Assuming everything goes according to plan, I’ll be moving between mid-October and the first week of November. That can be a long, drawn-out process. And during that time, I still have a business to run.
My plan is to pack a bit each day between now and then, slowly move smaller things to the new home, and then have a single “moving day” where we rent a truck and move bigger items. I’m hoping this approach will mean I can continue with my usual work schedule.
Have you had to maintain your freelance business during a move? How did you handle it? Did you take care of packing in a gradual way, or did you opt to take time off of work to get it taken care of? If you have tips or stories to share about managing your client load during a move, I’d love to hear them! Share them in the comments below.Read More
Sometimes when tech issues strike I think “why bother?” After all, as soon as I get through one thing (like the recent hacking of a half dozen of my sites), some other tech issue comes up. At the end of last week, three came at me out of nowhere.
- I was putting my laptop to sleep at the end of the week, and the little USB connector for my mouse went flying. I still can’t find it anywhere. I love that mouse. I bought a new backup over the weekend, so it’s not a big deal at least.
- When the mouse issue first happened I went to my old backup. But it wasn’t working properly. And sometime, somehow I must have clicked and dragged an email folder unintentionally. It ended up deleted. And it included all of my work emails from clients, hosting providers, invoice receipts, etc. Yep. All gone. I ran a recovery tool and it came up with a lot. But that’s tens of thousands of messages I now have to sort through and re-file. I still have no idea if everything I lost is in those un-deleted files. Not cool. Fortunately I make my server retain copies of emails. Unfortunately, for about a year I used a shared host which I recently cancelled my account with. So now I have to hope I properly backed up emails there. I’m guessing not. But we’ll see.
- My laptop keyboard has been crapping out on me for a while. My “B” and “N” keys wouldn’t work properly for weeks. Normal cleaning did nothing to fix the situation. So this weekend I decided to pull the keyboard out and do a more thorough cleaning. Now nine keys aren’t working. At all. I think I may have inadvertently tweaked the ribbon wire when I was removing it (my first time for this laptop, although I have plenty of experience playing with computer innards). I ordered a new keyboard for it and it should be here by the end of the week. But in the meantime I’m stuck using an external keyboard (a bit awkward, and it means my laptop is infinitely less portable).
I was telling my boyfriend last night, this just isn’t fair. I’m dating a programmer, which means I should be cool in the little tech gremlins’ book. Maybe they missed that memo.Read More
Sometimes my work makes me feel kind of guilty. For example, I feel guilty that I’m not spending as much time with colleagues on Google+ as I thought I would, because even though it’s better than Twitter for real conversations, by that very nature it’s also more time consuming. And I feel guilty that I’ve had to put a lot of time into admin work this week on All Freelance Writing, so I haven’t written any “normal” blog posts.
I’ve been busy upgrading all of my sites and plugins, testing compatibility after the updates, and adding new features — some big, some small. And I even feel guilty that all of my work getting ready for this mortgage application and bidding process means I can’t simply sink in a bit of extra time at work to make up for the admin withdrawal period lately.
But that’s life. Things happen. You have to remind yourself that if you don’t do the back-end work, there won’t be a working front-end anymore. So when upgrades cause problems, posting has to be set aside until they’re resolved. I keep reminding myself that this is just a part of being in this Web publishing business, and that it’s okay. But I can’t seem to shake that nagging bit of guilt.
Do you ever feel guilty when you aren’t living up to your own standards? Do you feel bad if you aren’t around for your readers or network as much because other things come up? How do you deal with it — just suck it up or try to pull double duty and be everything to everyone to the best of your ability? I might feel bad about it, but definitely not enough to wipe out that work-life balance I hold so dear.Read More
This has not been the most productive work week so far. That’s not to say it’s been a bad week. I’m just a bit behind where I expected to be by now. And I think I know why.
- I haven’t made any coffee this week.
- I haven’t been using my usual to-do lists.
I don’t know why I skipped the list-making this week. But it’s been hampering my productivity big time. Normally I’m driven by that “check it off the list” goal. This week I feel more like I’m lost and meandering along, never quite sure what’s next.
As for the coffee, it’s simply been so hot in the mornings that I don’t feel like being in the kitchen to make it. Yeah. I’m really that lazy when it comes to the heat. That’s why my productivity soars in the Fall when things cool back down. I’m not the type of person who needs coffee every day. I skip it on weekends and other days off without a problem. But on work days, I always get more done when I have a few cups.
It’s funny how the littlest things can have such an impact on our days, isn’t it? For me it’s the obsessive to-do lists and caffeine. What is it for you? Are there any little things that really make or break your work day? If so, leave a comment below and make me feel a little less nuts.
In the meantime, I have a date with my coffee maker….Read More
Today I returned to a normal work schedule after last week’s working vacation and celebrating both an anniversary and the Independence Day holiday. It was a great week overall — lots of rest, lots of fun, and lots of work I wouldn’t normally have time to do.
That said, I didn’t do many of the things I actually planned to do. For example, I wanted to spend two days on my sites, one on my novel, and one on my nonfiction manuscript edits. The books weren’t touched. I’m pretty upset with myself over that. It was partly due to yet another WordPress theme problem that came up, which took half a day to fix. Another day was unexpectedly spent overhauling the design of my business writing site. I found that theme that would modernize things a bit while keeping it simple, so I purchased it. I figured I’d install it to see what needed to be customized. The theme (unlike some others I’ve recently purchased) was a pleasure to work with, and I jumped right into the changes.
I’m glad I took the time for that site overhaul. There’s still work to do with a few image edits, new pages to add, and some content changes. But I’ve been wanting to update the site’s design a bit for around a year. Other than the working vacation, I probably wouldn’t have found (or made) the time. New projects kept getting prioritized, and rightly so in their specific cases.
All of this left me wondering if it’s really worthwhile to plan out our days. I mean to-do lists get me through the normal work week much more productively, and even mapping things out hour by hour works well for me. But these special times when I want to get a specific task or two done never seem to go according to plan. I have no idea why that is, and it’s a bit frustrating.
This past week was also a good reminder that my own projects are supposed to be a bigger part of my business than they currently are. I keep putting off that transition because client work has been consistently flowing. But I think in coming weeks I’ll make another change. Right now I usually do client work first thing in the morning, followed by work on my own sites. I think a better option might be to set aside one day each week solely for these projects — books, e-books, and sites. If I finish client work ahead of schedule, I can always devote more time to them, but my hope is this change will keep my focus where it needs to be for future growth. I love my clients, but the intention was never to freelance forever. My the end of 2012 I’d like that work to account for no more than half of my income. And it took a working vacation with plans going wonky to remind me of that and give me a kick in the tush that might let me make it happen.
What about you? Do things usually go according to plan when you want to work on a special project? Or do other things always seem to come up? If you try to diversify your income between clients and your own projects, what’s the best thing you’ve done to prioritize your own work when you need to? To you let those projects intermingle, or do they have their own separate work schedules? Leave your thoughts and stories in the comments below.Read More