how much time you can spend tweaking your cover letter and finding the appropriate clips for each job ad.

Yesterday I tried something new: Instead of searching for work at the beginning of the day, I searched in the evening. And guess what? It was my most productive day of the entire week. That is to say, it was the only day this week that I reached my minimum goals for the day.

I think working first, and searching for jobs last, works best for me for several reasons:

1) It keeps me from procrastinating.

2) It keeps me from getting that false sense of leisure — you know, that feeling that you have all day when you really don't.

3) It ensures I get the "hardest" work done first. Searching for jobs requires less concentration than "actual" work, and therefore makes more sense to do in the evening, when Michael is home to distract me.

Of course, a significant drawback is that by searching for jobs later in the evening, I may miss out on some opportunities. However, I've never been the early bird type, so all of you peepers who are up at 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning are welcome to the extra worms.


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Blogger Kathy@TheFlawlessWord Says:  

It's always interesting to discover just how much of an impact one shift in routine can have, isn't it?

Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

Definitely! :o)

Speaking of routine... Today's went to you-know-where, and I feel physically crappy as a result. I'll blog about it tomorrow.

Anonymous Anonymous Says:  

That's a good idea to troll the job boards at the end of the day rather than the beginning. I'll have to give it a try and see if it increases my productivity, too!


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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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