It comes down to routine.

Preface : I read one of my favorite designer's blog today about her routine, and that inspired me to talk about my own.

Ask anyone in the creative industries - building a brand, a business, and yourself as a creator is not a walk in the park. It's not "you work from home so you must have lots of free time", it's not "what do you really do all day?", and it's certainly not "you must have it easier than folks who work 9-5". 

I'm not dismissing that working as a creator doesn't come with inherent perks like greater flexibility, a homier work environment, and the ability to control your own work schedule. Those are certainly things I enjoy about being an artist. But it comes with just as much hard work and dedication as any other career. 

It comes with routine. There are days when routine means I'm drowning in unfinished work, a half-completed to-do list, and I'm dying to reach the weekend. But it also means I've established a rhythm that allows me to bring the best out of myself for my clients. It has kept me sane and my workload reasonably acceptable. So I thought I would share what has worked for me. 

7:30 AM // Awake, Exercise, Preparation

My usual morning routine is my snippet of completely "me" time in which I try my best to not check my phone, take time to exercise and slowly get my blood flowing, then prepare myself for the work day by slowing down to enjoy breakfast. When I get things like exercising done first thing in the morning, I know I no longer have to worry about it and allows me to be more flexible with my workload. 

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM // At the Desk

I start by reviewing my to-do list I wrote the night before. Then, depending on how pressing each item is, I start tackling them one by one. The thing I find, and which some studies seem to have proven, is that multitasking does not work. I concentrate on one project, and one project at a time. Whenever I find my mind drifting to think of something else, I recenter my focus on what's in front of me. Soft, gentler music is my extent of "multitasking" while I work, but anything more stimulating reduces my concentration on what's to be done in the moment. 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM // Lunch, Yuki, Media

It is during this hour that I usually make lunch (or microwave leftovers), then take my pup Yuki out for a walk. It's the time I use to stretch, take a walk, breathe in the cold air and reset my brain, my eyes, and my focus. Then with whatever time I have left, I like to do a thorough check of all my social media outlets (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram). 

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM // Errands, Tedious tasks, Miscallaneous

Just like Laura from Caribou Creative, I find the afternoons seem to be when I get the work done. The administrative stuff - invoicing, recording receipts, jotting new project ideas, replying to emails, or running out to get new supplies and such. The morning atmosphere allows me to be completely creative, but something about late day sun and the weariness after lunch compels me to just stick to the logstics. 

4:00 pm and Onwards // Flexible...

This is the most flexible time in my day. If I have a project that needs rushing, I'll continue to work until around dinner time. If not, I spend the evening catching up on things in my personal life, like reading my Bible, books, self-care, watching movies with my boyfriend, and generally spending time with those I love. It's all about balance. 

And so that's basically it...my work day in a nutshell! It ebbs and flows as my schedule pops up with unexpected events, but it generally sticks to this routine. And it has truly made all the difference. Segmenting my time, but not being strict with it has allowed me to accomplish more things more effectively. 

What's your routine like? What time of day is your favorite to work in? I'd love to hear! 

 

always with love,

 

Angie 

 

Angie Lam

Angie is on a journey to discover moments of God’s grace in the little things and share them with all who are yearning for more.