When you’re starting a business, you’ll probably want to create a daily work schedule. However most creative people have trouble keeping to a specific schedule, so if this is difficult, be assured you’re not alone! Finding a schedule that works for you takes time and experimentation.
It helps to know what time of day you’re likely to be most mentally alert. For most people, that’s in the morning hours. Take notice of your most productive hours and remember to schedule that time for your most important creative work.
It is helpful, also, to note your slumps. For me, that’s going to come during the mid-afternoon hours, generally between 2 and 5. I also notice that consuming sugar creates an artificial slump – one I can do without. So sugar is out … but ginkgo, a mind-stimulating herb, is in. If you use ginkgo, be careful not to exceed the amount suggested on the bottle because it can cause headaches when used to excess.
I positively and absolutely love to make schedules for myself – both to track my time and check my progress. Usually these work better in retrospect.
For example – here’s a Daily Work Schedule PDF I can use two ways.
1. I can fill it out in advance to tell myself what to get done today, or . . .
2. I could just do the work and make notes on the schedule about what I got done.
The second option works better for me and lets me know at the end of the day that I was productive! There’s nothing worse than finishing up a work day thinking that absolutely nothing got accomplished. Therefore I seriously suggest a “ta-done” type list (as well as a “to-do” list) to cheer you up at the end of each shift.
My schedule comes from years of experimentation, and development of daily habits. I wake up at about 8am, take a long walk (typically, two or three miles) and then come home with a metabolism that rocks and helps my mind function better. Next I work on my core website projects. I have four to keep on top of. This will extend until I reach my “slump”. I end my shift, typically, around 4pm, then do some errands. Getting away from the computer is a great way to refresh the spirit and mind!
When I get back home, sometimes I’ll take a short nap. Other times I get right back to the computer and work until about 10pm. Long day! My mind shuts down after 10. Often I’ll use that time to watch a movie while at the same time doing some routine easy-work that takes no special brain power.
As you can see, this isn’t exactly a daily schedule, but more like a routine. I’ve created habits so that I know exactly what I can expect to do at any particular time of day.
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My dog loves this too. She knows she’ll get a walk in the morning and that before I come back to the computer after my errands, I’ll make time to take her outside again too. She knows exactly what’s going on with me at any time of day, and what to expect. I share my life with this old border collie! At midnight we both go to bed.
So, while you’re starting out, use the daily work schedule, but work toward creating habits and having your own routine that will help you thrive in your work as a freelance web designer.
Great article. Some people get so involved in just the business they dont think about balancing their schedules.
Linda Jo Martin says
Time management is one of the most challenging aspects of small business ownership. Let that go and pretty soon you’ve got chaos!
Just read two posts on your blog but I like you already. I am just starting my freelance career and sometimes I feel overwhelmed.