I had a really productive day! Those days used to be the norm, but over the past–I don’t know; few months? A year?–they’ve become more the exception.
Maybe that sluggish streak ends today. Or maybe I’ve been ramping up for a while now, without realizing it. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that took place right under my nose. 😉
I took care of some odds and ends first. A patient file pulled to check on a test result here, an email sent there, and some errands run over yonder.
Knocking things off the to-do list feels so good. Hell, I’m the kind of person who writes down things I’ve already accomplished just so I can draw that big, triumphant, therapeutic slash right through them.
Good times. 🙂
Once we were finished running errands and we got settled in at home, we sat down and had our Business Meeting.
And I’ve decided that I’m going to simplify my work life. I won’t bog y’all down with all the boring minutiae here; I’ll just cover the basics.
I’m categorizing related concepts. Concepts that seem to have grouped themselves together over time will finally be acknowledged for the cohesive units that they are. Taking nebulous clouds of ideas and streamlining them in ways that make sense simplifies things.
Simplicity is good.
Simplicity is the one theme that emerged from today’s Business Meeting.
This simplification strategy also applies to my meeting times; a routine meeting is now going to be standardized to 30 minutes, with adjustments made for cases in which less time is needed. These meetings will also be scheduled on the half-hour (instead of at the top of the hour like they had been before), with a maximum of 4 meetings per day, to be concluded by noon (in most cases). This lends more consistency to my schedule, and gives the other meeting participants more solidity in terms of expectations.
Standardization and consistency are good, too.
Standardization and consistency became the second and third themes of the day.
I also decided that I’m going to manage my behind-the-scenes project time much better than I have been. This helps me control the amount of time I spend on any given project. Smaller projects can take an hour or less; larger projects take anywhere from 2-4 hours. Anything above that used to be included in the rates I charged for the work, and I used to do it out of my own free will.
I’ve learned that people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, nor do they care or appreciate it when they find out. In the end, it all comes down to what they’ve paid (which is usually overestimated, and includes fees for products or services not rendered to–or provided by–us), how they feel (which is subject to their own compliance as well as the quality of my instruction) (and which is usually underestimated), after how much time they’ve worked with me (also overestimated, usually by 3 months or so).
Extra work? Extra time? Extra effort? Extra materials? Late hours? Solving their puzzles? Willingness to work with them and cater to their budget desires or be there for them after hours?
Meh. Those don’t seem to generate fireworks. They would be huge for me, but the average brain doesn’t care, even if they gush and say, “this is exactly what I want!!”
They don’t–not really, when they also have to pay for it.
Then all I hear is complaining, or attempts to get me to approve their cutting corners.
So those elements are getting throttled back. It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality, and I’m just providing what the market demands.
I’ll still put forth my efforts. I’ll still provide more than any other provider they’ve ever seen.
Except that I’m going to stop doing it at my own expense. The huge expenses of time and energy will be rationed.
They have to be, in order for me to preserve myself and be able to provide care for a long time.
God(dess) knows there’s no such thing as retirement for someone who is self-employed in a small business and who isn’t independently wealthy. Peoples’ price tags can only go so high. They can (or more likely, are willing to) pay only so much. They only have so much time, patience, and money before they say, “that’s enough”.
Likewise, I only have so much energy and so many hours in a day, too. I can only give so much for that price tag before I have to say, “that’s enough; I’m done with this task for this person” and move onto the next.
My bar isn’t getting lowered. I’m just evening my playing field, setting boundaries, setting limits, and balancing my scales. 🙂