How running an online, local business can zap you but here we look at how you can hold on to your creativity and well-being, whilst still ‘producing volume’
We came across a great article about creativity and how for us ‘creative types’ – web designers, graphic designers, writers, gardeners, teachers, any business-owner really…– struggle with this thing called creativity when clients want or demand it in VOLUME.
Volume is a word that sends shivers down many a creative person’s spine, which is not surprising when you consider the implications it has for you, so we will try not to mention it again.
But we all know the tug, push and pull of it.
You started you company or business, got it going on line and in the pull to make money and create a viable business, you needed (and still need) to pull in paying customers but you want to remain true to the smaller details that you think sets you apart from everyone else.
You want to maintain quality, but still bust the quantity targets every month… you see where we are going with this, don’t you?
It’s a never-ending task
In fact, it’s a hamster wheel that you keep on turning until you fall off, exhausted at the end of the day, sleep, eat and then get back on.
In fact, it’s not really a ‘task’; it is life and it is business but, just as you want to avoid the treadmill and the rat race of working for someone else, preferring to set your own hours and working conditions, you find that the treadmill has crept back in.
But, every turn of your hamster wheel is creating something. You just need to start appreciating it…
There are all kinds of hints and tips that you may find useful and, here at Locally, we are a great believer in sharing with others and using what works for us. And so, as we trawl around the web, just going about our daily stuff, we come across all kinds of great things and we stumbled across this little gem of an app… idonethis.
Go find it at www.idonethis.com
At first glance…
It doesn’t look much; it’s free to register and then basically, it sends you an email every day at a time that suits you (you set it) and in this email it asks you “what have you done today?”.
In the email is a highlighted box and you press the ‘today’s dones’ (not brilliant grammar but wait for it…) and you complete the box.
Is that it?
Well, er… yes and no. You can also ask it for analysis, spotting keywords and it can then tell you what you seem to be spending most of your time on.
Not that interesting is it?
Well, er, no BUT it does something that is psychologically amazing.
Picture the scene…
You have been at your desk since 7.30am. You have completed various menial admin tasks and created a few exquisite products. It is not 5pm and people are leaving for home and you should be too but you feel somehow deflated. The day has been busy but you don’t seem to have banked any money – in fact, the bank balance is the same as it was this morning. Everyone else seems to have been beavering away too but what have they done, what have they achieved?
Up bobs your email from ‘idonethis’ and hey presto, you have to think about what you HAVE done…
As you start to type in those small boxes, the list starts to lengthen and, before you know it, you flick the desk light off and skip out the door because, actually you have achieved quite a lot – a lot more than you think.
Instant positive mental stroke. G-R-E-A-T!
Add a team!
It also has, as part of the ‘free’ app the possibility of adding team members; so if you work with people remotely it is a great way of sharing what people have done and when. Rather than seeing this as monitoring their work or assessing the quality, it is about touching base, just seeing where people are at. We also like the fact that if people are struggling, they are more likely to point this out and ask for help.
Or, like us, you may find that your small team will be dispersed across the country and if you have a client waiting for a website, just knowing what the left hand is doing/has done also means you have the information at your fingertips.
Export and create spreadsheets
This is great for those of us that like graphs and spreadsheets that pick out key data but, you need to be systematic not just in entering data but how you add it, the language you use etc. (* see ‘tags’ below)
The downside – well, we quite like this little app. It’s inoffensive and have a gentle purpose that some people will love. Others will find this simplicity annoying and others will find it unnecessary, hence some people will not fill it in and it becomes like ‘the diet’ – always starting it tomorrow.
On the up side – It can be linked to various other apps and programs; for example, it can be a delightful little icon that can be added to the Google Chrome desk top and it also has some quite helpful features for when working on multiple projects.
For example, you can create a * tag for a pieces of work such as ‘#projectX’ or highlighting some tasks as being part of a wide business objective.
Again, like most apps and program you get out what you put in.
- Gentle, non-intrusive and easy to set up, it is an app that can be used for you alone or spread across you team
- It can from part of project management, especially useful at busier times of year or when your team is dispersed across the country
- You can see, at a glance what each other have done and what is left outstanding
- It is a great way, by spending literally seconds, to log what you have actually done and appreciate the volume of work that you have achieved