My Creative Process: The Daily Routine

As a self employed designer-maker the daily routine can be switched up quite a lot, with plenty of scope for effectively managing the workload in a way that is (or can be) more efficient than a typical 9 to 5 day job. Personally, I don't enforce any hard and fast rules dictating specific times for daily tasks; I've fallen into a steady routine but it's flexible enough to accommodate changes like sneaky mid-week breaks.

With that in mind, this is what a typical work day looks like.

7.00AM - 8.30AM
I wake up, wash, dress, feed the guinea pigs, and get ready for the day by drinking a cup of coffee (or two) and listening to Radio 4, catching up on world news, reading blogs, and checking social media. I usually snatch a bit of time here to reply to comments on the previous day's blog post too.

8.30AM - 9.30AM
This is breakfast time and when I usually tackle my email inbox with the exception that I don't open emails on a Monday (unless it's from a customer or something urgent). Monday's are one of the busiest days for me since the workload can pile up over a weekend so ignoring emails and focusing on more important tasks is far more productive. I follow emails up with writing a daily task list so I know exactly what needs to be tackled on the day and what can wait for later on in the week. I keep the list brief: one major task that must be completed and two or so additional, smaller tasks.

9.30AM - 10.30AM
Emails done, I get to work on the task list. Aside from customer orders, daily tasks include working on SEO, analysing Google analytics, creating graphics, scheduling content for social media, planning marketing, and updating the website. Then there are some bigger tasks that require a bit more planning, such as working on wholesale orders, photographing new products and writing listings, stock checks, and ordering materials and supplies.

10.30AM - 12.00PM
Any orders made before 12 are shipped the same day so up until noon I continue working on the day's task list and then start prepping customer orders. I print address labels and transfer the order details to Google Keep so when I'm in the studio I can see who ordered what.

12.00PM - 4.00PM
These are my most creative hours where I get to work on making jewellery. I take a lunch break somewhere around here also; sometimes I eat before I go to the studio, other times I work in the studio for a couple of hours, take a break, and then go back. It all depends on what the workload is like and how hungry I am feeling. If the workload is super heavy - for instance, sometimes I have several wholesale orders come in at once or if customer orders go into double figures - I like to get in the studio early so I can get as much done as possible without having to work late into the evening. Once all the customer orders are made and packaged up I take them to the post office and either return to the apartment to work on a bit more admin or go back to the studio to finish up working on other tasks. Every day, without fail, I make sure I tidy the studio up before I leave. There's nothing quite like walking into an immaculate studio.

4.00PM - 5.00PM
I file postal receipts, update order records, and check emails again so I can reply to anything that has come in since the morning. I finish up any admin work, edit any photographs taken in the studio, and work on a few blog posts.

5.00PM - 7.30PM
I stop working, the computer gets switched off, and I start to wrap up the day. Sometimes I work a little more on the blog and answer comments if I didn't manage to earlier on in the day. Otherwise I try to step away from the computer and enjoy the evening; I do a little bit of housework and feed the pigs while Jack cooks dinner and then we sit down to eat together.

7.30PM - 11.00PM
This time is spent relaxing with Jack although he tends to be more productive in the evenings, so if he's busy editing photographs I pick up a book and get some reading time in. I often get a spark of inspiration late at night so I like to keep a notebook handy; I write any ideas down but I don't allow myself to work on them until the morning. Once the computer gets turned off I don't let myself turn it back on, I've learned it's best to decide on an end to the day and stick to it.

I try to get to sleep around 11 o'clock; I used to work super long hours and only ever managed to get 5-6 hours a night, so now I can I like to make sure I get a good eight hours and I definitely feel I'm more productive because of it.

[ read all posts from the My Creative Process series ]