This is my first “official” post and I’d like to share some of the challenges I’ve faced since joining fiverr - in a way I’m also introducing myself to the fiverr community with this (again: Hi everyone!) I’ve been enjoying the posts of active members such @madmoo and @voiceoverwork, just to name a few, for a while now and I’ve joined fiverr about two years ago - It took me some time to write my own post (hey, I’m an introvert so it takes some time to open up) but here we go.
Maybe the things said here are old news for some of you, but maybe you find some of this useful or it stimulates you to add your own experience and contribute to the discussion…
One of the major challenges I’ve faced since joining fiverr is managing my time, especially when it comes to synching my online with my offline-activities, and I got inspired by a recent fiverr article on this topic.
At the moment, fiverr is one of different income streams I have. I moved from Germany to Italy a few years back and I’m lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Rome, which is also challenging at times (hot, chaotic, expensive…)
While i’m an introvert, and that might seem like a contradiction, I’m extremely hyperactive. At least when it comes to projects. I love projects. And so I am now in the situation where I do many things I love: I play in a band here in Rome and I’m lucky enough that this allows me to travel a lot all over Italy, I do professional voice overs, I am a professional videographer for weddings (also, a lot of travelling all over Italy), I host international Open Mic nights in the center of Rome and I have many clients with a small company that I’ve startet two years ago with a friend of mine. Managing time here is crucial.
I can’t afford to be too tired after a day of work in the office when I need get on stage at night. I can’t get drunk after a concert when I need to be working on projects in the office the next morning. And I can’t be tired all the time when I have a girlfriend that sure doesn’t want to date a zombie.
Of course, with bad time management sooner or later a burnout is inevitable.
Simply, because it is REALLY hard to get all these activities in sync with each other. I love all of them. I don’t wanna give up on any of them. But at the same time, I need to deliver 120% with each of the activities I pursue. So here is how I try to harmonize all these activities with fiverr and how to be able to remain in control and to be able to deliver great results, stay motivated and still be able to enjoy what I’m doing.
- Make a plan with Excel (or OpenOffice or Numbers or [insert your favourite spreadsheet program])
This is the time where those computer classes back at school come in handy. It really helps a lot to create a simple Excel Sheet with all the activities you need to do each day. Plan ahead for a few weeks. I like to create an excel sheet that also allows me to check everything I’ve done and write down how much time it took to get it done. This helps to improve my time planning for the future and to avoid unrealistic time constraints.
- Sync your calender
I like to use my iCal and sync it with all my devices. That way I always receive a notification when a deadline or an event is about to arrive. Let’s admit it, we tend to forget things when there is a lot going on. I’ve created a calender for each of my activities, so I can choose to see them all at once or to filter out single calenders.
- Advanced Collaborative Project Management
Use project management software. It really improves your workflow, especially if you’re working on a bigger projects and with other people. In the past I liked to use a web based solution called wiggio, where you can upload all kinds of documents, share calenders, create to-do lists etc. But there is also other great, free software out there - even if you simply use google docs.
- Create a stock footage folder
This might seem unimportant, but over the years it really starts to pay off to have your own database with stock photos, videos, animations etc. that you can simply activate from your hard drive, rather than having to search for hours on the web. Start to download every stock item you come across into a dedicated folder now, or you might have to search for it again and lose valuable time.
- Backup. No seriously, you need to make a backup. Now.
I use several hard drives and I always duplicate content. There are more elegant solutions, but eventually every hard drive will fail. You don’t want to be working on your most important project in your life when that happens. Not only will you lose the data, but it will take up useless amounts of time, money and increase stress levels a lot!
- Learn to turn off facebook. And twitter. And Youtube. And…
Let’s admit it. It’s easy to get addicted to the social networks. But usually, the time we spend there is usually scrolling through all the activity of friends. Raise your hand if you’ve spend more than 20 Minutes today in front of any social platform. Stop it. Get productive.
- Know when actually you can use social media
Now, if you use social media to promote yourself, then limit the maximum amount of time you’re spending on those networks. Also, consider doing it after you’re done with the productive part of the day. Spend little time, but spend it every day. As with most things, this will turn out much more efficient than trying to search for new potential customers for three hours.
- Optimize every single step
My grandfather always told me: “Never walk with empty hands.” What he meant was, optimize as much as you can. If you go down to the basement, bring down empty bottles. If you come back up, bring back some full bottles. So for your offline world this means - if you need to get somewhere by car, try to get done as much as possible along the way. Go grocery shopping once, but big, so it lasts for a week, instead of going to buy your food every day, which means you need to leave the house several times a day. Online it means - if your computer is rendering a big file and is blocking your computer (and there is no other computer around for other work), maybe it is time to do the dishes. Optimize!
- Use your smartphone…
A smartphone allows us to answer emails, reply to fiverr requests, check the calendar, insert new events, communicate all the time. This is great and allows you to stay in touch with your clients all the time - they will thank you for a swift response and you don’t need to reply when you get back home.
- …but not too much
Then again, know when to take a break. You need to define times when you are not available. You might need to force yourself. Maybe you say: “I’m young and it’s not a problem” or “I need to be available for my customers 24/7.” Well, if you like then proceed this way, but be warned: the burnout is just around the corner. And when it hits, you might not be able to do anything at all for a few weeks.
(part 2 below)