Monday, February 25, 2013

Do you keep track of your time as a freelancer? by Odilia Rivera-Santos

Odilia Rivera-Santos

Keeping a schedule is very free-ing unless you become too rigid
prayer, meditation, exercise, cooking, meeting with personal training and nerdwork clients, socializing with friends, and working on creative projects requires planning.

How does your day begin?

Self-Care Actions -- I learned about the importance of self-care while working with victims of domestic violence. When you have a lot to do, it becomes very easy to jump out of bed and get to work, and when your work is professionalized care-taking, this impulse to forget one's own needs is intensified.
For me, writing things down has always been more powerful than entering data into a smartphone or spreadsheet.
6am to 9 am
Healthy breakfast
Completing Projects List-- It is challenging to complete projects sometimes if you're dealing with difficult people or if the client is changing pay rate. But it is important to let go of the resentments and finish what you started unless there is physical, emotional or financial risk involved.
9am to  930am
Complete Projects List with details about each project -- persons to call, data to verify, etc and add date of completion next to each one. 
10 - 11
Write notes about interactions with present clients, do research on their behalf, etc. 
11 - 4
Work with clients
5 - 7
Play time. Grocery store, cook dinner, eat, relax.

7 - 8 
Marketing to new potential clients
This is the mysterious place where you offer your nerdwork for a fee and wait for an affirmative response.
Place ads
Update ads 
Respond to emails

8 -10
Networking / socializing with humans event

My time is very valuable
I will never apologize for getting angry at people who waste my time.
When you are a freelancer, there will be people who see you at your computer at a coffee shop and they assume you're online playing Farmville or whatever game is popular on Facebook.
To the outsider, the freelancer's days appear to be a vast unstructured block of time with plenty of room for conversations about nothing.
I love discussing ideas or projects, but my attention span is very short for dissecting other people's behavior -- speculation is a waste of time and a freelancer determined to make his or her freelancing life work will keep a time record.

Speculation is a waste of time and wasting time is a waste of time
In most instances, if someone else's behavior baffles you, you can just ask the person a question and accept the answer. The hours of conversation about what the person 'really' meant or 'really' felt are pointless. If other people's behavior is highly upsetting to you, go to therapy.

Responding to a question with an answer that doesn't remotely relate to the question asked is a waste of time
I have always kept track of my time because I have always worked a lot -- I was teaching full-time and in grad school and training for half marathons for a long time. But now, as a freelancer, I have become more clear on how valuable my time is to me. Responding to an email regarding an ad I place takes time and it is very annoying to find out I am responding to a spammer attempting to drum up business in a clumsy way.
If I ask 'Are you interested in Personal Training sessions?,"
the correct answer is either 'Yes, I am' or 'No, I'm not'
To respond to this question with an offer to make me a partner in a pyramid scheme is illogical, but this is what happens when you post an ad these days.

Time is very valuable and sometimes, freelancers have a lot of 'free' time -- or unpaid time, which, in essence, is not purely leisure time. There is a time for reflection in every business and time to strategize regarding how best to handle the next phase of growth.

At present, I am doing professional bilingual nerd work and personal training female clients.
I enjoy my work and get to meet very interesting vibrant people in New York City.

A real conversation 
I really appreciate any opportunity to practice the art of conversation. However, I reserve the right to leave a conversation when the points being discussed cannot be resolved with those present or if it is a boring conversation.
Celebrity gossip, celebrity sex lives and speculation about other people's behavior is not worth my time.

Love When You Say Love, Poetry by Odilia RIvera-Santos

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