A Day in the Life: Time Management for Content Creators

#4: NOW Eat the Frog Once you have your quick win, you can start to build steam. Otherwise you’ll start it at 3 p.m., when you’re feeling drowsy and undermotivated anyway… and then you’re doomed. #5: Take a For-Real Lunch Break Rule 1: Eat lunch. If you take this time to eat your meal, let your mind wander, and resist the urge to check your phone, you will have a more productive afternoon. #6: Do Some Afternoon Housekeeping After lunch, take another 15-20 minutes to catch up on email, put out fires, and sample your social media feeds. I find that time right after lunch is perfect for creative writing, ideation, brainstorming, and concepting. 3-5pm is the best time to do these. One of these end-of-day tasks should be setting up your work for tomorrow. Just listen to what your body and brain are telling you—do creative work when your energy level is its highest, focus on one task at a time, and take the breaks you need to stay refreshed. How do you manage your time to stay productive through your work day?

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Don’t you hate the days where you’re busy all day with nothing to show for it? Maybe you started three projects and hit roadblocks on all of them. Maybe you kept getting interrupted every time you got up to speed.

However it happens, it’s a lousy feeling. There’s panic as the clock seems to pick up speed. How is it 3:00 already? And now it’s 4:30! ARRRGH! And then comes the emptiness, the realization that everything is getting pushed out to tomorrow.

It’s no fun. But it happens. Especially to content creators/copywriters/writers of any stripe. We have to balance the really interesting projects, the research-intensive maybe less-interesting projects, the “delightfully challenging,” the not-at-all-delightfully challenging, and the tiny housekeeping tasks that build up and eventually bury us.

So how do you keep from staring at the clock in numb shock at the end of a day? Especially if, say, you’re a creative type who is not a model of discipline and self-control?

The answer will be a little bit different for everyone. We’re all beautiful unique snowflakes, after all. But to get you started, here’s how I try to organize my day.

#1: Eat Breakfast

If you’re used to running on nothing but caffeine and pending deadlines, grab some food before you leave the house. You need real energy, not just nervous energy, and that comes from calories. Have some yogurt, or a protein bar, or three eggs and half a pound of bacon. The point is to have something solid. No, smoothies don’t count; your body processes liquid calories differently, and your stomach will be distractingly grumbling before you’re halfway to lunch.

#2: Clean House

When you get to work, spend 15 or so minutes on the housekeeping chores that would otherwise distract. Answer high-priority emails, check your news feeds, do a quick social media crawl. Whatever it takes to feel grounded, connected to the world around you, and ready to face the day.

Then turn off notifications for email, Facebook, Twitter, everything. On your phone and on your computer. Turn them off until lunch. Trust me.

#3: Rack Up an Easy Win

For years, I struggled to follow the “eat your frog” philosophy. You know, the idea that you should start the day with your hardest, most unpleasant task, and then the rest of the day is a breeze. If that works for you, bon appetit. For me,…