A few days off last week with the family, paying the price now as 3 large project deadlines all collide and I'm juggling things to keep a large variety of clients happy. Drowning in tasks but I've been here plenty of times before. Nothing a bit of focus, a couple of evening work sessions and a good to do list won't fix.
Work notes from Paul Burgess, owner of the Delarge web studio, working with an eclectic mix of clients.
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Monday looms and starting work at 9.30, back from a couple of days in a focused working zone in an Exeter air bnb, in a charming, quiet apartment a few mins from the quayside and centre.
It wasn't quite the work fest I planned it to be - I had visions of being like a writer in solitude churning out best work for years (for 2 days) but in reality it became a half work half wind down period, wandering around the quayside and city centre with my laptop, working here and there, which in retrospect, might prove to be just as productive give the size fo my to do list for this week.
Start of a new week that will see me go and stay in an Air BnB in Exeter for a couple of days for some ultra-focused work sessions. Yesterday I had a massive pile of to-dos, which gives you a bit of a buzz at the start of the day, but by 3pm, that buzz is well and truly gone as you realise that half of the things you wanted to do - and promised people - aren't going to happen.
Up early-ish today and squeezing in a productive morning before a call at 1 to review the project I'm working on.
A big project went live last week, after months and months of work. The client sent the agency I was working with a bottle of Moet and they're very happy, which makes me happy.
But now, work is starting to pile and pile up, right as the summer holidays are starting. I've seen other people talking about ways to work over summer, like work hard all morning, clock off for the afternoon ten catch up in the evening - I like that approach the best.
Right now though, after getting caught up on what should have been a simple project (for a music artist based around serial killers), my other big project has suffered, which means to bed now... and up early to get ahead.
I was pleased last week to clock off and be there to see my son win his hurdles championship race, what a dude.
Not a bad end to the week - lots piling up on a project that officially started this week, but I've not been able to get roilling... big project not quite out the gate
Meant to add something here sooner, but again it's been a positive few days, felt good about the work and another big presentation went well (although I wasn't present). Had a call yesterday with a designer and member of staff at a really cool venue in London that we are starting a new site on, went well - although I forgot how the budget/costs were being split, something we talked about way back at the beginning - and it always makes you seem a bit unprofessional when you have to ask all that again, so, note to self - always write that stuff down at the start, send estimates to be approved when you've just had the conversation so everyone remembers (which I'm now doing with another client).
Going to be a busy rest of the week, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Forgot to add, bit of a crunch last week as suddenly had to get all my accounts up to date to submit a P11D... my accountants came through though and really helped me out, yes I had to pay £200+ to get it sorted but it was worth it to me
First day back was a little frustrating as I got caught up on an issue on a project that should have taken an hour tops, which turned into 3. Good progress with getting back into the swing though - enjoying Trello as a means of managing things to do.
My accountants have stepped up and look set to save me from accounting nomansland - need to get all my invoicing up to date now, however my wife is away for 2 days which means full child duty, luckily, they are really no trouble at all.
Not keeping up to date with my accounts is catching up with me yet again. I foresee late evenings this week in trying to get back up to date. I've agreed to pay more to my accountants for them to actually do my bookkeeping for me and I can't wait for them to sort it.
We got back on Friday from a week away out west in Bluestone and it was great to spend some good quality family time with everyone. We used our lodge as a base and headed out every day to explore Tenby, Freshwater East & West.
I took my laptop with me as I needed to keep a few things ticking over, a late night, a couple of early mornings and I kept things rolling along nicely. I managed to have a good break away from the screen but still get some important client stuff done. Whilst I would have rather not worked at all, sometimes when it's just you, you have to and I was quite pleased with the balance I struck and what I got done.
The weekend has rounded the break off nicely with seafront bike rides and a trip to see Aladdin at the cinema today (which was excellent)
Back at it full pelt tomorrow though and I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some of the current projects. Planninf to head into the office early tomorrow morning, head to BaseKamp Coffee and handle all emails before the juicier stuff back at my desk.
The 8am start didn't happen yesterday. Then it was get as much done as possible before we all headed out to see a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet in Cardiff - which was fantastic. Would have been easy to say no to going and just stayed and do work - but I'm so glad I went.
Today has been mad - we are going away next week and I have so much to get done for people before we go. Hence doing to-do list stuff at 11.30pm. But - great client call today with some fantastic projects coming up.
More upcoming projects to manage - 2 of which are big 8+ week ones. I followed up on an enquiry from last week that had gone quiet and used the technique I heard from Paul Jarvis whereby, instead of what I might have done and tried to squeeze a project in with everything else, I said their 'slot' that I had originally had now been taken - which is true - and we'd have to reschedule for a month later if they were still interested.
This gives off the truthful impression that you're in demand and busy, but you are also keen to work with them.
Despite what I thought, that the day would effectively be ending at 3pm with the school run (+ dinner + school disco run etc.), I actually got a lot done whilst my daughter's fried was over, they vanished off upstairs and I didn't see much of them until I had to whip up a quick dinner.
I actually enjoyed going to the disco and watching my daughter have fun dancing - she was, as far as I'm concerned, the best dancer there.
We were back by just after 6, so with the kids already fed and tired out, they just chilled for an hour or so and I managed to get some more stuff done before the bedtime drill.
We are all off to see the Romeo & Juliet ballet tomorrow night so I need to be up and in effect nice and early. Aiming for an 8am start. They always feel good if you can pull them off.... and don't drift into the 9.30 zone.
After discovering the Being Freelance podcasts & Steve's vlogs and really enjoying them, I’m going to make an effort to start documenting my days and work, even though I’ve found it weirdly annoying when others do it, I now see the benefit and enjoyment.
Today - got the big last to-do list in on White Desert which I need to nail before we go away next week. But today my wife is working at 2pm - leaving me to get my daughter and her friend from school, make them dinner then take them to the school disco :-)
One of our biggest projects ever was presented to the client, based in the Shard, as a Beta site - the client is very particular and the fact it was 'well received' is a big win as far as I'm concerned