A new year means a fresh start—and a prime opportunity to jumpstart (or re-start) your copywriting business. Here’s how to plan your year to make sure it rocks. Read on…
With 2016 fast approaching, it’s time to get ready to start this new year and hit the ground running.
Here are three possible frameworks you can use to plan your year and make sure it’s as successful as it can be.
1. Execute tasks by day of the week.
As a copywriter, there are a lot of things that you have to do regularly—crucial tasks that are never actually “done.” One way to deal with this is to devote a day each week to performing one of those tasks. For example, here’s a sample schedule:
Monday: Prospect for clients
Tuesday: Academy course work
Wednesday: Check in with previous clients
Thursday: Find new potential clients to contact
Friday: Work on portfolio
This way, you can ensure that important things get done every week, and you always know what your big task is. As the year goes on, and you make more progress in some areas, you can always switch out your goal-of-the-day. Finished your portfolio? Great: Make Fridays your “reach out to recruiters” day.
2. One big goal per month
Some people don’t like the rigidity of a fixed goal per day; they’re more “big picture” kind of people. For them, they may prefer to come up with one big goal to complete per month.
You can plan out your big goal per month for every month at the beginning of the year, or plan it out month by month as the year goes one.
A few examples of big goals might be to “launch your online portfolio,” “make 20 industry contacts,” or “land work with an ad agency.”
To help keep you on track, I’d recommend that you take this big goal and break it down into four smaller goals for each week.
For example, if your goal is to launch your portfolio, your goal for week one might be to write the pages of the site. Your week two goal could be to choose a program to build your site and begin the layout. Your week three goal could be to populate your site with samples and describe them, and your week four goal could be to give it the finishing touches and polish it to perfection.
3. Five tiny goals per day.
Sometimes it can be really difficult to get traction, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. In this case, my best advice is to take any task you have and break it down into absurdly tiny tasks. So tiny, in fact, that none of them should take you more than two minutes.
For example, if your goal is to get your online portfolio live, you’re a few of your tiny tasks might be: Purchase a domain name. List the sites that you could use to build yours (Wix, Virb, Squarespace, etc.). Go to Wix and look at templates. Go to Virb and look at templates. Go to Squarespace and look at templates. Pick a site. Narrow down to five templates you like. Narrow that down to three. Narrow that down to one. And so on.
The key is that these tiny goals should be so truly, absurdly tiny that you don’t feel any resistance, fear, or dread about doing them. They should feel as simple as executing a Google search (which might be one of your steps) or flipping on a light switch.
Take all of the big tasks you have, break them down into absurdly tiny tasks, and then schedule five absurdly tiny tasks per day. (I wouldn’t recommend doing this for more than one month out – it’ll drive you crazy to try and schedule longer than that.)
Chances are, these tiny tasks will eventually help you create some momentum, and you’ll end up doing more than just your daily five. If you do, you can always try one of the other ways to schedule tasks. If you don’t, no problem: You’re still making progress.
By the way, this way of scheduling yourself can also work well if you hit an impasse in the middle of the year, too. Don’t let feeling overwhelmed stop you from working. Break your tasks down until they’re too easy to fear and get to it!
Your turn! What are your big goals for 2016? Let us know in the comments below!