Since back in June when I first shared a glimpse into my daily routine, things have basically done a complete 180. Here’s why…
As I’ve grown as a blogger, and as my blog and business have grown, I’ve had to figure out more efficient ways of completing all of my work on time, while still keeping my sanity. If you’ve read this post, you know what mental hurdles I’m up against!
If you blog full-time, or if you own an online business, I’m sure you can relate to some of the feelings and roadblocks I shared in that post. And even if blogging is only a part-time activity for you, I’m sure you’ve felt the pressure of trying to do #allthething in a short period of time, right?
A month ago, I hit a point where it became a bit too much for me. I was feeling run-down, burnt out, and all-over-the-place. I knew I needed to make a change and create a more balanced, productive, organized daily routine in order to keep moving forward.
I also wanted to start enjoying the “perks” of working from home and the benefits that come with being your own boss. Namely, sleeping in and starting work whenever I want to, calling it quits early if I need to, and taking breaks for “me time” throughout the day.
Over the past month, I’ve settled into what I’d call my “ideal daily routine”, and I’m really excited to share it with you today. If you’re looking to add more balance and productivity to your work life, I hope you find this post helpful, and that you take away some inspiration for your own daily routine.
The Inspiration Behind My New Routine
If I think back on it, there were two specific sources that encouraged me to make these changes to my daily routine a month ago (besides the fact that I was slowly driving myself crazy!)
One of them was this blog post by Kayla Hollatz on “Designing a Daily Creative Routine”, along with Kayla’s recent live training session on the same topic. A point that really hit home with me was when Kayla talked about catering your work tasks to the time of day they’re best suited for. In other words, tackling your most mentally-taxing projects when your brain is at its sharpest.
The second place I drew inspiration from was an AMAZING book called “Adventures For Your Soul” by Shannon Kaiser. Although this book isn’t specifically about daily routines or productivity, it’s been immensely helpful in bringing more balance and joy to my day-to-day life. If you’re only going to read one book this year, this is the one I’d recommend!
My Waking-Up Routine
Alright, let’s jump into my daily routine! The first big change I made was the time of day I wake up and start work at. I used to force myself to get out of bed between 6 and 6:30 so I could fit in a morning workout, which was so not fun.
What I’ve realized over time is that I am NOT a morning person (like, at all). I just can’t function early in the morning. And you know what else I realized? That’s okay. I don’t need to push myself to be something I’m not!
Nowadays, I let myself wake up without an alarm. This generally happens between 7:15 and 7:45, when Scott’s getting ready to leave for work. Sometimes we’ll go out and grab a coffee together, and sometimes I’ll make myself a cup of coffee at home and settle in for my morning routine.
My Morning Routine
A few months ago, I would’ve gone straight into my office after I woke up, and started to work through my inbox and my to-do list for the day. Now, I try to ease into it, and give myself a chance to wake up properly, have something to eat, and indulge in some “me time”.
For starters, I don’t even open up my computer or check my emails for at least half an hour after waking up. Instead, I make myself some breakfast (greek yogurt, granola, and berries, if you were wondering!) and settle in for 30-60 minutes of “me time”.
This chunk of “me time” has become my favorite part of the day. I like to work slowly through my breakfast, do some reading, and then enjoy a bit of “joy journalling” (more on this in Shannon Kaiser’s book from above!)
During this time, my computer and cell phone are off, soft music is playing, and I allow myself to fully enjoy my coffee, my breakfast, and the book I’m reading. I’ll usually work through a chapter or two, do some journalling, and then organize my office and desk space before diving into my work for the day.
Inbox & To-Do List
Once my work day has officially started, which is usually around 9 o’clock, the first two things I do are:
1. Organize my inbox
2. Finalize my to-do list for that day
I’ll answer any emails that require an immediate response, and then file away other emails to be answered later.
When it comes to my to-do List, I’ve been trying out this new technique where I only choose three big tasks to focus on each day. This helps me prioritize the most important tasks for growing my blog, business, and income, and not focus on the “nitty gritty” things that aren’t as vital to my success.
Next up, I spend 1-2 hours on client work. I like to get this done and out of the way early, so it’s not weighing on my mind for the rest of the day. This also allows me to focus on my own blog and business for the remainder of the day, which I like.
Admin Tasks & Social Media
Next I spend an hour before lunch working on administrative tasks or anything social media-related. Depending on the day, this might include:
+ Scheduling Twitter updates
+ Interacting in my Facebook group
+ Completely clearing out my inbox
+ Replying to comments on my blog
If I have any extra time before lunch, I’ll move on to the big tasks on my to-do list for the day. I’m not at my sharpest until later on in the afternoon, so I don’t work on creating new content in the morning. I will, however, type up a blog post that I’ve written out by hand, or edit one that I’ve already typed up.
I usually take my lunch break around 12:30. I like to spend around 30 minutes making and eating lunch, and then enjoying some more “me time” activities. Usually this involves watching YouTube videos (I LOVE the Saccone Joly’s daily vlogs!), doing housework, and sometimes more reading if there’s time.
Afternoons: Working on My Blog + Biz
While my mornings are mainly devoted to client work and admin tasks, I like to spend my afternoons working on my own blog and business. Some of the tasks I’ll work on during this time include:
+ Writing blog posts
+ Formatting posts and creating images for them
+ Writing my weekly newsletters
+ Working on my ecourses, ebooks, or other products
Like I said earlier, I’m not at my sharpest in the mornings. I’m much more of an afternoon/night owl, so it’s a lot easier for me to create content in the afternoons. So that’s what I do!
Squeezing in Some Exercise
Although I don’t workout in the mornings anymore, I still like to get in some exercise later on in the day. I’ve come to realize how important this is for someone like me, whose job is very sedentary.
I usually take a break around 3 o’clock and spend 30-45 minutes exercising. What I do varies from day to day, but I’ve recently started the Bikini Body Guide program by Kayla Itsines again. The workouts are INTENSE, but I’d definitely recommend them to anyone who’s looking to get in shape quickly!
Back to Work
After my workout and a quick shower, it’s back to work for another hour or two. This time is also devoted to working on my own blog and business, although sometimes I’ll squeeze in a bit more client work if there’s something I need to wrap up that day.
I always spend the last 30 minutes of my work day wrapping up any end-of-day tasks and getting ready for the following day. At this point, I’ll check my inbox and answer emails one more time, interact on social media, and write out my to-do list for the following day.
Once 5 o’clock rolls around, I’m home free!
I power down my laptop, shut off the lights, and leave my office for the evening. Because I work from home, it’s important for me to stay out of my office when I’m not working. I find this helps my brain keep my work-life separate from my personal-life, which is a must!
Summing Up My Daily Routine
I’m so happy with my current routine, and the fact that I manage to get all of my work done without ever feeling rushed, stressed, or worn out. It’s an amazing feeling!
What does your daily routine look like? Do you make room for self-care and “me time” throughout your day?