I have been in business for myself for cumulatively 9 years. In the past 2 years, I shifted my business into focusing on only my coaching and art, instead of archiving and artist assistant work.
Often, what I hear from others who are starting out their solo business is the question of how do I make a work schedule?
My best advice is to try a routine, any routine, and see how it fits. The key to this is consistency, even when you may want to steer away from the pattern of your day, consistency will get you through.
My personal lesson in this is to stop meeting with friends during my designated work times. I have a lot of freelance and entrepreneur friends, and there’s often the pull to meet up during the day ~ why not? We are free, right?
I realized (through trial and error) that I can’t trade my precious day time hours when my brain is at it’s best and push my work until night. That doesn’t work for me. Yet, it works for others.
Making a work schedule that fits for you is all about finding your rhythm.
Action: observe yourself for a week and notice where your patterns of wakefulness are and when you naturally get tired. Start to carve out your peak hours of work when you are most awake. Maybe that is between 6-9am. Maybe that’s between 12-3am. There’s nothing wrong with either way, as long as it fits who you are.
When you are in tune to your rhythms, you also get a lot more done in an hour than you previously thought possible.
Throwing away the 8 working hours = complete work day model has been a challenge for me as a creative business owner. You will see, in my example of my ideal work day, that I am only really “working” for about 5 hours. That’s all I need to run my business, to get to my profit goals, and to be productive within my self discovered business boundaries.
My ideal work day looks like this:
7-8: wake, meditate, journal, do my rituals
8-9: eat, drink tea, read inspiring words, check my planner, write a to-do list
10-10:30: shower, dress
10:30-1: client calls, work on commissioned art work, or blogging/writing (depending on the day)
1-2: cook lunch, clean up, connect with my husband
2-3:30: work on art, social media + marketing, organize thoughts, answer emails
3:30-4:30: rest/nap/read/ sketch/take time away from computer and phone screens
4:30-5:30: follow ups for clients, finish anything work left over from morning
5:30-6:30: plan and cook dinner
6:30-7:30: eat, clean kitchen, connect with husband if he’s not out working on a gig
8-11: down time, turn off the computer and screens, spend time with husband or call a friend
Next day, start again!
Some days, like when I have an article deadline, I may blow this whole day plan out of the water. Or when I am preparing for an event, again…things shift.
One of the most important steps for me on in learning how to create a work schedule is writing out my ideal day.
From looking at my ideal day, I can really map out the other things. I have my foundation of consistency when I look at this ideal work day.
[Tweet “Consistency is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves as creative entrepreneurs.”]
And you know what? The days that I don’t have any client work or commissions I still show up. I still show up like there is someone waiting for me on the other side.
Typically, there almost always is someone waiting to hear what you have to say. You’ve got to get out there and say it.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~ Peter Drucker
To your work schedule, may you find it, keep it, and may it make you abundant and free ~
R o s e