I learned something yesterday about scheduling and my freelance job search.
It seems like most people who give advice to writers suggest trolling the markets at the beginning of every day. I've been doing that since — well, since I started freelancing, and I've always noticed how the job search more often than not eats up most of my day. It's amazing, really, how much time you can spend tweaking your cover letter and finding the appropriate clips for each job ad.
Yesterday I tried something new: Instead of searching for work at the beginning of the day, I searched in the evening. And guess what? It was my most productive day of the entire week. That is to say, it was the only day this week that I reached my minimum goals for the day.
I think working first, and searching for jobs last, works best for me for several reasons:
1) It keeps me from procrastinating.
2) It keeps me from getting that false sense of leisure — you know, that feeling that you have all day when you really don't.
3) It ensures I get the "hardest" work done first. Searching for jobs requires less concentration than "actual" work, and therefore makes more sense to do in the evening, when Michael is home to distract me.
Of course, a significant drawback is that by searching for jobs later in the evening, I may miss out on some opportunities. However, I've never been the early bird type, so all of you peepers who are up at 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning are welcome to the extra worms.