If you're a freelancer or entrepreneur, running your business from a home office or studio, you tend to wear many different hats during the week. This is definitely true in my case. It can be so frustrating when you have to change your hat many times during the week or even in one day. It's days like those when I truly wish there were two of me!
- Hire a great CPA to handle all of your financials. Not a good one but a great one! Someone you can trust completely with all of your personal information. I don't know what I would do without mine because he's been wonderful with handling all of the financial stuff that I know nothing about. And I also have learned a lot from his guidance and that's one less hat I have to wear!
- Organize your work space so you know where everything is and are not wasting time looking for a misplaced receipt or invoice. With that said, have a proper place such as a binder to keep all your receipts, bank statements, invoices, paystubs, etc. even if you keep tract of finances online—your CPA will love you!
- Set aside only one day a week (or two at the most) for meetings. I try to only schedule meetings one day a week because if I had them every single day, then I would not get anything else done in the studio. I know this is impossible at times because on top of meetings, I might have a photoshoot or press check during the week but that's part of my life as a designer so I have no control over those.
- Set aside time on a certain day for paperwork such as invoicing and paying bills. It should only take a few hours if you do it every week instead of waiting until the end of the month when you have a huge pile to sort through.
- Stay focused by scheduling time each day to call new prospects or clients, checking and sending emails, tweeting, blogging, etc. I like to start each day by checking my emails and twitter and then make my phone calls. Then I can concentrate on my design projects. When I'm really focused, you will not see any tweets from me!
- Team up with the best people in your field who can give you a hand when necessary. There are times when I'm juggling many projects and I might bring in a copywriter or illustrator to help out with a special one.
- Learn to say "NO". This one was the hardest for me since I'm always eager to please and want to help everyone. But it's impossible to do everything and attend every networking event. I found this out quickly! Only join groups that you feel passionate about. And that goes for networking events also. Only attend the ones that will benefit you and don't conflict with your workload or family life. It isn't worth going if you have to stay up until 3:00 a.m. getting a project completed. Just say no!