It is day twenty of the new year and also my third year of being a freelancer. I survived! There were many times I really didn’t think I would make it. Things got pretty crazy after quitting my job in 2013. There have been many ups and downs and lessons learned but I’m so grateful for being on this journey. But real talk, you really need a routine as a freelancer. A routine that you can be devoted to following. Without a routine, you are like a chicken with its head cut off – directionless! I recently implemented a new daily routine and wanted to share it with you. This is brand-spanking new for me so yes, I will slip up and that’s okay. So if you’re interested in freelancing or are a creative without a routine, get into this.
The Devoted Routine of a Crazy Freelance Life
Shout out to Holly of Holly McCaig Creative for inspiring this post. My routine goes as follows:
Wake Up: 7:00 a.m.
I set my alarm for 6:45 a.m. and 6:51 a.m. but I don’t actually wake up till about 7 a.m. And even after I’m awake, it takes me a while to realize that I’m alive. But when I come to my senses, I dive straight into The Word.
Bible Study: 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m.
Once I’m alert, I play Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United. Then, I head to the bible app on my phone and listen to an audio teaching (right now I’m listening to Rick Warren). I read a few scriptures, pray and finish strong with Love You That Much by Mary Mary. It doesn’t matter what may go astray with my routine, this part will always remain the same.
Check Social Media/Texts: 8:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
I hated that the first thing I did when I woke up was reach for my phone and check out what everyone else was doing or checking my email. It’s a bad habit. I really believe in getting yourself centered before anything else. But because social media is such a huge part of my life, I decided to make it the second important thing.
Check Email/Eat Breakfast/Read: 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
In that order. Eating breakfast is something new for me. I’m used to heading to Starbucks for the Protein Bistro Box and eating it while stuck in traffic on the way to the office. For me, it’s a waste of time to make breakfast. ‘Grab and go’ type breakfasts work best for me. After realizing how pricey a daily trip to Starbucks was, I recreated the breakfast box at home. And it’s something I can eat while checking email and reading. So far, so good.
Work: 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
I have a really really short attention span. In order for me to work effectively, I have to block out shorter periods of time for intense focus and then stop to do other things. Unfortunately, the day time is not the best time for me to write. I still haven’t figured out what it is but I focus better late at night.
Lunch/Shower: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This is the most difficult thing for me to assign time to. Although I love to eat, if I’m focused on something, I will forget to eat. I really want to get to the point where I’m not multi-tasking during this time but focusing solely on my meal. Really enjoying the food and being present.
And yes, I probably won’t shower until late afternoon. SO.
End of the First Work Shift: 4:30 p.m.
When I start picking up clients, this will be the end of my work day (and this crazy freelance schedule will adjust). But as for now, this is only a break time to check emails and go about my personal business.
Beginning and End of the Second Work Shift: 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
As mentioned before, I focus better late at night. Really, my favorite time to write is 2 a.m. but I have to put a stop to that. That schedule doesn’t give me enough time to rest. I’m still trying to acclimate myself to this new schedule so everything in due time.
Some tips from Holly’s post that were SUPER helpful regarding handling distractions:
I have disabled any chat/instant message apps as well as email on my iPad so I’m not tempted to respond.
I also don’t respond to email on my phone unless I am waiting for something important or I’m out-of-town. I just feel like it’s bad enough that I’m already too connected on social media. It’s so important to disengage.
I’m a work in progress so I’m taking this day by day. And also accepting suggestions. Do you freelance? What’s your side hustle and how do you fit it into your overall daily routine? How do you run your day? Let me know!