One of the toughest things for me as a freelancer is the amount of time I spend managing client feedback. Often there is more than one person that I am speaking to, they have meetings with each other, separately with me, and we often spend a lot of time re-hashing the same feedback and discussions multiple times. If I was the boss of the world, things would be more streamlined, but as it turns out, I'm not, and client feedback and project management can be time consuming and messy.
Back when I worked full time I used to be pretty organised when it came to calendar planning and my schedule, but now that I'm freelancing, I have to be on top of it all the time. Keeping track of various clients, appointments and deadlines as well as a social life (hopefully!) can become extremely complicated. Even nail painting time (procrastination) is booked in (jokes!)
There are lots of productivity assistants out there and I've tried many of them. The one thing I can rely on myself to check regularly and keep up to date with is my google calendar. It's not perfect, but I have a few tips that make it work just that little bit better for what I need.
One of the items on my "to-do list" for 2014 was to speak conversational Japanese by the time I go back to Japan in November. I have 5 months to go, so I am feeling a weird mixture of terror and confidence. It's such a difficult language to learn, mainly because the majority of words have no point of reference to my English speaking mind. In my mission to learn this huge amount of information, I've been researching all manner of memorisation and learning techniques and have a few tips for you. Even though at times over the past few months I've felt like Johnny Mnemonic, I think things are coming along.
Since I started working from home, I'm more accountable for my own time. There isn't someone standing over my shoulder checking how many hours I work (good), but there also isn't someone there to leave the office and remind me that my day is done (bad). There is also the distraction of just about anything... oh, look, is that a dirty sock? I might do some washing... or, hm... a coffee would be nice right now. So. Easily. Distracted. It's one extreme or the other with me!
I needed to figure out a system fairly quickly, but I don't think I've perfected it just yet. I'd love to know how my fellow designers, working from home folk, or organisational freaks in general get sh*t done.
What gets in the way of your super organised day?
Last week, Sarah released a new e-book called "How to Double Your Blog Traffic in 90 Days (or less!)". I know its been selling really well - Sarah always offers great advice, and with a title like that, how can it not?! One of the first things mentioned in the book is tracking your statistics, so I did what any self-respecting organisational freak would do and created a spreadsheet. Math is not my strong point, and neither are spreadsheets, so I'm quite proud that this one does what I want!