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March 22, 2017

That Freelance Life: Time Management + Self Discipline

Ironically I'm sitting down to write about today's freelance theme: time management and self discipline at 10pm.

I'm going to chalk it up to the fact that I'm leaving to Mexico on Saturday and therefore I'm trying to cram 2 weeks of work into a week, but the reality is... being your own boss and working freelance means you could potentially work ALL THE TIME aka office hours are 24/7. Hear me out:

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When I first left REVOLVE I secured a client that I knew would take up to 20-30 hours of my week. I was excited about my new flexible schedule.... "oh now I can meet so and so for lunch" or "I'm so excited to finally RSVP yes to a 3pm blog event" or "10am pilates here I come!" Keep in mind I also had about 10- 15 hours of blog work that needed to get done every week which adds up to 40+ hrs worth of work a week. 

Here's what ended up happening: I spent wayyyy too much time in my car (hello, LA traffic) getting from said pilates to lunch to event, while having mild anxiety attacks that I wasn't at my computer working. Even when I started to cut back on all the extracurriculars and decided to spend chunks of the day working at coffee shops, I became a slave to coffee shop wifi, available outlets, or even a guaranteed seat. (Hands down, you can always count on Starbucks. Everyone else is questionable... don't get sucked into hip, instagrammable coffee shops!
I was working inefficiently and spending my weekends catching up just because I wanted to live this freelancer "I can work whenever I want to" vibe. 

The reality is: when you don't have a regular 9-5 office routine you have all the time in the world - how you use that time is what matters!

There's something to be said about creating a routine and schedule. After 2 yrs on my own and now 6 clients deep, I finally feel like I've figured out what works for me:

Slowly and slowly I've become an early riser. At 6:30am I'm awake! (6 before daylight savings hit) Doesn't mean I'm out of bed but I'm actively thinking about my day, to-do list, writing in my 5 minute journal, etc. If you follow me on snapchat (pursuitofshoes) you know I walk to Starbucks every morning. When I walk back in the house I instantly hit work mode; computer opens and the day starts. This happens every morning Monday through Friday like clockwork. 

Tuesday and Thursdays are my "at home days" - I don't make any middle of the day plans except maybe a workout. This is when my intern comes over and I schedule re-occurring calls. It keeps me sane knowing that there are two days in the week that I will have uninterrupted work time. M, W, F are a little more up in the air.

I don't have a hard stop in the evening but I try to be cognizant of working past 8 or 9pm too many nights in row. When YOU are your own business there is ALWAYS work to be done (that hustle tho). Yes I could work from 7am and 1am every day but I want to ENJOY my life and the people in it, so I make it a priority to put away my computer and do that!

It seems simple, but figuring out what works for you will probably take some time. Also, there are many challenges to working from home. I have a whole post dedicated to that next month! 

Are there days when I end up staying in bed until 9am because I can? Yes! Thursdays when it's beautiful out and Andy and I ditch out on work to go play on the beach? Of course! The joy in life, especially being freelance, is spontaneity! I'm not a robot and although I love to work, sometimes you have to treat yourself. 

Like I mentioned above: if I don't work, I don't make money. Keeping that in mind makes it VERY easy to stay disciplined because I know new YSL bags aren't just going to buy themselves - hah! And saving for grownup things like weddings, houses, and babies aren't magically going to happen. I will say that joining a goal group has been an invaluable step in keeping me accountable and having overall girl power support. Read that blog post if you haven't already!

Super excited that you guys are digging the new Freelance feature! Keep your questions coming in the comments, IG, Facebook, and e-mail. I'll try to address as many as I can throughout the next few posts.

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