Typing on a blank Macbook screen on a table

You’ve Got Time for This: Guilt-Free Copy Editing Productivity Techniques for Solopreneurs

Guess how much time the average solopreneur spends overthinking everything?

I’d let you overthink about this. Just kidding, your mind is probably in overthinking mode about anything and everything already, and your copy sweeps shouldn’t be adding to the mess.

Sweeping through your copy changes how it is perceived because, if you didn’t guess it earlier, it’s all about the reader.

Imagine entering a photo competition without post-processing your photography or submitting client work without editing in the awesome, as Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers calls it.

But that work is mainly for the tonality and voice.

How long do you think most of the first editing is supposed to take? Are you scratching your head about making it awesome in the first attempt or mind-blowingly good in the first edit?

Or worse? Perfect it, no matter how much time it takes.

Context Switching: The Final Boss to Your Copy-Mission

Imagine how long this blog would take without research, switching from tab to tab, only to keep editing it in real time. If you have a team where the roles are separated –

  • Researcher
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Publishing team

If only there were something called a content calendar you could follow, outline processes, and make your job as easy as ChatGPT writing robotic cringe.

Look, I get it. Hard work always pays off in the end, and you ideally don’t need another process to add to your workflow that doesn’t help you save time.

After all, this isn’t a “save 10 hours a week with THIS amazing copywriting technique” blog.

It takes approximately 23 minutes and 15 seconds to come back to the task you’re most supposed to come back to.

Here, I’m sharing time-saving techniques that you can use ONE out of and eliminate the rest. Because not everyone is built the same, you may be “built different,” but you’re still human with a single mind (hopefully).

Where’s ChatGPT? I bought it, so I MUST use it.

If you’re still trying to write copy with AI, I need you to step out of 2023 for a bit and come to the present day, when AI can’t write anything decent and is just NOT worth any effort whatsoever, even trying to write a first draft.

This is what research notes, or a first draft, looked like from AI for this blog:

See how that doesn’t help but adds irrelevant information one line after another, one cringe-crank-turning robotic word at a time?

You’ll get time to satisfy your need to avoid the sunken cost fallacy later with ChatGPT.

Your social media copywriting gurus probably didn’t consider that you have limited brain bandwidth, work only 24 hours a day, and don’t have a huge team.

A Challenge You Need to Accept: Turn off the Perfectionist for 24 hours. 

Is your inner perfectionist dying to get out, screeching on the blackboard that’s your mind when writing any form of copy? Trust me, silencing that demon is no easy task; you can take it from me.

The master of perfectionism, getting things done and not done at the same time (somebody help).

But just like the sunken cost fallacy, your monkey brain won’t do it unless it’s instilled with loss or fear.

Here’s a brilliant idea – How about we do that here?

What You Stand To Lose In Perfectionist Mode

  1. Content Systems: Do you have a content system in place? If you’re following a content calendar or any content plan, there’s a high chance you do. Say goodbye to any system if your tasks leak over the next day.
  2. Guilt-free me-time: Value your me time more than anything else. Nature walks, playing games, binging OTT platforms, goodbye mental peace, family time.
  3. Health and Productivity: When was the last time you woke up to see a ton of tasks on your to-do lists? Take a breath of fresh air and tell yourself, ‘Ah! What a perfect morning’. Time blocking on your Google Calendar or iCal, there is much to do to “hustle” in the true sense of the manner, and you’re worrying about pent-up tasks.

What Does a Guilt-Free Solopreneur Even Look Like?

You can’t follow what you can’t see, and you can’t know what you can’t feel or plot on your mental map.

Imagine going to the gym without knowing what kind of workout day it is.

Imagine knowing what kind of meal plan you’re following throughout the week.

As an entrepreneur or solopreneur, you know exactly what it felt like before you overcame those issues.

Copy-editing is much the same way.

While this blog will primarily focus on time techniques, management, and tips you can follow, feel free to check out this one, where I discuss copy-editing techniques.

So here’s what a guilt-free solopreneur lifestyle looks like:

1. Creating your online presence without disgust: One of the best ways to create online content can be batching, but not the traditional way. The fact of this decade is – you need an online presence if you want to be taken seriously and be “liked” without the dopamine chase of building an audience for “likes.” 

2. Working on side projects and client work without the drain: Chances are that if you’re reading this blog end to end, you’re looking for more. More time to focus on your copy than feel guilty about the never-ending tasks you’re supposed to do yourself. Message finding, research, testing, validation, ideation, writing, wireframing, and much more. Your client work shouldn’t be crossing more than 20 hours a week, and your side projects shouldn’t be bleeding into your personal life.

3. Enjoying guilt-free me time: I get that not everyone wants to be the same type of copywriter or blend into white noise on social media. That’s why you need time for creativity and doing nothing. 

Shocker: Your brain needs rest and relaxation (social media scrolling doesn’t count as relaxation – quite the opposite).

4. Time for health and wealth tuning: Unless you come from a magical land where wealth and health building and tuning need no work, you need time management skills. Time management doesn’t just include time blocking, to-do lists, and minimalist apps.

Everything just seems to work better in a flow, right? 

Your systems are in place, your workstation is clean and organized, and your to-do lists and apps are all set, but something is still missing. 

You can’t bring yourself to focus on one task at a time.

It’s not you; it’s the lifestyle.

Here are tactics and techniques that help you go from guilt-ridden and home-office chair-ridden to efficiency-embodied and distraction-repelled.

1. Second Brain Organization: What’s better than one brain? Two! You can’t dissect or multiply your own, but you can get a second one digitally. Use digital tools and apps to externalize your thoughts, ideas, and tasks.

This “second brain” acts as an external memory bank, relieving mental clutter and allowing you to focus more on the task without fearing forgetting something important.

Tools like Notion (with second brain templates), Evernote, or Trello can help you organize your projects, ideas, and schedules in a way that’s visually appealing and easy to manage.

2. Selective Focus Sessions: Call them time blocking, theme days, the Pomodoro technique, or any other fancy name you can think of. Selective focus can help you set aside time, focus on one type of task, and avoid context switching.

The more you switch, the more you’ll fall into guilt. Because of this mental parkour, you’ll never be able to find time for tasks that require long-term planning, like your content calendar, social media outreach, or marketing in general.

Distractions aren’t just your smartphone, console, or other entertainment systems but other work in general, too!

3. Procrastinate (but strategically): This isn’t the guilt-inducing entertainment-focusing procrastination you take pride in. When you hit a wall with your current project—say, crafting the perfect headline or email campaign—shift your focus to related but less mentally taxing tasks.

This could involve organizing your research, browsing industry-related articles for inspiration, or analyzing competitors’ copy for insights.

These activities keep you within your work sphere, enriching your understanding and approach without the pressure of directly tackling the task you’re avoiding. This method turns potential wasted time into an opportunity to enhance your skills and knowledge strategically.

4. Early morning mind mapping: Setting the intent for the day by going on your daily exercise regime. These are all tasks that you get used to, more or less. Mind mapping your daily tasks can help you bring out the best ideas early in the morning.

If you want to deliver your project or assignment to your clients, you can’t be narrow or finish it the day before. The pressure often works but at the risk of long-term cortisol addiction. Mind map precisely how you will tackle each element of your project.

But don’t just stop at the obvious tasks; dig deeper. For instance, if you’re grappling with the Herculean task of editing a series of blog posts, don’t just jot down “edit five blog posts.” That’s like saying you’ll climb Everest because it’s there—admirable but overly ambitious without a plan.

Start by plotting the major objections you faced/clarity and confusion points from your copy from the last day. You’ll find clarity in your copy from your usual editing workflow, and that morning’s mind free of clutter will give unique insights to use later or early in the day.

5. Peer Accountability Partners: Sometimes, holding yourself accountable can be challenging. That’s where having a peer accountability partner comes in handy.

Pair up with someone who works from home or has similar productivity goals. Share your daily or weekly targets with them, and check in regularly to update each other on your progress.

Knowing someone else is monitoring your progress can be a powerful motivator. Don’t know where to find peers who would give time and effort to review your copy and editing remarks positively? Facebook and copywriting communities have helped a lot with this. Inculcate a mindset of giving before receiving, though.

Ideally, your context-switching, dopamine-fueled distractions can keep you away from editing either entirely or at the last minute when you’re supposed to deliver.

Your cortisol-addicted mind doesn’t have to be this way; try ONE of these techniques and see what works.

Document, improve, repeat.

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