Oh, the joy of trying to be an efficient website developer. While time is scarce, you’re constantly striving to build your reputation by doing the best job you can for your clients, while reserving enough energy to keep yourself balanced, so you don’t get sick.
Website development efficiency is probably one of the biggest areas I struggle to master. It seems like an ever-evolving (almost elusive) goal that as soon as you feel you’ve improved or accomplished a feat, you know (or find out) there’s a better or more efficient way of doing it. To me, it’s something that’s near impossible to “master”, that all you can really do is keep your ears, eyes and brain open (or receptive), soak up as much information as you can and try your best.
Sure, there are countless books and blogs about this area that I’ve read to try to develop these skills. One I stumbled upon today Lessons Learned: Productivity Tips For Running A Web Design Business talks about building routines, creating checklists, avoiding distractions and doing more with less time. All very good points and things I’ve tried to some degree.
Of course, this is just one small part of being a freelancer, and working on your own. Since you’re responsible for everything from attracting clients to finding a solution to their issues to developing the solution (read Who’s Who in Web Design and Development for a breakdown of roles on this part alone) to collecting payment at the end, it’s a never ending “adventure”. You’re constantly reading and learning new techniques about so many areas, as you try and differentiate yourself from the never ending list of competitors out there.
As you can imagine, it can also be very stressful and overwhelming. You try to absorb all this new information and incorporate them into your processes, and as soon as you find a plugin or technique that you feel comfortable with, you’re introduced to any even better one… and you’re back to square one. Well, not quite, but you get the point.
One idea I’m exploring more to help prepare myself is chatting with people who have been doing this longer and looking for a mentor. While the countless webinars that I have attended (WebDesign.com, WPBeginner.com, WPMU Dev, 1wd.tv, WP Elevation, etc…) and articles that I have read have helped, my next strategy is to seek more in-person guidance. I’ve already attended a few Web Developer/Designer Meetup meetings, but now I’m looking to create a formal mentorship.