When I first started working for myself, I was like: I totally got this! Freedom is mine! *cue evil laugh and wringing hands*
I’ll get a million clients, they’ll spend a million dollars each, and I’ll be sitting on a beach sipping a piña colada by this time next week.
So… I was close. It’s only a few years later, BUT in my defense I have made a few trips to the beach in that time… just sayin’.
It turned out that the surprise wasn’t in getting the work. It was in planning the work.
I know you’ve all heard me say it a bazillion times probably, “We all have the same amount of hours in a day.” Yes, that still holds true. Everyone of us gets that magical 24 hours a day to spend however we see fit. The difference is that we each have a different Work Exchange Rate – the amount of time that we can allot different tasks.
I know that it takes me about 3 hours to complete an entire blog post: including the brainstorming, the first draft, the revisions, the graphics, and the social posting schedule. I also know that I like to post twice a week so that’s 6 hours of blog posting… but my work exchange rate isn’t that high. I can’t sit down and write 2 blog posts in a day. Why? because I get super bored, and when I get bored my quality goes down the toilet.
I love my blog! But my work exchange rate only allows about 1-2 hours a day with it and then I have to move on to something else.
So I have developed a method that allows me to do the brainstorming on one day, the writing broken down into 2 days, the revisions another, and then all the graphics later. It all still gets done, but I don’t get burnt out and I’m able to keep my quality up to my standards.
And that goes with all of my tasks. Just because I know something only takes 8 hours to do. Doesn’t mean that I can sit down and do it for a straight 8 hours. That’s just ridiculous and why a regular 9-5 never worked for me.
Knowing these limits in yourself is crucial in the planning process.
You need to learn how to juggle everything that you have coming in. Because it’s not just “one blog” or “one website” or “one widget”. You have multiple things being thrown at you all day everyday. Learning how to manage your time and spread things out so that your always fresh and never get that overwhelm feeling is mega important!
This is why it’s so important to keep track of your time and how you’re spending it. You need to know your limits so that when you’re setting dates for clients, you don’t sacrifice the quality because of a deadline you set.