And the most dramatic blog post title award goes to me on this occasion, I believe?
Let me explain.
On Friday morning I woke up a little later than normal, Hubby was away and I had forgotten to set my alarm the night before. I thus decided (last minute decision) to pop to the gym that morning, have a quick intense workout and then come home to spend the rest of the day on blogging & freelance work. I ran around packing everything into my kit bag, getting the twins ready for school and we made it out of the door on time.
I actually felt great – I even managed to make myself a hot coffee for the journey.
But for some reason time ran away with me that day. I ended up doing several other things instead of the planned workload that had been whirring around somewhere loosely in my head. Before I knew it 3pm had arrived and it was school pick-up time. Kids, dinner, cuddles, TV, bath, bed. Family time.
That day I’d wanted to schedule some social media work for a client, catch up on admin, as well as write & publish a blog post, which included producing high quality photos and editing them. But this didn’t happen. I thus ended up feeling a little flat because everything would now have move into next week.
And this isn’t an unusual story, or a one-off. It’s been happening a lot.
If I pinpoint any stress and anxiety I get during the week – regarding everything work, home, kids, personal – the one thing that I struggle with is leaving important things to the last minute and then trying to do it all to a high standard. And to be honest, I thought I was handling all this self-employed business pretty well…but lately things have been slipping and more often than not I feel as though my head is swimming with stuff.
But Friday night I literally had an epiphany. I read the ‘Time Management’ section in the ‘Working Women’s Handbook’ by Phoebe Lovatt – and it was literally like a penny dropping. A light bulb moment.
Her advice was brilliant and JUST what I needed to hear.
She talks about blocking time out every day with set tasks and putting more routine into your schedule. Such as set times for social things & self-care like the gym, lunch, coffee dates or yoga etc. Then carving allocated work-time in for tasks such as meetings, emails, admin, finances, writing content.
She claims that having every task mapped out each week (no matter how small) into a set routine makes for waking up with a clearer head each morning.
Yes to this!
I am sure many of you reading this will be like, “Errrr yes Jess, but this is totally obvious” ….and it is. But why haven’t I been planning and scheduling my content or putting set tasks into a calendar, I’ve no idea. Why I have got myself to this point of chasing my tail all the time, I don’t know! But something needed to change.
When I worked in Human Resources management in my previous career (pre-twins) I lived by my Outlook calendar, which was packed with work tasks, calls and meetings. It meant that I knew exactly what I was doing every day and could do plenty of planning for them all. I also had the calendar open from the minute I arrived until I logged off for the day. #workgoals
Yet it’s something I haven’t thought of doing since becoming a freelancer/self-employed. Possibly because everything has just evolved organically. My workload started as something that was a hobby (i.e. I wrote content whenever I felt like it) but now it’s grown into something that needs a high level of meticulous planning & organising in order to deliver and meet timescales for paying clients.
After sitting down this weekend, getting my diary updated and organised, I now have a very planned week mapped out. I’ve put everything I need to do each week in my online calendar and I’m going to work hard to stick to it. Freelance social media work, blog post content, shooting photographs, calls & meetings, as well as gym, friends & housework – it’s all in there. And wow, I already feel so much better!
More importantly though I know exactly what I’ll be waking up to each day and know in advance what needs delivering. Hopefully this will stop me faffing around SO much during the day and end all the procrastination, simply because I can’t decide what job to start next. I also know what tasks I can move around my diary if something unforeseen comes up during the week.
Winning at life.
So here’s to more prep & planning and a much happier me! Which I’m not going to complain at, at all.
Love, Jess x