There are varied approaches to planning and organizing your time for writing, thus it is important to choose the most suitable strategy for you.
While some forms of writing may be spontaneous, and perhaps the best kind of creative writing is, it is important to set out the time for actual research work and writing when undertaking freelance work. From the moment I am assigned work, I create a timetable for completion to avoid the challenges of procrastination, which I am quite familiar with. For me, the research part always takes longer than the actual writing, so it is important to allocate ample time for this activity when working on a detailed piece. From what I have worked on, political and legal topics require a lot of research to substantiate data and guarantee a comprehensive analysis.
Given that the actual writing is dependent on the quantity and quality of research, the time allocated for this part will also partly depend on the research. Sometimes it will just flow, and you spend a short time compiling your findings and analysis, but there is also that time when one just gets stuck. I usually just go with my mood, strive as hard as I can to push through within the given time. It is challenging for a writer when the writing just does not flow, so I may not have the best approach in this step, but as long you are within the timetable, there is no need to beat yourself up.
The task of editing and proofreading cannot be overlooked. It can take a few minutes to several hours depending on the nature and length of the work. Just ensure that you do not skip this part, as professional writing needs to be error-free, and well-structured.
I usually identify the hours in a day when I am the most productive, whether daytime or evening, then allocate the bulk of my work to these hours. Personally, I am more productive during the night and early morning, therefore the period between 9 PM and 6 AM is quite ideal for my work. If preferable, you can allocate more daytime hours to your writing, especially if you have an office space outside the home environment. The key is to ensure that you work on a bulk of your projects when your productivity level is high. It is better to complete a 1000-word article in 3 hours of the night than to take a whole day of eight or even ten hours completing the same.
All things considered, each writer adopts a strategy suitable to their own lifestyle and productivity, but setting out time for research, writing and tidying up a project is a basic step for all writers.