Files (Photo credit: Velo Steve)
With a new year for the freelance career comes the need to purge files, both on the computer and in the file drawers. Yes, this is a time consuming task. And yes, this does have to be done. Why? Because doing sow will help to keep our business organized. We will be able to find what we need quickly, and we will free up space for the files we will create this year.
I will be working on this task over the next week or two.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Discard anything that is not necessary. Use a paper shredder if there is anything personal/financial on a sheet of paper.
Keep anything having to do with your finances. If you still have stuff from the last tax period, bundle it in a large envelope and put it in a safe place. I keep tax records for seven years, others keep them longer. Talk to an accountant to see how long she suggests.
Combine files if you can, but do not over crowd a folder.
Cull client files. Combine only basic information on previous clients in one folder so as to save space. This information may become useful again. Have separate folders for existing clients.
Sit back and decide how you will organize your files. You may decide on a variety of ways. For instance, by client, by project, etc., etc.
What file system do you currently use? Does it need to be revamped?
Shannon L. Buck
Posted in Organization
Tagged business, career, Computer file, File Management, files, freelance, organize, organizing, paper, Paper shredder, purging files. file system, write
My last post centered on vacation time necessary to keep our minds clear and focused. Freelancers should also schedule a personal day once every month or two. This day will allow you to focus on other things in your life that need to be done, or may be used as a day of relaxation.
These personal days allow us to give our minds a break as well. They help us to unwind, which we all need to do sometimes. One day to refresh our thoughts. It works. Some of the possible benefits, depending on your career path and environmental situation, include:
Being more relaxed, not only with your friends and family, but for work as well.
Time to get other things done.
Time to relax.
Better focus when you get back to work.
More organized thinking.
Take out your calendar and schedule at least 6 personal days over the course of the next 12 months. Schedule one each month if possible. It is important that freelancers take care of themselves.
Shannon L. Buck
Posted in The Freelance Life
Tagged benefits, break, focus, freelance, freelancer, get things done, mental health, organized, personal day, relax, stress, unwind
English: Start your vacation with a splash (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whether your freelance career provides you with a lot of physical activity or uses mostly brain power, you will find yourself needing to take a break at different points in your career. I suggest at least three vacations (or mini vacations) per year.
Physical activity takes a lot out of you, as does mental activity. Both of these can lead to stress and fatigue. As a freelance writer, I use a lot of brain power. Sometimes I feel as though I may burn out. When I start to feel this way, I take a break. If I have any paid projects that need to be finished, I finish them before I take my break.
A one or two week vacation seems like a great idea, but I have difficulty not performing writing tasks. Or at least some other business tasks. I tend to take more mini vacations. Usually one every month or two.
Doing so allows my brain to rest and recharge. When I get back to the writing business, my mind is clear and I am better able to concentrate on tasks in an organized manner, and with gust.
Schedule your vacations.
Scheduling a full vacation every three or four months, or a mini vacations every month or two, will be helpful. Doing this now, and marking your calendar, will provide you with a guide indicating when you should not schedule paid projects from clients.
Schedule your vacations now, taking into consideration important events you would like to attend, and times when your family will also take time off from school/work.
Shannon L. Buck
Posted in Health and Nutrition for the Freelancer
Tagged brain power, career, fatigue, freelance, health, mental activity, mental health, mini vacation, physical activity, stress, take a break, vacation
The latest issue of Freelance Ponderings and Advice deals with the of the freelancer, as well as possible writng outlets for health writers.
The Healthy Freelance Writer
Shannon L. Buck
2012 Ottawa Marathon: Results, Photos (Photo credit: ianhun2009)