March 7, 2013

Online work is never “done”

published this at 8:15 am

This morning I woke up to the latest Google+ change to the cover photo and did a classic face-palm. I thought that was done. Handled. Taken care of.

Except, when your business is online, there is no “done.”

There’s a classic myth about King Sisyphus who was cursed to roll a huge boulder uphill only to watch the boulder roll back down and repeat the process. For eternity.

Perhaps that’s an extreme reference, but sometimes dealing with the shifting sands of online business feels that way, doesn’t it?

Don’t worry, we’re all in this together.

You can maintain your sanity with these handy tips:

Don’t get caught by surprise

Stay on top of breaking news in your niche and for online business in general. Sites like Mashable, ReadWrite, TechCrunch, and TheNextWeb all offer quick punches of information, and you can often get a heads-up on trends before they catch you flat-footed. Consider subscribing to the technical blogs of the big social networks, to get advance notice of design or other changes (like this post where Twitter warned of upcoming API changes).

Do your chores consistently

Set aside time each week for housekeeping, tweaking graphics, updating links, and fixing your site. If you schedule specific time to do this, you won’t end up shoehorning it in between client calls. Use a block of time consistently to line up chunks of content, or batch change graphics, or do other maintenance tasks.

Delegate if you can

Some repetitive tasks can be outsourced or delegated, so you can invest your own valuable time doing the things that only you can do. Find a virtual assistant, get a freelancer to write some content for you, or judiciously use automation tools to gain efficiency. One of Tim Ferriss’ key suggestions in The Four Hour Work Week is to use outsourcing as a time saver.

Finally, recognize that everyone else is scrambling to keep up too. We all have our boulders to roll.

(If you’d like to update your Google+ cover photo, you’ll need an eye-catching 2120 pixel by 1192 pixel picture that conveys your brand message.)

Do you have any tricks for keeping pace with constant online developments?

Author’s Bio: Rosemary ONeill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out the Social Strata blog. You can find Rosemary on and on Twitter as @rhogroupee


Image: pasukaru76 via Flickr CC license.

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