My Creative Process: The Daily Routine

November 11, 2014

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 ]

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Join the conversation!

  1. How do you manage to do all this AND run a blog? I must admit I'm forever distracted. I'd start reading a post and by time I know it it's ready midday. ..

  2. It's great to read the way other people schedule their time. It seems like you are a very productive lady - which is an impressive feat when you run your own company and do not have a boss breathing down your neck!

    rae of love from berlin

  3. I love getting a glimpse at how you schedule your days. I also really like the idea of an e-mail free Monday. Just like you I try to get in some reading in the afternoon or evening. But I really should start setting aside time for it because I enjoy it so much.

  4. I like this snapshot!! Do you make all jewellery to order then, rather than having ready to go?

  5. This shows that keeping organised is incredibly productive! You seem to run a tight ship and I think this might be key to getting that balance just right, organised work time and important down time. Spot on!


  6. Amazing organisation. The one thing I didn't quite figure from your schedule is when you do the creative part, ie creating the jewellery ? If it's in the afternoon when you are in the studio, I find this interesting as this is often a down time for people (after lunch !).

  7. that sounds like a great productive day - very inspiring! thanks for sharing. :)
    xo, cheyenne

  8. I feel like your routine has perfect balance at the moment. It's always cool to get an insight into someone else's day. I'm working on my morning routine at the moment too but it's a little bit more packed because of full time work! Prioritising health and regulating sleep times is definitely important for me right now. Thanks for sharing with us

  9. Allison11/12/2014

    god I wish my days were like this! I'm out the door for work from 7 to 4:30 ish then I work on my blog and other internet pursuits until dinner with the BF then pretty much work/read blog posts until I go to bed, luckily though my guy is in grad school so he is always writing a paper or doing homework so its better for me to keep busy than to just sit around while he works
    Allison from

  10. Jane Heng11/12/2014

    Love how you make everything so organised! I wish I could be like you.

    Colorful Closets

  11. It took a while to get that way, I wasn't always this organised.. in fact, I used to be VERY disorganised but when you run a business, you have to start working at keeping a routine.

  12. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by, "I wish my days were like this" because our routines sound very similar to me. I wake at 7 most mornings and work until 5, sometimes later. I have to fit blogging and social activities in around the business and some days I have to travel to go to events and meetings.

  13. I work full time though..? My day is packed, believe me :)) It might sound "nicer" because I get to dictate when I do things but running a business and being the only one responsible is a lot of hard work.

  14. Thank you for reading :))

  15. Oops, I realised I didn't make that clear (I've edited the post a little now!)

    From 12pm-4pm I tend to work on making jewellery. It has worked out that way because I have so much to fit in and also I want to send orders the same day, so I wait until 12 (the cut off time) before I head to the studio to work on the day's orders.

    I tend to stay pretty productive all day and I think that's because I have set start and finish times and I stick to them.

  16. I definitely run a tight ship! I'm very particular about how I structure my day; I don't think it's possible to be as successful as one can be without working out an efficient routine.

  17. Most of the time I make it to order; I have quite a lot of options when it comes to chain lengths so rather than guess quantities to make of each, I make each one when I get new orders in. Closer to Christmas I start making chains up in various sizes, otherwise I would be swamped with work! But for the rest of the year my method works pretty good.

  18. I love hearing about other people's too :))

    Email-free Mondays are something that just.. happened. It's useful because it means I can focus on other, more important tasks. Emails can wait. And reading in the evenings is a good way of relaxing.

  19. Thank you! :)) I think a lot of people don't understand how hard it can be to "be your own boss." I get a few comments that kind of indicate people think it's not the same as a working a typical full time job or that anyone can do it. I know a few friends who have tried and realised, not everyone is cut out to manage themselves. It's hard work.. I love it, but it is hard! :))

  20. Haha, time management! :)) I've got really good at pushing myself to work at certain times and to embrace creativity when it hits. Obviously, I'm the same as everyone else, sometimes I wake up and I don't want to work! After a week of being on holiday, I am finding it hard to get back into the routine especially with blogging.. but you really have to push yourself if you want to do something :))

  21. Well it sure seems to work! And it is incredibly interesting to see how you lay out and assess each task. Really, really helpful!

  22. I love a good routine post -- this gives me something to aspire to!

  23. My apologies! I understand that working for yourself is a huge task and I didn't mean it in that way. I guess my hours are just a little less flexible and I'm jealous of you in that respect. I really admire the fact that you're so self motivated and have created a routine that works for you. I can definitely see that you work very hard maintaining your business and your blog and I appreciate the effort and being able to enjoy your website :)

  24. Allison11/13/2014

    I have to get up by 5 to get to work on time to work a soul sucking job, and fit all my creative efforts into the weekends and after work, I'm not saying your days are easy or anything like that but they sound a hell of a lot more fun than mine.

  25. I totally get where you're coming from. I used to work in retail and I was getting up at 5am with a 2 hour commute to work at a job I HATED and only had the evenings to work on my business. So, I hear you, I really do.

  26. I wasn't offended - sorry if you thought I was! :)) I just think it's important to mention because a lot of the time, there is still this idea that if you work full time self employed, it's not "proper work," y'know? Or it's easy. (Not implying you were saying that!)

    I definitely understand that working for myself has certain benefits that working for someone else doesn't have; up until 6 months ago I was working for someone else and I know how having to commute and abide by someone else's rules can be TOUGH when it comes to fitting in other things like creativity. I used to have to fit all my business time into the evenings and I barely got any sleep. But since going full time self employed I also see how there are benefits to not having to take your work home with you and being able to "switch off" from the workplace.

  27. I completely agree with everything you said. Glad we're on the same page now! :)

  28. Kendall Lynne12/01/2014

    This was really interesting! I love getting inside of creative peoples' minds and see what their creative processes are.


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