The Monday Morning Freelance Plan

As a freelance writer and editor working from home, getting out of the house is always nice. So I’ve instituted a new ritual: the Monday morning freelance plan. It gets me out of the house and makes the rest of my week far more productive.

The basic idea:

  • Throw laptop, Moleskine planner, pen, lip balm, and obnoxiously sparkly change purse into my backpack
  • Head to a coffee shop, usually one within walking distance
  • Order a cup of coffee (preferably one with at least one refill) or a pot of tea and find a table
  • Check email — all four accounts — and my Exotic Cars page
  • Figure out what freelance work must be done that week and what I would like to get done that week. Then write it in the planner, along with any firm deadlines, meetings, appointments, etc.

This takes about an hour, maybe a little more. Without the distractions at home (dog, laundry), I can see what I need to do and give myself five days to do it. If I do all my freelance planning on Monday morning, I find that don’t usually add much to the list as the week progresses. It’s more about crossing things off than adding new items.

My to-do list this week is short, which means more time to pitch new markets (Oprah, I’ve got my sights on your magazine) and add lots of new content to my About site. And, of course, more time to play fetch in the backyard.