When you work a normal job, you have a start time and a finish time and at the end of the day you go home and leave your work behind.
A normal work day for most people also has a list of set tasks to complete so they know when their work is done.
Being a self-employed writer is completely different from having a "normal" job and sometimes it can feel like you're swimming in a pool of infinity, of endless time and endless tasks.
At the end of every day I feel like there's always one more article I could write or one more ebook idea to outline or a new page to add to one of my websites.
Every day I feel like my work is never done.
And even when I'm doing other things (like having a life) I have niggling thoughts about all the writing I could/should be doing. And then when I'm writing, I'm always thinking about the mountain of other things (washing, ironing, mowing, shopping, etc) that are waiting to be done.
Do you have this same problem?
There is nothing that can be done about feeling like you've never finished work for the day.
All you can do is learn to be okay with never being finished. Accept that you'll never be finished because there is no end to the work you could/should be doing.
As a writer there is no start and finish time to a working day. I find that even if I give myself set times to start and finish my work, it never pans out that way. An email will arrive with a link to a website and I'll click the link and read an article and that will inspire me with a great idea which I'll write down in my ideas book and that too will spark another idea so I'll write that down as well.
Then suddenly I realize that I've lost an hour out of my day so I get back to writing again and then I realize it's dark and I need to turn the light on and then I notice I'm hungry and I remember that I haven't had lunch and it's hours past the time I said I'd stop working and the dog wants to go for a walk but I have to put dinner on for the family first before I can take him and then I realize that dinner is going to be very late today because I haven't done the ironing either....
...and on it goes.
Many of my days go that way. I think it's because I love to write and so once I start I can't stop. I keep thinking that if I just finish the chapter I'm working on I'll stop. But then I start thinking about the next chapter and I have loads of great ideas buzzing in my head so I think I'll just finish the next chapter too...and on it goes again.
But most days I try to just finish the writing tasks I've set myself for the day and be satisfied with how much I've done. Usually though, I over-estimate how much I can do and so I try and keep working as long as I can to get it all done.
I find, however that it's best to stick to as much as I can do in the time I have alloted for working.
If you have the same problem, remember the most important thing: don't underestimate time. Allow yourself twice as much time to do something as you think it's going to take. That way, if you get it finished sooner you'll have more free time, and if it takes twice as long as you thought it would, at least you've allowed yourself enough time to finish it.
I use a diary to help keep me on track every day. I allow twice the time I think things will take and when I've finished the day's writing tasks, I try and be satisfied that I've done for the day.
Writing always seems to be a never ending job, but I wouldn't want to do anything else.
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