When I started my photography business almost nine years ago, I was either in school or I had an internship. I knew what my internship schedule would be so I was able to work my business around that. Now that I have graduated with my Masters and working my agency full time now with side hustles here or there, it feels a whole lot different.
From the outside looking in, it may appear I have a ton of free time and can work whenever so I can do whatever I want. That is the complete opposite of what many think. If I don't hustle to bring in an income, then I don't get to have fun with friends and do whatever I want.
Usually when I am in Dallas working or meeting up with someone, I am usually at the Network Bar. The community this place gives is absolutely amazing and very professional at the same time. Yet, if you can't budget in a networking space, I highly suggests dedicating a space in your house/apartment to get work done which is where I honestly do a majority of my work.
Read along for the steps I take to create my personal work schedule as a self employed!
1) Decide how many hours you can dedicate every week
For me personally this changes every week depending on how many games I have that week or events that I am covering. Make sure you set a minimum or maximum of hours and write it down. This is something that cannot be changes and dedicate yourself to it.
2) Set times for how long you do a task
I currently work with four companies and this does not include individuals that need commissioned service done such as photo sessions. During the day I try to set times of when I work on certain companies. This is also based on the audience members for each company and when I know they are active online and are more likely to engage with the content that is being published.
3) Make non-negotiables happen first in your day
During all of this COVID-19 mess, I have started waking up earlier and go for a walk in my neighborhood. Usually I would go to the gym around 1p.m. on a normal day when the gyms were open. Doing this makes me start my day on the right foot and it allows me to be in a mindset that I will have a successful day.
Studies have shown that you are more successful the first three hours that you are awake. So keep this in mind when you are prioritizing what you should do first for your day.
4) Decide when you will be on social media or answering emails
This step is hard for me since my job is literally creating a presence for myself and others on social media. What is helpful for me is to plan out my social media on Sundays so I limit the time I am on there and so I don't get sucked into scrolling for hours. The platform I use to schedule my Instagram is PLANN. I love this service because I can use it on my desktop and phone. Plus it gives me feedback from what I am posting.
For emails I usually check them first thing in the morning to see if I receive any late night replies and what specials are happening. This is also when I usually send emails so it's not lost in the inbox of whomever I am sending it to. I repeat this again around lunch time and before I go to bed in case I receive something urgent.
There you have it my fellow freelancers and self employed friends! I have stuck to this routine for a while now and it has truly helped me to stay focus (somewhat) and get work done. If you have any tips, please feel free to add them below!