Sometimes we all find ourselves so mired that we feel we don’t have time to plan ahead or hire someone to help, but that attitude is self-defeating, said [panelist John] Marsh. “Take the time now, even if you are very pressed, to save time later on.”
Besides applying to project management, Marsh’s advice applies to several other facets of editorial work:
- We get attached to our slowpoke ways of doing things and tell ourselves that we don’t have time to learn faster ways, such as using macros and wildcard searches, using new-to-us software, and using Microsoft Word templates and styles. We wind up working far too many hours on a project and may lose money because our client won’t pay for time that wasn’t in the project budget.
- We get stuck working with clients who pay very low rates, rarely pay in a timely manner, are too demanding, and/or treat us shabbily in other ways. We tell ourselves that we don’t have time to look for better clients. We wind up with financial worries and decreased self-esteem.
- We work ridiculously long hours to finish a huge project, paying penalties of sleep deficits and poor mental and physical health. But if we take just a little time upfront and determine whether we can ask for an extended schedule or hire a subcontractor (or both), we might not end up frazzled or burned out.
- We mistakenly believe that marketing (1) is all about coming across as self-important, (2) requires a huge time investment and thus is intimidating or not doable, (3) is only for marketing experts, and/or (4) doesn’t really work for editorial professionals. Not surprisingly, not too many new clients will find us when we think like that . . . because they don’t know we exist.