With my photography and graphic design freelance work taking off this year, I wanted to connect with other freelancers (and even those thinking of branching out into freelance work) and share my freelance routine. I find these posts by other freelancers and entrepreneurs to be inspiring, titillating, and often quite helpful. My summer schedule was fairly lax and focused around the wedding. Now that I’m a married lady (I can even prove it! Watch my wedding video!) and autumn has arrived, it’s back to business: full steam ahead.
I’m sharing my Monday routine because Mondays are one of my fully freelance-dedicated days. This winter I am working part time in my municipality’s public library system, as a digital literacy consultant. I’m excited for the chance to teach people of all ages how to effectively use the computer, access emails, and even build simple websites. Winter is a slow season for photography, so I’m grateful for the alternate source of income over the chilly months to come! This does mean that my freelance work will be less-than-full-time, which means I need to maximize the hours I am working! Here’s how I’m doing that right now:
7:00 — Wake Up!
I actually want to wake up at 6 once the clocks change, because the days will be shorter and watching the sun rise will be all the more special and inspiring. Right now, though? I wake up at 7 am, ready to feed our three cats and eat a warm, healthy breakfast of quick oats, fruit, and muesli or granola, sweetened with maple syrup. With breakfast I make my tea, and read. It’s a quite time of day and reading is a great way to wake up my brain.
8:00 — In the Office
By 8 am I’m in the office. I’m either in the living room on my laptop, or I’m literally in my home office, at my desk on my iMac. It depends on what I’m doing and what projects I’m working on. Writing can be a lot easier on my laptop, while the larger monitor is more conducive for design and photography work.
10:00 — Switching Gears
Because I’m a photographer as well as a designer, I like to dedicate at least an hour on Monday mornings to get some of my photography work done. It’s not only a creative time of day, but helps me to start my week with my own visuals in mind. Sometimes this means editing last week’s photos, compiling the weekend’s shoot into a client gallery, or ordering prints!
11:30 — Social Media
I love reading about freelancers’ routines, and I can never get over how many of them send emails and tweet early in the mornings. Knowing what a coveted creative time that is for me, I can’t imagine giving that up for correspondence. Half an hour before my lunch break, I go on Twitter and set up my week’s links via Buffer. This is when I’ll read blogs I love and try to comment (typically via tweets) on the content.
12:00 — Lunch Time!
Although I work at home, and my kitchen is a few steps away, I don’t find that I snack very often. When you’re editing photos or working on a design project, I often get into a flow that leaves my neck a little crooked and my tummy a little light, but my endorphins running high. I am trying to get back into my lunch time yoga practice, which is a great time of day stretch and breathe and check in with my body (remember the crooked neck?) and then go off and have a delicious meal.
1:00 — Riding!
On Mondays I have my weekly riding lesson, and it is the absolute best way to start the day. Riding in the winter can be bitterly cold — last year we essentially had the winter off, there were so many nights that sat at -20 and below, and when I was still working 9-5 it was just cruel for both parties to saddle up. Making sure that I ride during the day is not only great exercise, but it means I’m riding in daylight! The barn is 5 minutes away, and I’m back home no later than 4.
4:00 — Back in the Office
Because I go riding during the day, and the evenings are getting darker and colder, I’m happy to spend time working past the traditional 5 o’clock. One of the perks of working for yourself is that you can make your own hours. I work well in the morning, and at night. Middle of the day? I’m distracted and sluggish. Being able to ride and exercise through that slouchy period means I’m only working during my optimal zones! I often use this time to correspond with clients and do promotional work.
5:00 — Social Media Management
In an effort to reduce costs, I’m actually using a trade system where I manage the website and social media content for my barn’s owner, in exchange for lessons for both myself and my husband. I dedicate an hour or two on Monday evenings to this task. It involves web design, posting pretty photos of horses to Facebook, and storyboarding videos for the barn’s YouTube channel. What’s not to like?
7:00 — Log Off
By the time seven o’clock rolls around, I’ve had two hearty meals, exercised, seen my friends and my horse, and had a successful day in the office. I can sign off on my freelance duties with a full heart and content with my outdoorsy time. My husband often works nights, so if I’m not getting together with a friend (I’m typically not) it means I have the evening to myself to make dinner, cuddle with kitties, and read.
If you’re a freelancer or entrepreneur, how do you structure your Mondays? Do you like rigid routines, or flying by the seat of your pants? Let me know in the comments!