The freedom independent contractors experience is unmatched, but that freedom comes with some difficulties. Contractors set their own schedule, but often experience feeling overwhelmed from overscheduling their days. They often schedule back-to-back meetings and calls intending to get as much done as possible, leaving no room to deal with breakdowns. As a result, when breakdowns occur, the impact is devastating.
In addition to better scheduling, here are several ways contractors can reduce frustration:
1. Establish a strict routine
Routines can be boring, but they can also save you from feeling overwhelmed. Establishing a strict routine for your workdays makes the mundane aspects of your day predictable. When mundane aspects of your day are predictable, you’re less likely to fall behind on your work.
For example, say you establish a routine where your lunch hour is set from 1pm-2pm. You won’t schedule anything during that time, so you’ll never have to scramble to get a bite to eat. You won’t get frustrated or angry because you missed lunch. Your body will get used to being fed at a regular time each day, and you’ll always have dependable downtime.
2. Start using digital documents across the board
Maybe you send digital invoices, but you’re old school and love holding a contract with an original, inked signature in your hand. If that’s so, it’s time to rethink how you deliver and process your paperwork. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to prepare, send, and receive paper documents. How many projects are delayed while you wait for a signed contract to show up in your mailbox? Does waiting a long time for a client’s contract and deposit make you nervous about your income? You could be overwhelmed without realizing it.
Consider the time and money you spend printing, signing, initialing each page, mailing, and waiting for a return package. All that can be eliminated with digital documents.
Digital documents make life easier, but they need to be prepared correctly. The old way was to prepare documents in Microsoft Word and ask recipients to print, sign, and return the document as a scanned image. Although the end result is technically digital, that method places a burden on your recipients and is difficult to manage.
Instead of making your clients do the work,to prepare and deliver your documents. This software integrates with applications you’re probably already using like Google Docs, Dropbox, and Salesforce. Eversign ensures all signatures meet security and authentication requirements in the U.S. and Europe. Since it’s a cloud-based application, anyone can sign your documents from any device. You can even have customers and clients sign in person directly on your smartphone.
3. Have at least two power banks on hand
Imagine being in a video conference with a new client and the power goes out. You could call them, but your phone is dead. You could drive to the nearest coffee shop, but that will take too long. If you don’t make contact fast, your new client might start to question your reliability.
No matter where you live, a power outage is always a possibility. When you work online where instant communication is expected, you can’t afford the frustration of being unprepared. You might have a gas-powered generator, but if all you need is internet access, starting up your generator and running extension cords into the house is overkill.
To gain internet access quickly,, also referred to as portable generators (the kind you would take on a camping trip). When the power goes out, plug your router and/or modem into a power bank and you should be back online. Just be sure your power banks are powerful enough to support the devices you’ll need to plug in.
Having two power banks will give you mobility with your laptop. Your router is connected to a cable in the wall, so that’s where your power bank will have to be. If you need to plug in your laptop, with one power bank, you’ll be stuck sitting on the floor next to the router.
Using a power bank in a power outage isn’t a long-term solution, but it will give you access to immediate communication. Once everyone knows about your situation, you can drive to the nearest public Wi-Fi location and continue your meeting.
If you’re lucky, you won’t experience a power outage in the middle of anything important, but Murphy’s Law strikes indiscriminately and it’s better to be prepared.