by Cris Yeager | DIGITAL MEDIA GHOST | GHOSTWRITING
As a ghostwriter, you’re in charge of creating content that adds value to the lives of your clients. It’s important to be able to meet their expectations when it comes to producing quality work in a timely manner. While there are no hard and fast rules for managing time, there are some techniques you can use to make the most of every minute of the day. Here are some tips to help you schedule your time effectively so you can be sure you’re meeting client expectations while also achieving your personal goals.
Managing a work schedule
The best way to manage your schedule is by looking at it. Every day, block out time for each project and client. It sounds simple, but keeping a calendar or appointment book can be challenging when you’re juggling multiple deadlines—and that’s just another reason why you should practice good time management. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to schedule appointments, interviews and follow-up calls.
You’re probably going to be working on several projects for different clients. Whether you’re managing one or many, it’s important to be aware of what you need to get done each day so that your priorities are in line with their expectations and you can remain productive while fulfilling all your obligations.
Just be sure not to let your calendar dictate your schedule; give yourself plenty of time for socializing and self-care in order to keep up your morale throughout busy weeks! Thankfully, there are a plethora of tools out there that can help keep your schedule straight—and organized. You can also use Google Calendar if you want a web-based tool with a few extra features.
Booking sessions with your clients
Setting up a meeting with your client is typically a collaborative process. Set aside a block of time in your calendar and try to avoid scheduling immediately before or after other meetings or appointments. Try asking if a certain time works best for them, but also state when you can be available. If they say yes—great! If not, ask if they have an alternate day that would work better for them, or offer up another possible time. You may have three (or more) initial conversations with potential clients before setting up a session; let these get you comfortable with their schedules and personalities so that when it’s time to book an actual appointment you’ll feel more prepared and confident in making it happen.
Writing smarter, not faster
If you’re running behind on projects, your first instinct might be to work faster. But faster writing tends to mean worse writing. Instead, try working smarter. Set aside more time for research and self-editing so that you have a head start on your project before sitting down at your computer or picking up a pen. And if you’re starting from scratch, hire someone else to do some of your research for you—especially if it requires a lot of fact-checking and sifting through secondary sources. Hiring help will give you more time in which to focus on composing your work and polishing it into publishable shape.
Setting deadlines for projects
Even if you're a ghostwriter who doesn't have any other responsibilities, you still need to get work done on time. Don't let procrastination get in your way of doing that. Plan out your schedule well in advance and set reasonable deadlines. If you hit a snag, break down whatever project or task is holding you up into smaller pieces and make a new deadline for each one. The easiest way to lose a client is not finishing a project on time. Deadlines are sacred—don’t miss them!
Work and life balance
While it’s not possible to balance work and life perfectly, you can get close. Start by listing your personal priorities in order of importance. For many, family is number one, but hobbies, health and fitness goals, social activities and volunteer work may also be near the top of your list. Next time you have a big project due or are swamped with work, check in with yourself: is your workload interfering with important parts of your life? If so, identify where you need more balance (and how much extra effort it will take). And when things are slow (or when you really want an upgrade), set aside time for fun—but make sure it doesn’t interfere with that next big project!
Writing is not only a creative endeavor; it’s also, more than anything else, a business. You need clients to pay you money so that you can continue writing—and if your goal is full-time freelance ghostwriting, you probably want as many clients as possible. To ensure that they stick around, give them great work quickly and maintain quality control over each project in which they engage with you, follow these time-tested tips. It’s important that you wrap up your ghostwriting work in a professional manner. This will allow for future opportunities and positive relationships.