Utilize that ‘Free’ Time Well – Part 2

Posted by Brad Egeland

In Part 1 of this two-part series on using your consulting downtime wisely, we discussed attending relevant industry-specific conferences to help you stay current (and ways to avoid their high costs) and focusing on making new client contacts as well as reconnecting with past clients.  The key, of course, is to stay moving in the right direction and not go stale in between big gigs.  In this Part 2, we’ll look at two more topics – publishing your own expert content (nice way to force you to be creative and remain current) and making time for yourself and your family…while, yes, probably taking some work with you anyway.

Write and publish expert content articles

One nice way to get your name out there to even more people and at the same time to further establish your reputation as an expert is to write expert content articles.  Sometimes you can do this for pay and sometimes you might just be doing guest articles for recognition.  Either way, you’ll be testing your knowledge, forcing yourself to remain current, and working on your writing and presentation skills which will all only serve to help you for the next client proposal you need to put together.

Seek out sites with blogs or articles that are meaningful to you and ask if you can write content for their site.  It may not bring you any additional revenue, but it will be an interesting new challenge for you and give you more content for your resume or links for your website.  If you are a project manager, like me, you can include writing about how you go about managing projects and collaborating with your team using tools like Seavus’ Project Viewer.  I’ve found that most project managers out there are looking for good sound advice on getting past project failure points.

Go ahead and take a vacation

This is the really hard one for the consultant…taking a vacation.  Nearly every time we take a trip, I take my work with me.  I often have someone else drive and I work in the car (actually, van for our large family) and get as much done as possible to and from the destination so that I can minimize or eliminate the need to work during the actual fun part of the trip.  However you need to do it, be sure to take the vacation trips.  If possible, do it without any work involved.  Your family will appreciate it more than you realize.

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