Thursday, October 06, 2011

Day by Day

Those who love showtunes (like I do) will immediately think of Godspell when they read the title of today's post.  But I don't have Stephen Schwartz's musical in mind. I'm thinking about how the random flow of work and schedule changes out of our control impact the Gainfully Unemployed.  How our plans for a given day can change at the drop of a hat.

For example, I found out that at around 11:15 that a print job I was supposed to do in Evanston had to be postponed because of problems with the camera.  Some freelancers may relish such cancellations, especially when the weather is as perfect as it is today, and view them as an opportunity to have fun.  Others, like me, usually prefer to be productive instead of playing hooky.  I now have several more hours to work on a VO job that arrived yesterday.  The sooner I finish it, the sooner I can start on the next project. 

Similarly, if we don't have impending deadlines, it's easy for the GU to schedule what seems like a full day...breakfast with one friend, lunch with another.  Add a doctor's appointment followed by that errand we've been meaning to run.  So we're busy, because our calendar is full and we're running from place to place.  But is that the best use of our time?

We don't report to a boss, and often have the freedom to choose whether to work or play.  I believe that relying on this freedom and giving into the temptation to take off (or fritter away hours on the Internet, Facebook, Twitter or other social media) too often can lead to less work coming in and thus to self-sabotage of our success.  Being a freelancer is a privilege, not a right, IMO.  If I don't have a project on my plate today, I can use that time to grow my business, to self-market and put more irons in the fire.

On occasion, however, I think freelancers should take advantage of the fact that our time cards are flexible.  One solution is to devote a portion of any found time from cancellations/rescheduling to additional work, and a portion to spontaneity and relaxation.  I've made progress on my VO project, so I'm going to enjoy part of the day...outside, not at my computer.  And run that errand while I'm out and about.

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