A Day In My Life

A Day In My Life

I often get asked on social media how I organise my day and prioritise my workflow. So I thought it would be fun to show you a day in the life of me. 
Obviously not every day is the same and it's hard to have a "typical" working day when you're a freelance/small business owner who works from home. But over the years I've managed to learn a lot about myself and my working habits to know what works best for me and how to take advantage of my productive time. 

A day in my house doesn't usually start until quite late in comparison to others. Generally I wake up and get out of bed around 8:30/9AM and have a leisurely breakfast. Having barriers is super important to my mental well-being, so e-mails or work related social media is off limits until after I have woken up, eaten and spent a little time with my husband. 

I always try to have a tidy desk at the end of the day so that in the morning it's inviting to sit down

At 9:45 I have daily medication that I have to take. So I use that alarm as my "get to work" alarm and walk upstairs to my studio, take my tablets and sit down at my desk. If I have any orders that came in overnight that's when I pack them. My husband kindly does my post runs for me so I like to have it done for him to take on his way in to work. Once that's done I quickly check my emails and see if there's anything that needs my attention. 

I've been using my Get To Work Planner to plan out my weeks after I got it as a birthday present and I've found I'm much more productive than I've ever been! I plan out 3 days in advance to allow me room for issues/moving around my schedule. Every week it gives me 3 boxes to get "big" jobs done (like "write 5 blog posts" or "order new products") and then I break those big jobs down into smaller jobs that can be done over the week. Sometimes it flows over into another week and that's ok. Some jobs, like general admin, always fall on a Monday for me, because I feel like that's when I'm at my most productive and am planning out my week ahead. 

Using the GTWB has seriously improved my productivity and flow - look out for a full blog review soon!

For me, working for myself and from home was mostly because I wanted to have control back over aspects of my life. I wanted to be able to spend time with my husband when he was off rather than have time off when he was working. So I make sure to schedule in breaks in my day when he's off. As he works shift work this means that sometimes my mornings are a lighter load than my evenings some weeks and vice versa. 

I always lunch away from my desk (usually around 1:30/2PM). It was a goal that I used to set myself when I was working in the office at the theatre and a goal I never seemed to manage to do in an office environment. Getting up and moving away from my desk to eat clears my head and let's me refocus on what needs to get done. As with breakfast, it's a work free zone so I let myself do my personal social media during this time but no checking work instagram or twitter!

I always eat lunch away from my desk

After lunch is always a bit of a weird time for me. I find that I struggle to focus on admin and unless I'm really keen to get a project going I go square eyed very quickly when I'm looking at a computer. This is when knowing when I'm most productive is really important. Usually this is when I let myself do work social media and I let myself get a bit lost in scrolling through instagram or answering questions on facebook. I normally don't get productive again until about 4pm. If I have tons of things on my to-do list still from the morning then I'll go back upstairs or grab my iPad to work on things from the sofa. 

In the late afternoon is when I like to design new things. So I'll sit on my sofa and merrily sketch away. Whilst I'm doing that I'll alternate between checking on social media and emails. If I'm working on an embroidery I generally do this in the afternoon too as it's a "lighter" task for me to do. 

Design time happens in the afternoon

3 days out of the week (Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday) I take part in twitter hours in the evening. Generally I do this on my iPad whilst on the sofa. They range from starting around 7PM and finishing around 9PM so it's a nice way to end my day and try to get in a couple extra visits on my website (and maybe even a sale or two!). This is my last work task of the day, so before a twitter hour starts I'll do one final e-mail check. After that anything else can wait until the morning! At 10PM I stop all work activities and indulge in some trash TV or read my book or play a game. Normally I'm in bed around midnight and get up the next day to do it all again!

So there you have it. A quick(ish) day in my life. This formula for working has taken me a really long time to get right. And I think it's super important to stress that not everyone can work in the same way. For me flexibility is key but I also know that I work best when I have deadlines or accountability. I've found that the more tired I get, the worse my work ends up, so I give myself lots of breaks in the day too. And I have to want to do the task I've set myself. If I get to a point in my to-do list when I no longer want to work anymore, I move those tasks onto other days in the week. If I do all my tasks by lunch and I don't want to start another project that day then I take the rest of the day off. Knowing what you respond to best is ultimately key in a good working environment and is something I've been working on for years.