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How to Do More in Less Time – Part 1

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Hey Freelancer!

Our little Notes from Minnesota Podcast appears to be going swimmingly. If you like listening to short (generally under 15 minutes), hard core freelance information, be sure to check us out. You can find everything you need to know at

Next, I’m spit polishing the Writing Etc. Minis. I want to make them uber-useful… as always. As I’ve researched, I’ve found scads of zines popping up. That’s great. That said, I feel just a bit of satisfaction knowing we’ve been around for so long. Kinda cool, really.

Second, tomorrow is my third cancerversary. In honor of the occasion, I’m relaunching my fiction career. I explain everything here:

Third, I’ve missed you! I discovered I tend to retreat from anything public when I’m feeling down, challenged, sick due to all this cancer stuff. It’s sometimes overwhelming. But I can mention that life on the other side is pretty sweet… and I glimpse “normal” life more and more these days.

Tomorrow I go in and get my new tumor numbers. Crossing my fingers. Either way, I ready for a productive ’16.

Hope you’ll join me,

Beth 🙂


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1932794034How to Do More in Less Time – Part 1
Robert W. Bly

Excerpt from Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success

The ability to work faster and get more done in less time isn’t slavery; it’s freedom. You’re going to have the same big pile of stuff to do every day whether you want it or not. If you can be more efficient, you can get it done and still have some time left over for yourself – whether it’s to read the paper, hike, jog, play the piano, or something else.

Here are first two of ten ideas that can increase your personal productivity so you can get more done in less time:

1. Master your computer. Everyone who wants to be more productive should use a modern personal computer with the latest software. Doing so can double, triple, or even quadruple your output.

Install on your computer the same software that your colleagues, other departments within your organization, vendors, and business partners use. The broader the range of your software, the more easily you can open and read files from other sources.

Constantly upgrade your desk-top to eliminate too-slow computer processes that waste your time, such as slow downloading of files or Web pages. If you use the Internet a lot, get the fastest access you can. DSL is getting cheaper by the month and is well worth the money at its current price levels.

2. Don’t be a perfectionist. “I’m a non-perfectionist,” said Isaac Asimov, author of 475 books. “I don’t look back in regret or worry at what I have written.”

Alfred De Musset wrote, “Perfection does not exist. To understand this is the triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness.”

Be a careful worker. But, don’t agonize over your work beyond the point where the extra effort no longer produces a proportionately worthwhile improvement in your final product.

Be excellent, but not perfect. Customers do not have the time or budget for perfection; for most projects, getting 95 to 98 percent of the way to perfection is good enough. That doesn’t mean you deliberately make errors or give less than your best. It means you stop polishing and fiddling with the job when it looks good to you – and you don’t agonize over the fact that you’re not spending another hundred hours on it. Create it, check it, then let it go.

Quality improves with effort according to an exponential curve. That means early effort yields the biggest results; subsequent efforts yield smaller and smaller improvements, until eventually the miniscule return is not worth the effort. Productive people stop at the point where the investment in further effort on a task is no longer jus­tified by the tiny incremental im­provement it would produce.

Aim for 100 percent perfection, and you are unlikely to be pro­ductive or profitable. Consistently hit within the 90-98 percent range, and you will maximize customer satisfaction, as well as return on your time investment.

NOTE: Bob’s got dozens more immediately useful techniques for successful self promotion in his book, “Bob Bly’s Guide to Freelance Writing Success: How to Make $100,000 a Year as a Freelance Writer and Have the Time of Your Life Doing It.” It’s available as an economical ebook right here.


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This article is courtesy of Filbert Publishing. Make your writing sparkle, write killer queries, get published. Subscribe to Writing Etc., the free e-mag for freelancers and receive the e-book “Power Queries.”



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