It’s time to get organised people
We busy copywriters have a lot to do: clients to hassle, copy to cajole; and then all those Facebook posts that we just HAVE TO scroll through.
But there are only so many hours in the day.
And it sure ain’t easy trying to do ALL THE THINGS.
So, we asked our Clever Copy beasts to share their top time management tips that help them get through the day without slapping a kitten.
Here are 22 hot tips that might just save your sanity:
Tip #1: DING DING
Turn off the ‘ding ding’ social media notifications and turn the tomato timer on. It helps you get through deadlines. (Nerissa Bentley)
Tip #2: 3 THINGS
I do three things a day that are related to the big goals I set at the end of last year. And doing similar tasks together helps save time. (Rashida Tayabali)
Tip #3: BYE BYE FB
Close Facebook. Simple. (Eli Osh)
Psst: I recommend using KILL NEWS FEED Chrome browser extension. Kate.
Tip #4: ASANA RULES
I use Asana to rule the world manage work and home life. Its app and desktop functionality means that wherever I am I can create quick tasks so I don’t forget things or miss deadlines. (Heather Woods)
Tip #5: BLOCK IT
I’m a fan of blocking out time in my calendar (which I do in advance for the week ahead). Example: Tomorrow will be three hours of writing and three hours of marketing. (Dean Mackenzie)
Tip #6: FIRST HOUR FREE
Don’t look at your phone or computer for at least the first hour of your day. I find that on the days I do this, I have much greater mental clarity and am much more productive. (Sandra Muller)
Tip #7: FREEZE IT
I spend one day a month freezing meals so I don’t worry about cooking when I’ve got too much going on. It’s one less house task to deal with, and I can focus on work. (Marie-Pier Rochon)
Tip #8: WIP IT REAL GOOD
I use the fabulous Work-In-Progress Tracker — Kate’s best invention and my lifesaver. I can view all my projects in the blink of an eye, and I know which ones have priority. (Claudia Bouma)
Tip #9: SCRUNCH IT
Write your to-do list the night before so you don’t waste time faffing or thinking about what you need to do. These days, thanks to Amanda VanElderen’s fab system, SCRUNCHIT™, my to-do list is a pile of Post-its with an individual task on each one. I put them in order and start with the first, then the second and so on, never deviating from the order.
I take great satisfaction in scrunching up each little square of sticky paper and throwing it away. (Johanna Kohler)
Psst: Amanda is trying to make ScrunchIT a ‘thing’. Don’t encourage her. Kate
Tip #10: MUST DO
I close my email app and schedule times to check it. Then I start off with my must-do list of five items. (Sandy Forbes Taylor)
Tip #11: RACE TO THE FINISH
I have an anti-procrastination day where I do the stuff that’s been on my list for more than a week. I put 15 minutes on the timer, then race to beat it. (Jasmine Andrews)
Tip #12: FLYING HIGH
I switch my phone to airflight mode so I don’t get distracted by notifications.
Then I add an alarm clock that goes off every hour and a half to check things. (Pauline La Cruz)
Tip #13: EARLY WORM
I love starting work at crazy o’clock (5 or 6am) so I can smash out a few hours before emails and phone calls start flooding in. (Alicia Kacar)
Tip #14: COLOUR CODE
I have a spreadsheet for my to-do list with 3-5 items on it each day. I colour code everything in terms of urgency to know where I need to focus my attention. But the number one tactic is to give myself a stern talking to and just get down to work. (Cath Fowler)
Tip #15: SUNDAY BEST
I write out a plan for the week on Sunday. It takes all of 15 minutes, and means I don’t waste half of Monday trying to work out what to do while worrying that I’m not actually doing it. (Emily Rhodes)
Tip #16: WORK NAKED
Don’t waste precious minutes choosing your outfit for the day. Roll out of bed and get straight to work, even if you sleep naked. (Tegan Ang)
Tip #17: SMALL WINS
I make a list of big and small tasks. When I need to take a step back from a big task I try and complete some small tasks. It makes me feel like I’m still accomplishing something. I’m also trying to implement a ‘do it now rather than later’ approach. (Jodie North)
Tip #18: TEN MIN TACKLING
If a task doesn’t take more than ten minutes, I do it then and there rather than marking it to do later. It gets those pesky little jobs off my desk. (Steve May)
Tip #19: LAY IT OUT
I leave a few tools open on my laptop that I’ll need for the following workday. The stuff is ‘laid out’ to save time (e.g. Airmail, And.Co, MS Word/Google Drive). (Diana Gaffney)
Tip #20: TEMPLATES FOR THE WIN
Templates! I was always a big fan of templates, and of course the copy shop ones are next level. Saves so much thinking time for recurring tasks. (Jenny Lindsay)
Tip #21: BE FREE(DCAMP)
I use the Freedcamp app. But my favourite is actually a spin off from project days —writing on my wardrobe door. I have three columns: Must do today, what’s on for tomorrow, and ‘Yays’ (for the stuff that’s done). And I write the tasks on Post-it notes so they’re easy to move. (Beck Co)
Tip #22: COMMUTE
Even though I work in my back garden, I take my commute seriously. I pack a lunch, lots of fluids and all the bits I’m going to need for the day. This stops me heading back into the house to grab something and getting distracted. (Kate Toon)
Bonus tip: Bladder of steel
Weeing is for losers. Work on that pelvic floor people (do blokes have a pelvic floor?), and see how long you can work without popping to the loo. Or invest in an executive copywriting bucket. *
* Please do not follow this advice, it’s not medically safe.
Over to you
What’s your top time saving tip? Share it in the comments below: