Here I go again! Answering the questions I get from you guys at least once a week 🙂 Last time I did this, I answered a bunch of questions about our kitchen (and why we haven’t yet renovated), today I’m attempting to answer the questions I get about my daily work flow and how I ‘do it all’. (I totally don’t).
When I put the call out for questions on Instagram. I was honestly expecting more DIY related questions and instead at least four people asked me to explain what a typical day in my life looks like.
I figured the best way to tackle this was to track my time for three or four weeks using a time tracking app and then just print out the report to see where my time was going. It was a great exercise and has truly helped me see where I can find more efficiencies in my business, but it also shows me where my priorities lie 🙂
It’s hard to break down what I do into a typical day, because I tend to not have typical days as a blogger and consultant and Mamma – but I will try.
550 am – My alarm goes off and I do my best to get out of bed within a few minutes. Head downstairs in my pjs and bathrobe, turn on the coffee maker and I curl up in my office cozy chair and write in my Goal Planner. I also take between 3-5 minutes to do a morning ‘wake up’ meditation while the day is still coming together. I really like using the HeadSpace app for this.
6 am – At my desk with a hot cup of coffee. I open all my essential apps and get to work. I blog at DIY Passion and co-host In The Storyhouse, but I also do freelance consulting for a Canadian influencer network based in Vancouver. This is how I spend the first hour of every day. At any given point, I will represent between three and six clients; so I check in on their files, make notes about what needs to be done on their accounts and if it’s a small simple thing, I will actually do what needs to be done. I reserve Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings to focus on this particular project, but I spend an hour each morning tending to it.
7am – LB and Dan are up by now, so I put my phone in a basket and do ‘family time’. Take out the dog, make bottles and breakfast and enjoy another cup of coffee before they leave for day care and work.
8am – Back at it. This is where I will ‘eat the frog’ as they say. I tackle most of my writing and ‘not fun’ work right away each day. This could consist of drafting posts (I create skeleton posts for every piece of content I need to produce each month), writing show notes for the podcast, crunching analytics so I can create a solid business pitch for a client, taking conference calls, researching a large scale DIY project. During this time slot, I also try to always do something to ‘improve’ my blog and my business.
This could be as simple as pinning older content back onto some Pinterest boards, creating a new round-up for my newsletter of older material, or coming up with a new series idea and figuring out how and when to launch it. One of my main mantras is to always keep at least one eye on progress and sometimes the ‘head down’ dirty work can really make you feel like you’re standing still.
10am – I will typically take about 45 minutes of me time here. I will flip on one of my favourite podcasts, jump in the shower, get dressed, put on some makeup and real person clothes and somedays I even do my hair. HA I’ll probably also hop on IG stories and give a little update or a sneak preview of something coming up. If it’s a MONDAY, this is about the time the crew from Atlantic Live Stream will arrive to do Erin Trafford LIVE. So obviously, I’ll have done all my showering and such a bit earlier and instead, help them with set-up and doing a dry run of what’s coming up on the show.
1045 am – If it’s a Tuesday, this is where Jen and I will connect and record our podcast. Tuesdays are devoted to In The Storyhouse, so this will typically take me right into the afternoon (about 1:30-pm-2:00pm with edits and show notes, uploads and now video trailers). Otherwise, I will take the opportunity to find inspiration in the house and snap some photos. The light tends to be lovely in the house at this hour. If I don’t have photos to take? I will address my inbox. Respond to new emails, sort through the last week’s worth of messages to make sure I haven’t let anything fall through the cracks.
1115 am – Back at it. If I’ve snapped a great series of photos, I will sit down and edit them, label them and upload them into a post. I might save it for later to write (like the next morning) or draft it right there depending on how complex it is. This is also when I will start to look at my afternoon to see if any new business or projects have come up that I will want to focus on entirely. If I’ve been tending to my emails, this is where instead I will (ewwww) do some light accounting so that it doesn’t pile up on me. I also reserve the last day of every month for accounting. I scan and print all my receipts, log all my expenses and income and follow up on all my invoices.
1pm – I tend to have one to two conference calls per day and they really vary on time, but 1pm is when I like to try to schedule them. Even though I do the majority of my work online, I still really like to talk to people over the phone! It’s a much better way to create a more human connection.
130pm – It’s at about this point in the day when I squeeze in a lunch break and make a pot of tea to energize me through the afternoon. I’m definitely more productive in the mornings, so around 130 or so, I try to ramp down the mental tasks and tackle things that don’t require as much brain juice. I might pop out to the shops if I need project supplies or I’ll head down to my studio to assess ongoing projects etc. Essentially this is my ‘deep work’ time when I try to leave my computer and just go with the flow. Sometimes, it just means hopping in the car and driving to grab a tea instead of making it myself. It’s head space. Time to think and create.
3pm – I’m back in my inbox assessing what’s gone on through the day, what needs to be addressed immediately and what needs to be put on the next morning’s to-do list. This is also when I’ll check in with all my social media posts from the day, post a second set of InstaStories and update our podcast analytics spreadsheet. Once a week or so, this is around the time when Jen and I will have a planning session for our next podcast episode as well.
4pm – I take a look at my planners, pound out my to-do lists, check into all my consulting accounts and call it a day. I’ll head to the kitchen and clean up the day’s mess and dishes before Dan and LB walk in the door so that we can easily launch into dinner prep mode and family time.
5-730pm – Family Time. I put my phone down and focus on what’s right in front of me.
Special Days and other stuff
I work late every Monday. Once LB goes to bed, I head back to my desk from about 730pm to 9pm each night. This is typically the time of day when I delve into special projects I have going on (for example, planning complex DIYs) or when I tackle technical projects (like redesigning my blog menu or side bar for example).
Saturdays are the only days I don’t start with my Goal Planning session. Instead I do that during nap time on Saturday afternoons.
Sundays I still wake up at 550 am and work until Dan and LB get up around 7am. I also typically work for an hour on Sunday evenings after LB goes to bed.
I know this probably just looks like I work a lot. And I guess, in reality, I do. But I love my ‘work’ and it never really feels like work. I am okay with the fact that I’m starting out and that I need to put in hours to learning what works, what doesn’t work and how to make my life as resistance-free as possible. I mentioned on a recent episode of In The Storyhouse that my dream is to have a 25 work week. This month, I am definitely averaging about 45 hours of work a week. But I know I’m in control of that and each step I take towards making good decisions about how I use my time and energy will bring me closer to that 25 hour mark.
As I mentioned at the beginning, no day is really the same – this is just kind of a loose guide of what I try to accomplish in any given day. Obviously, some days are meeting and conference call heavy and other days are head-down writing heavy – but it all shakes out to look mostly like what I’ve described above.
So I definitely do not do it all 🙂 I think my biggest victory of the last six months is simply forcing myself to become aware of what I am doing and where my energy is most valuable.
Watch for our finally finished main floor bathroom coming at you this weekend! I’m off to try and find a plant for in there that I won’t kill HAHA 😛
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