December 16th, 2008
Let’s play a little game of open thread. Rather than talk about how we all want to land a pile of dream clients, sell more articles/photos/illustrations/tea cozies, and make buckets of cash in 2009, I thought we could discuss something that’s been near and dear to my heart lately: how to streamline the mountains of admin work that can plague self-employed professionals (as well as those working for the man or simply looking for that one decent gig that will get them back into the workforce after being laid off).
If you read my new book, you already know that I’m a spreadsheet junkie. A couple other things I’ve done recently to cut down on the thicket of admin work on my plate so I have more time to focus on writing:
- Hired a virtual assistant to help with some of my book promo activities. This has been a godsend. Thank you, Jackie for saving my hide time and time again.
- Hired a WordPress designer to make technical updates to my blog instead of trying to figure out the blasted code myself. (Duh. I should have done this ages ago.) Thank you, Liz of CMD+SHIFT DESIGN.
- Added a somewhat strident FAQ to this site’s Contact page to cut down on the many, many requests I receive for free product plugs on this site and free career counseling. (It’s working so far — and may have even landed me a couple new consulting gigs.)
A few more things I plan to do in the new year to further streamline my admin work:
- Hire a blog/social media intern. Stay tuned to this blog for the job listing. Or if you can’t wait, email me. (Note that this will be an unpaid position. For this reason, it may be best suited for a student.)
- Have the fabulous Liz continue to improve this site — something I’ve been threatening to do for months now.
- Finally automate my expense tracking (beyond the Excel spreadsheet I’ve been using) with a program like QuickBooks. (I know, I know. I’m old school.)
- Set up more rules in my inbox so that every last press release, newsletter, and media list (that is, those I actually want to receive) goes to a special “to read later” folder far, far away from my inbox.
- Finally read Gina Trapani’s Upgrade Your Life.
How about you? What tangible steps do you plan to take in the new year to optimize your worklife?