Thursday, 14 November 2013

Work Life Balance - my daily routine

So I finally booked a holiday and am in Lanzarote for a week. And like many things in life, you need to take a step back to see things more clearly.
I have realised I have become a slave to the freelance world. Our 'problem' as artists is that because we love what we do so much, we spend as close to every waking minute as possible, working. Whether its actually drawing and painting, or marketing ourselves online, we are never away from that computer! However, this isn't the reason I chose freelance as my career path. I wanted to be my own boss, work on a variety of projects, but the freedom aspect of freelance was the most important thing to me. The freedom to create my own hours, schedule my work around my life was the most vital in my chosen career path. But over the last year, I have lost sight of that.
So I have decided to get that freedom back! I have created a new daily routine that ensures I get my work done, but also gives me the freedom to enjoy life at the same time . So here it is..

7am - Wake up
7.30am - Go for a run 
8.15am - Shower and breakfast
9am - Client work
12 noon - Lunch Break
1pm - Client work
3pm - Personal work
6pm - Finish

This schedule has a few important features. Firstly, to wake up early! This has been a problem for me over the years! Having the discipline to wake up early is something I have found difficult as a freelancer. I would just think to myself 'I'll just have another hour in bed then I'll add that hour on to my working day'. And I keep doing this until I'm waking up at 1pm and working into the wee small hours. 
Secondly, I need to exercise more! Spending 12 hours a day at a desk is not a healthy lifestyle! Waking up early and going straight out for a run, gets the exercise 'in the bank' and wakes me up for the working day ahead.
Thirdly, I have allocated time for personal work. I find this important, to continually produce my own art. It's important for my own creativity but also, to stay consistent in the artist community. Constantly working on client work that you can't show publicly, means you are not very visible in the community.
Lastly, the time allocated to client work is for just that. Not 'client work with a movie on my other screen' or 'client work with Facebook and twitter on in the background'. Nothing slows down my work more than the Internet. In the time set aside for work, should only be for that. I find I work best with an audiobook, podcast or music on in the background, nothing visual. I can check Facebook, emails etc in my lunch break.
So this is my plan for the foreseeable future. Maybe this will be helpful for some of you, who have had similar issues with the freelance lifestyle.
New personal work to be posted soon!

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