This is a sponsored post.
In the years I’ve been working from home, my typical day has changed considerably. My day is much more structured, now, with a set of “regular” work hours and a sort of agenda for each day. It took me a long time to come to this system; my last in-house job was pretty unstructured and I worked totally alone, so I’d kind of lost the habit of having a daily agenda when I started working for myself in 2007.
S0 what does my day look like now?
My alarm (which is in my iPhone phone and is the lovely sound of church bells ringing) usually doesn’t get a chance to go off because Tori has already come in and let us know she’s ready to start her day. While Charlie goes downstairs and gets her breakfast, I usually sit up in bed and check my email on my phone first to make sure there’s nothing that needs immediate attention, and then I look at my calendar (also in my phone) to see what deadlines, calls, or appointments I have for the day. Today I had a Google hangout scheduled at 9:30, I have a post due for Babble, I had this post due, and I have a report to work on for a social media client. I also plan a mid-day break to get my recovery on.
I then usually get up and help Tori pick out weather-appropriate clothes, and she and I chat about her day and what she’s got scheduled. Then I do the daily push for her to get showered and brush her teeth, and then she gets dressed. Charlie makes her lunch and gets dressed himself, and then Charlie loads her up in the car to take her to school. I hop in the shower/get dressed. I’ve been putting a bit of makeup on each day lately because it cheers me up.
About 9:15, I’m at my “desk” which is now an end of the dining room table since my mom is now living in the tiny office upstairs. I respond to the most pertinent emails for the day, and then I hop into my Google hangout (if you don’t know, you can use Google Hangouts for video chatting with groups of up to 10 people for free; it’s awesome). The women I meet with are colleagues and friends, and this is our twice weekly “coffee klatch” where we use each other as mentors and bounce business ideas around. It’s been incredibly helpful.
By 10:30 we’re done, and I’m beginning my real work. I make notes for articles I’m going to write, and I again go through my email. I’ve been working on cleaning up my email so I can respond more effectively to the important messages, and it’s helped tremendously.
By 11, I’m writing. I use my phone to connect to a wireless speaker I have (it’s so lovely, and I won it in a raffle at a conference a couple years ago) to listen to music on Spotify (right now I’m listening to Ray LaMontagne); I’m old enough to prefer ambient music to headphones. I prefer to work to music, and if I really have to focus I usually listen to classical or opera.
I generally start tackling the paying work first. If I’m working on something for Babble, I pull the links and sources together and begin looking through my notes. If I’m not sure what I am going to post that day (I write an article or more a day for Babble), I might spend some time reading technology and social media journals to sort out the stories that are relevant to my audience (generally, women that blog) before I figure out what I want to write about.
Then I switch over to writing here. If I’m backed up or have more paying work, well, this blog gets neglected (sadly), but I try to get here at least three times a week.
Lunch is usually somewhere around 2 or 3. During lunch I read stuff from my feed reader, mostly other blogs. When I’m done, if I’m clearheaded, I will spend an hour or so writing offline (something that doesn’t pay).
After all that, I’ll begin taking a look at my non-writing work, generally blogger outreach projects that I’m doing for small businesses. I make sure the bloggers have gotten their posts up and sent me invoices, and I do extensive tracking and reporting for the client (depending on where the project stands).
Throughout the day, I check in on social media. I usually pop into Twitter a couple of times an hour, although sometimes I get wrapped up in work and don’t check during the day. I try to limit Facebook to only once or twice a day because it can be a time suck. I also try to hit Google+ at least once a day, but it’s probably my most neglected network. I also check email hourly. In addition, Charlie is usually working at the dining room table with me during the day; he edits a half dozen journals and has several writing clients, so we each work on the opposite ends of the table. Sometimes he works in the evenings so he can head downtown to do his work with the homeless, but that’s only once a week or so.
Charlie gets Tori home from school around 4:30, so I usually hangout with her a bit at that time. Lately, though, she’s needed some quiet time after school so she often goes to her room to play alone until dinner time, so I’ll keep working.
As a family we eat dinner together only a couple of times a week. I often cook for me and my mom (we both like a lot of stuff Charlie doesn’t, and we both like to eat later) but we do tend to hang out in the living room around dinner time. My mom likes to watch the news and then the game shows after, and I start getting Tori ready for bed around 7. We have a long ritual involving tickle games in the big bed, talking, reading books, and brushing teeth and lullabies. She’s generally asleep by 8.
If I’m lucky, I’m done with writing work – but at least two or three days a week I still have an article or two to write in the evenings. If I don’t, I watch television while I also hang out and chat on Twitter and Facebook (it’s my favorite time for social networking), while also scanning industry articles in my feed reader, bookmarking articles I might want to use in the next batch of articles.
At 11 we watch The Daily Show (if it’s on), and then it’s up to bed by midnight. Charlie and I spend some time in bed talking and connecting before sleep, and then I read (books) until I’m sleepy (sadly, this can take hours. I’m a terrible sleeper).
Then, it starts all over again. Oh! And some days I squeeze in some exercise, either a walk or some Xbox dancing or yoga.
What does your day look like? I’m curious. My weekends are quite different, obviously, involving grocery shopping and cleaning and doing fun stuff with Tori (although sometimes I have to work in the mornings), but my weekdays are pretty much the same. Tell me about your day!
This post has been sponsored by Otterbox, the perfect way to protect your technology like my iPhone that I use to listen to music and make calls all day. Thanks to Otterbox for sponsoring this blog this week!