6 effective time management tips for freelance copywriters

May 19, 2023 •
time management tips for freelance copywriters

As someone who has been a freelance copywriter for quite a while now, I often hear people say, “You’re so lucky to have the freedom to choose your own hours and work on your terms.” And you know what? I truly appreciate the flexibility that comes with this gig. Being able to work from anywhere, anytime, is definitely a blessing. However, let’s not overlook the fact that freelancing also has its fair share of challenges.

As a freelance copywriter, it’s easy for the boundaries between personal life and work life to blur. I used to find myself burning the midnight oil to meet deadlines because I wasn’t managing my time effectively. But over time, I’ve learned valuable lessons on how to master the art of time management and strike a healthy work-life balance. Today, I want to share six tried and tested time management tips I’ve discovered along my freelancing journey. So, fellow freelance writers, here they are:

Get out of your pyjamas!

“Isn’t the whole point of becoming a freelancer so you CAN work in your pyjamas?” this might be true, but trust me, you will be way more productive if you ditch the PJs. The simple act of getting ready in the morning can make a massive difference to your productivity levels. So brush your hair, put on some clothes and save the pyjamas for bedtime.

Avoid distractions

I don’t have a dedicated office where I can shut myself in from the outside world. My workspace is a mix of the dining room, kitchen, and lounge area – not exactly ideal, but you work with what you’ve got, right?

If you’re like me and you’re surrounded by the comforts of home, minimising distractions can be a challenge. However, doing this is absolutely crucial to enhance focus and productivity. Avoid non-essential tasks or activities such as folding the washing or vacuuming. The best way to do this is to set dedicated work hours and plan your breaks (more on that below).

Prioritise tasks and create a schedule

Make it a habit to kickstart each day or week by pinpointing the crucial tasks that demand your attention. Prioritise your daily/weekly assignments based on deadlines, specific client requirements, and the required level of effort. Once you’ve prioritised everything, establish a structured schedule. Determine your most productive working hours and allocate specific time blocks for each task. I even recommend scheduling breaks.

I’ve established a routine of mapping out my schedule on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday morning. I rely on a physical planner – I’m old school that way. However, the internet offers a plethora of online planners like Notion or Evernote or even Google Keep, catering to different preferences.

By having a well-structured schedule, I effortlessly maintain an organised flow throughout my day. This approach also helps me remain laser-focused and creates clarity.

Use productivity tools or techniques

I love the Pomodoro Technique; it helps maximise efficiency, especially when I know I’ll be at my desk all day. The technique involves breaking your work into focused intervals, called “Pomodoros,” followed by short breaks. Breaking your work into manageable intervals helps combat procrastination and makes tasks feel more achievable. It’s particularly ideal for those who don’t like scheduling every detail of their day.

The Pomodoro Technique is one of many tools to enhance productivity and focus. So try a few and find one that suits your work style and preferences.

Set boundaries

Establishing well-defined working hours and effectively communicating them to your clients is vital. Resisting the temptation of working beyond those designated hours, unless absolutely necessary, is key.

It’s also important to set boundaries with your family. My Fiancé knows that when I’m at my desk, I’m at work. I’ll have the occasional conversation with him and a quick cuddle here and there because I’m not a robot. But for the most part, he leaves me be. Setting boundaries helps prevent burnout, ensures quality downtime, and fosters a healthier work-life balance.

Take regular breaks away from your desk

I’ll admit, I’m guilty of it – I sometimes find myself glued to my desk, barely taking a break even to use the bathroom. However, neglecting to step away from your desk is far from beneficial and doesn’t actually enhance productivity. I’ve found that even 10 minutes away, whether sitting outside or following a 10-minute yoga session on YouTube, can work wonders for my productivity and concentration once I return to my desk. And that’s 10 minutes every hour, not 10 minutes for the whole day!


Effective time management is a personal process, and what works for one freelancer may not work for another. It’s worth exploring different strategies, meticulously assessing their impact on your productivity and well-being, and adjusting accordingly.

By prioritising your time, setting boundaries, and nurturing a harmonious work-life balance, you can thrive as a freelance copywriter while maintaining a healthy personal life.

Feel free to comment...
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Paul McDonald wrote on May 25th, 2023

Great advice, and think it applies to any profession.

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Justin Zeng wrote on May 25th, 2023

Thanks for sharing these valuable insights! Time management can be a challenge for freelance copywriters, but with these tips, I’m confident I can stay organized and make the most of my working hours.

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Glenn Murray wrote on May 26th, 2023

Thanks for your comment, Justin. I agree; time management can be a real killer. Especially if you're attracted to all the bright things!

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Copywriting Confidential: What it's really like to be a freelance copywriter - Silver Pistol wrote on June 8th, 2023

[…] too little time on some projects and go overboard on others. I got a lot better when I developed a set of rules and routines that kept me on track, but it did take a while to […]

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