It can be hard to stick to a routine as a freelancer and I’m definitely guilty of straying from my self-imposed schedule. Today I’m sharing 5 ways to simplify your weekly routine to become more productive and feel less stressed at the end of each day.
1. Time Audits & Time Blocking
The word audit gets a bad rap, but it’s really very useful. Grab a journal and for one week write down your activities and estimate how much time you spent doing each thing. At the end of one week look over your entries and look for patterns, large chunks of unaccounted for time and other things that stand out to you. Then go back and decide if you need to re-distribute your time .Instead of trying to write down every single task I need to complete throughout the day, block out time for different activities and then will create little ‘sub-tasks’ within those. As a freelancer this also helps me not feel guilty if I’m spending time doing something fun or relaxing. If I block it, then I rock it.
2. Day Assignments
Since I not only work from home, but work and live with my boyfriend as well, we’re working on developing a consistent ‘daily schedule’ for our weeks. We each have certain days that are dedicated to different projects or agreed upon working days. Example; Wednesday’s are our ‘date night’. Monday’s are his lazy day and Sundays’ for me are a work/food prep day. Since we both work such non-traditional jobs this can really complicate our weeks, having a mutual understanding of our priorities on certain days makes everything much easier.
3. Monday Morning Inbox Clear Out
I’m a huge fan of Unroll.me for keeping my inbox in check, but it can still get out of whack over the weekend. The first thing I do Monday morning is take 15-20 minutes to clear it out and organize it. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed starting the week off. It also helps me prioritize my week’s task and better block out my time according to what clients/projects need the most attention.
4. Simplify Your Wardrobe
If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know I got serious with my closet about a month ago. Using my wardrobe inventory sheet I’ve paired down my closet to just over 300 items. (Still sounds like so much) I spend so much less time getting ready now than I used to, especially during the work week. I try to keep my color palette to black and white. Not having to stress about outfits definitely makes my week my simpler.
Routines and habits are incredibly hard to form. I’m the first to admit I’m not great at them. But I realize in order to become a more productive person living a simplified life, I have got to practice! I’ll focus on going one day, then two, then three…you get the picture. I’m also a big fan of trial and error. Try something and if it’s not working for you, try something else! I’ve been through 3-4 task management platforms and while I love Asana and Google Calendars, nothing beats a good old fashioned paper planner.
6. A Bonus!* Remove distractions and create a calm/simple space
I always try to get all my chores and cleaning done on Sundays so that my week can start off on a clean and peacefully. I tend to be the messier one, but if I am sure to put everything back prior to starting my week it’s much easier to maintain a simplified and calm environment as the week progresses.
These are just a few things I have been working on to simplify my weekly routines. Everyone is different and the best policy is always to do what works for you.