10 August 2014 @ 06:09 pm
And sometimes things go right  
It seems I've been trying to come up with a strategy to cope with (or, as my friends will probably say, whining about) my workload for years now. I'm pretty sure I have a tag for whining, and if I do, I'm going to bet most of it will be blah blah blah I work too much.

Since I'm an independent consultant, it's true I have no one to blame for my workload except myself. Although it never really does seem that simple when you're faced with an enticing new contract or projects from regular clients. Also, I devastated my finances when I was taking care of my mom while she was dying and the economy was collapsing, so for a while I took all the work I could get just to try to stave off the economic monsters.

Finally, when I was working 60-65 hours every single week and was just exhausted all the time, I started turning down everything I was offered from new clients, and even easing back on some of the work I did for existing clients. Which ultimately left me feeling trapped. I make good money, but only at the cost of my sleep, free time, and quality of life. Also, my creativity.

I'd tried just about everything, including outsourcing some tasks to other contractors, but two weeks ago I did something I hadn't actually considered: I hired a full-time assistant.

I learned from my past experiences with contractors and hired someone local who could actually come into my home office to be trained -- it's much easier to show someone how to do something than try to work it out over the Internet, even with desktop sharing.

I also hired someone I knew to be VERY smart, albeit who didn't have a background in my field. But I felt her skills would translate well to the type of work I do, and I knew she hated her current job and its lengthy commute, so getting a job that allowed her to work from home but paid the same would be appealing to her.

She's worked for me for two weeks now, and I couldn't possibly be happier. I've signed two new clients, and am able to focus on new work that's creatively challenging instead of client maintenance, which isn't. I am LOVING being able to say "yes" instead of "no" to interesting jobs!

Not to mention that the contract from just one of those new clients is going to completely pay for my assistant, so I'll be in the amazing position of making MORE money while doing LESS work, and actually giving someone else a good job, too.

I also haven't worked past 6 PM a single evening since I hired her, have had a lot more energy for social activities, and am starting to feel my depleted creative batteries re-charging. And the next time I go on vacation, I'll be able to leave everything in her capable hands and truly un-plug!

The last time I sat down to work on fic, I was able to do some outlining and story-plotting, but actually write? I had nothin'. (It was "Feeling Good" -- I really am working on it!) Now I'm finding myself thinking about the story again in my spare time -- OMG, I have spare time! It's like go-go dancing angel!Justin granted my wishes!

I didn't want to post about this on my Facebook as too many of my clients follow me there and I don't want them to see the insides of my head, LOL, so thank you for letting me express this moment of gratitude here!
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[identity profile] tootiredtosleep.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC)
I am so pleased to know you are doing better. You have been missed.
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[identity profile] mdlaw.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
It's good to hear from you again, and I'm glad your life is going well. m :)
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[identity profile] kinwad.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
It's all about learning to release the reins and delegate (*g* something BK had a difficult time doing)...to the right person. Good for you, hon!
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[identity profile] xie-xie-xie.livejournal.com on August 11th, 2014 12:30 am (UTC)
I've found my Theodore!
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[identity profile] kinwad.livejournal.com on August 11th, 2014 12:49 am (UTC)
Ha! Yes, you did! We should all be so lucky!
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[identity profile] bodleian.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 11:09 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on hiring the right person and getting your work hours under control. Enjoy your new found free time and I'm looking forward to seeing what you produce. It'll be great to see you around again.
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[identity profile] such-a-steph.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a win win situation. Congrats! Free time and creativity are huge bonuses:)
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[identity profile] vlredreign.livejournal.com on August 10th, 2014 11:37 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear you're able to have a normal life again. I got a glimpse of your work life years ago when I sat in your living room and you took that call about the pet food contamination. Your brain clicked over so fast it was amazing to see.
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[identity profile] har2.livejournal.com on August 11th, 2014 01:44 am (UTC)
Wonderful! I love all of your past fics. I hope you will find your muse and start writing again!
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[identity profile] fansee.livejournal.com on August 11th, 2014 01:47 am (UTC)
Your solution sounds like a win-win of the best kind! Just remember that work expands to fill the time available, so go easy on those new, exciting projects. Don't take on too many right away. You want to end up with time to kick back and enjoy a glass of wine every day. FanSee
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[identity profile] ljtilford.livejournal.com on August 11th, 2014 06:02 am (UTC)
Seeing your name on a post filled me with joy. Here's hoping you'll feel like writing again, you are among the best and I don't say that often
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[identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_alicesprings/ on August 11th, 2014 11:51 am (UTC)
That's awesome! I'm so happy for you!
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[identity profile] alfred004.livejournal.com on August 12th, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
Happy for you and for us as well. I am looking forward to reading your new work.
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[identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com on August 13th, 2014 12:00 am (UTC)
That sounds awesome -- good for you!
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