In my former career, I transformed spotting the red flags that a project was in danger of missing a deadline into an art. It's fairly simple work when there is a team of collaborators and you can adjust workloads when hiccups happen. But what happens when the only person on the team to meet those deadlines is you?
I quickly learned one of the great challenges of self-employment last week when the stomach flu struck with a vengeance. As a writer and yoga instructor, I enjoy the ability to self-manage my career and business. Unlike my former traditional full-time job, there is no one monitoring my coming and goings. My schedule essentially revolves around my child's nap times and other commitments. I am thankful that I have the freedom to write when my mind is most fresh and to structure my day in a way that works for me and my family. It's liberating -- until uncontrollable events strike.
As I moaned and groaned in bed with the stomach flu, the days passed. So did my deadlines. When you run your own business, there are no paid sick days -- nor is there a support team or co-worker to mercifully step in to pinch-hit. Situations like this underscore the critical importance of time-management when you are self-employed, or shifting career gears after baby.
You needn't be an expert in time-management to control the demands being a team of one introduces, but as I learned, it's critical to your survival (and sanity!). Try to incorporate these simple adjustments into the way you structure your non-traditional career, and avoid getting derailed when the unexpected happens.
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