Week four of Breaking Even Communications has revealed to me that I need a good manager, and that person has to be me.
And in the universe of perfect timing, my shoulder has been killing me by mid-morning most everyday for the past almost two weeks. I have determined that this is because of my desk chair, which is really a chair from my kitchen table.
I was bound to have a mediocre week at some point. So, I confess, working for myself isn't all rainbows and unicorns, and this so-so week, I have learned the following:
I need to do a little bit of my Big Project, everyday.
Historically when faced with a really big task, I am diligent at first, then overwhelmed with the enormity of it all, then eventually focused enough to buckle down and just do what I have to do.
Only unlike, say, a ten page structural geology report in college, I can't crank out a year-long internet marketing plan for a non-profit organization on two pots of coffee and two days of optimistic hard work.
No one is covering for me if this doesn't get done by deadline and I have no colleagues to share this with. It's all me, the good and the bad.
I sat down Monday and did something that is going to sound kind of stupid. I put amounts of time for common tasks I do, sort of like a schedule to follow every work day and posted it near my desk. Here are a few examples from my schedule:
1 hour- Correspondence: email clients, potential clients, collaborators
1 hour- Big Internet Marketing Plan (I'll tell you all about it once I figure out my contract with them)
1 hour- Migrate content over to new website (yay data entry!).
So as you see, there is some wiggle room but not enough for me to get away from my big overwhelming project. Every day for an hour, it has to happen. And I have a desk timer to prove it.
Added bonus to my new more rigid schedule: By limiting the time I work on things, I can actually step away from my computer a reasonable amount of time everyday.
I need a new office chair, stat!
I know, office supplies shouldn't be so all encompassing but holy cow, do I need a new desk chair, if only to not spiral into the misery of chronic pain. I've been trying to buy this locally but my internet research, Craigslist trolling, and Twitter inquiry have yeilded the reality that this may be impossible.
This week, I am borrowing my friend/neighbor's ergonomically correct chair while she is gone and this weekend, I'm going to buy my own chair when I go down to southern Maine to a friendly reunion. In borrowing this chair the last couple days, my pain and productivity have greatly improved. Yup, this purchase should be a good return on investment, I can tell.
Time to slowly start moving subscribers and others away from Typepad… and darn, is this going to take awhile!
Mike, one of my web guys, got my feed working on my new site this week so I've been slowly asking blogs/websites that link to me, email subscribers, Facebook friends, and others to start moving it away from Typepad to the new site. (If you see pink, you are on the new site.)
Until I get the party started on the sidebar, you can subscribe to the RSS feed or via email to the new site by clicking here. And if you do link to the blog, if you could change your link to www.breakingeveninc.com/blog, I'd be ever grateful.
I know in this transition I'll probably lose some subscribers but hopefully not too many if I let everyone know ahead!
In each and every life, a little pain must shoot up the arm but as long as we learn something from it, we can be on to bigger things, like week 5 of self employment!