Tag Archives: efficiency

Reflections on 2010

2010.  Oh my… what a year!

Every year — in the week between Christmas and New Year’s — I find myself in that thoughtful place of transition between the current year and the one to come.   I find myself eagerly anticipating the new year, as if a slate is to be wiped clean and the possibilities of dreams I have not yet realized are closer.  All too often, I forget what amazing things I’ve already succeeding in accomplishing.

It’s easy to brush aside the past year as we set new goals, but I think it’s also important — if not necessary — to look back.  Sometimes I can be a bit hard on myself when I think of what I haven’t done, and assessing the past year is a good way to appreciate all that I HAVE accomplished.

Here’s what I did in 2010:

  1. Left KVUE to pursue web design business full time
    This was a major goal in 2010, and I’m proud that I finally had the courage to take this step.
  2. Secured 3 clients — 1 of them new
    It’s not as much as I aimed for, but it’s a start.
  3. Had a baby
    The birth of my daughter was so momentous.  It’s tremendously difficult maintaining that balance between work and family, but I’m so glad I’m able to work from home and be there for my kids.
  4. Learned to use Quickbooks
    OK — I’m still struggling with this, but I know enough to get by for the time being and aim for hiring a bookkeeper in 2011.
  5. Went to SXSWi
    South by Southwest Interactive was an amazing experience for me.  I learned so much about technology, trends, the industry and the business of the industry that I was able to venture out on my own with a bit more confidence than I otherwise might have had.
  6. Continued my education
    It’s imperative for people in my chosen profession to stay in the know, and I did my best to advance my knowledge.  I started learning as much as I could about PHP and how to design and develop with Joomla, Drupal and WordPress
  7. Connected with other small business owners
    Through the City of Austin Small Business Development Program, I started meeting other people who could potentially help me or hire me in the future.

Now that I’ve looked at my 2010 accomplishments, I can get down to business making goals for 2011, and those goals can be specific and build upon the foundation I’ve already laid.

Happy goal-making!

Work-home efficiency tips

Rosie the RiveterEven though we no longer have a nanny and I am now the primary caregiver for my nearly 4-year-old and soon-to-arrive daughter, leaving my full-time job in May does not mean I am a stay-at-home-mom or find it easier to balance the home-work life.

The challenges of working from home are even tougher.  There’s no way to escape some days.  And some days I put in even longer hours just to make sure I can get it all done.

So when a friend/fellow working mamma wrote a blog post about tips she gathered to help with that balance I eagerly read it:

Top 10 Efficiency Tips to Simplify the Mamma Juggling Act

Honestly, I was hoping there would be something there I haven’t already tried.  But I guess I’ve been doing this so long — although not at this level of intensity — that I’m an old hat at balancing this stuff.  But there are some good suggestions in there for moms new to this world.

Not every tip works for every household, but some of the general concepts are important.  If you have a spouse, being a team is SOOOOOOOO important.  Andy and I have our challenges, but in essence, we function as a team.

I don’t have the patience to keep a giant calendar that I actually have to physically write on. That seems really inefficient, too.  I have a master calendar on my computer that I sync to my iPod and Google Calendar.  Andy and I share our Google calendars so we know what we’re doing.  It’s not a perfect system, but it works for us.

Communication is the key, though, and if that breaks down, the teamwork and the calendar break down.  Since I’m usually on a computer, I use instant messaging to talk to Andy when I need to let him know about schedule changes or ask a question.  And I’m not afraid to call, text or email the people I need to when I need help.

So my top efficiency tip is:  Communication.  And not just about schedules.  Everything.  You can head off misunderstandings, duplicated efforts, and craziness just by communicating.