Ever wondered what the average day of a full-time blogger and online small business owner looks like?
Since transitioning to working at home full-time to see my dream of blogging & biz success come true, my days have have become radically different than they ever have been before. More relaxing, yet more exciting and inspiring. More routine driven, yet full of flexibility and possibility. In a word?
Somewhere around here I get out of bed, usually depending on how cold it is, and whether or not my willpower is strong enough to do battle with the brisk air (we keep our house at 16C overnight, which for me is pretty chilly.) The alarm does not go off, but the coffee maker does, and that's enough. I stretch a little, knock back as much water as I can, despite being chilly, and get dressed.
Getting dressed is something I'm really working on. As someone who is cold most of the time, it's pretty tempting to stay in fleece pyjamas with a huge blanket and warmer. The problem? Finding the motivation not just to go out for some exercise, but to also get dressed. Getting ready for the day right away eliminates one of the hurdles to getting outside and out of your comfort zone if you're typically indoors all day.
This is when I'll haul everything into the study from the various parts of the house, get everything all set up and ready to go, and get to making a cup of tea, and First Breakfast. I'll usually have yogurt and granola or a bowl of oatmeal. While the water is boiling and the tea steeping, I do a tricky multi-tasking manoeuvre and wash the dishes. Often, I'll put on my big badass Winter coat and go walk around our backyard for a few minutes, letting the brisk morning wake up my face. I try to drink a bit more water, then I sit down in the office for the next few hours.
Typically, I check my email and various social media accounts, have a peak at whether or not Google Adsense is making me any money (hint: it's not), and think about what post I'm going to be sharing and promoting that day if I haven't written something new. If I do have a new post, I'll publish around now, then promote on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Next up is a little Pinterest action. I'll spend about fifteen minutes pinning and repinning strategically, participating in various group boards, and watching Pinterest works its magic.
Between eight and eleven, I'm starting on the main portion of my work for the day. There are several different things that happen here, but the general plan is pretty much the same. Depending on my mood, I might kick off my work with about a half hour of Norwegian practise (three cheers for Duolingo!) This is going well, and I can now say things like: "Ulver elsker smørbrød," which is a stunningly useless phrase. The rest of this time is spent:
- brainstorming and writing blog posts
- taking photographs for said posts
- creating free content upgrades
- writing newsletters for the subscribers
- scratching the ears of Samwise
- working on ebooks and courses
I try my best to remain focused here, although that I'm not always incredibly successful. I find Wednesday's are particularly difficult, so I'm in the process of working in Wednesday as an additional day completely off (currently, Saturday is my day off). During this time, I make sure to take about a fifteen minute break after every sixty minutes or so, walk around, have some water, and stretch.
This is one of my favourite times of the day, because I'm really committed to my love for food. I typically make myself a fantastic lunch, and have some fruit and more water. I try to make this meal the largest one of my day. Lately we've been making up a massive batch of beans, rice, corn, and some assorted veg, which I then mix in avocado slices and soy sauce. It's pretty much the best thing ever, and I eat heaps of it. I'll usually poke my head outside for a bit, enjoy the sun if it's there, and check the mail (I'm waiting on an arrival of books as I write this. Hurray! Is there anything better?)
I might throw in a bit more Norwegian revision here, knit, or read for a while. I'm big on self-learning so I tend to have one fiction book and one non-fiction book going at the same time (if you're curious they're currently Doppler, by Erlend Loe, which I hope to read in it's original language some day, and The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins). I'm also doing the daily struggle of habit formation, and so I practise yoga for about a half an hour here, too.
If you're trying to adopt a new schedule and work some more creative time in your day, this is a GREAT time to do it. Not only is it giving you a well needed mental break from your work, but it's giving you time to really grow and explore your creativity, and that sounds great to me.
I get back to work again for a few hours around this time. I'm currently working my way towards the Short Workday, but like many things, it's a work in progress. While trying to produce and launch new instructional content, it can be easy to try and justify working long, tiring hours. Just until you finish the launch, right? It's just temporary hustle-madness. But then there is a new thing after that, and after that as well. If you can get into the habit of working short bursts of intense productivity rather than long slog hours of distraction and mediocre production, you're gold. People seem to be regularly baffled when I say that throughout all of my university career, I never worked on any assignments past about seven. Usually not even past supper (that's a lie. I pulled an all-nighter once and was so sick the next morning I had to call in sick to work. Don't do it, wondermavens).
This is more of the same as above, although it tends to be less blog-post focused, and more creating-content-upgrades-and-profitable-courses-and-ebooks focused. This is because I don't like to leave things which are being published the next morning quite so late in the day in case anything comes up. Such is life.
If dinner prep needs doing, I'll often also sneak that in here as well.
On an average day, I take off all of my clothes and hold a drum circle in my backyard.
On rarer occasions, I chit chat with my husband for a bit when he gets home, have a snack, and read or knit for a while. Sometimes work spills over into this area a little, and of that I'm not particularly thrilled. He often does a little more work after getting home, but we often just relax and enjoy one another's company, often with Gilmore Girls, Vikings, or Sherlock. We're pretty average like that. We've also been going for more walks before dinner (especially now, as it gets very dark around five thirty and there isn't much room for after dinner walks).
We'll make and enjoy dinner together, which we try to make into a special occasion more often than not. Follow up with dark chocolate, please.
Typically more relaxing, chit chat, reading, knitting, and making art of various other kinds happens here. We talk about our days, sometimes watch John Oliver (recommended) and generally enjoy life. Sometimes we play Settlers of Catan, which is a grand time. I admit to checking email and Facebook throughout the day, but I also make one last ditch attempt at growing a social media presence with a bit more Pinterest and Twitter activity around this time.
If I've totally bungled my day or knowingly spent it doing something else in the pursuit of mental health and sanity, I'll finish up a blog post here.
We get ready for bed.
This involves all of the usual things one would do in getting ready for bed, just at a time more in sync with your grandparents. It's fine. In fact, I recommend it. Once this is done, I hop into bed and plan my next day, which is actually one of my favourite things to do, ever. It's so exciting to see how many awesome things I'm going to attempt to tackle the next day, with a fresh start, no matter how well or poorly the current day had progressed. That's badass.
I'm conked out by 10:00PM 99% of the time, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
What does your daily schedule look like? Let me know in the comments below!
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