Day in the Life of a Freelance Editor / Writer

Now that I’m working from home, I want to be very mindful of what I do during my day and how I spend my time. I’ve created a draft of a schedule / routine for me to follow, which I’m sure I will be adapting and playing around with over the coming weeks and months – as today shows, I already started playing around with it 🙂

And every once in a while, I’d like to track what I’m doing, hour for hour! I figured I’d share the (very detailed) schedule from my first day of freelancing here at Living Rhetorically. Here it is! More than everything you could ever want to know about my life and how my day went on Monday, March 31, 2014 (I promise I will NOT be writing about the minute details of my life on this blog as a regular thing 😉 It’s more for if you are curious about what a home-based freelancer’s day *can* look like).

This is what my day looked like today, my first day as a full-time freelancer working from home:

6:09am Alarm goes off (the time was strategically chosen as the exact time that Mr Science’s alarm would go off from the snooze button). I’m sleepier than I expected, which I suppose isn’t such a big surprise, since I’ve been waking up closer to 7am for the past few weeks. I press snooze a few more times.

6:45am Peek through the curtains to look outside. There’s a chilly draft coming through the window, which wakes me up completely. Hop out of bed. Put on running clothes. Play with my new Jabra Sport Wireless that I received as a review product, but which I haven’t had the opportunity to use yet. Attempt to use it, before remembering that it’s Bluetooth and I’ll need to carry my phone with me on the run if I want to use it. Decide not to try it this time.

7:10am Get out the door. The sky is a beautiful blue-gray colour, and it’s cold outside. Glad I have my hoorag on to keep my ears warm! Mr Science and I run through Winnipeg’s theatre district and up and down Waterfront for just 20 minutes before returning home. It’s our first run together in a few months – we don’t want to overdo it! But it’s a wonderful way to start my first day of freelancing.

7:30am Clean up, tidy the house, and make myself breakfast. I refuse to be the kind of person who works from home in their comfy clothes, so I get dressed and put on jewelry and makeup as if I were heading to an office for the day (and really – I am! Except my office is a small little corner of our open-concept condo). Mr Science, who works from home much of the time already, kindly chooses to work at the university this morning while I get myself acquainted with my new schedule.

8:30am Do some blogging. Consult my schedule. Feel giddy.

full-time freelancer
This is me, trying to contain my giddiness.

9am Check emails and update my blog media kit. My emails have really piled up over the past few weeks; I have about 70 to go through (some of which I’ve already responded to but neglected to put in their requisite folders). A lot of these emails are press releases, inquiries about guest blog posts and product reviews, and that sort of thing – all of which is definitely important for my my new line of work! But I’m very confident that I won’t normally spend an hour checking emails each morning – this was just an anomaly as I catch up on things. Only got through about half the emails, but I figured one hour was long enough to spend this morning!

Giddiness clearly canNOT be contained.

10am Look for work. Mostly this also entails me being on email, connecting with clients and pitching ideas, as well as exploring job postings.

11:45am Take a break from job-hunting to read some articles on freelancing.

12:15pm Make a cup of tea. Do some editing work.

1:30pm Exercise time! Today I did a basic barre workout that I pulled from a magazine. I have bookmarked and torn out pages of so many exercise routines and fitness ideas over the past couple years, but never got around to trying any of them. Early afternoon seems like a good time to test them out!

 1:45pm Eat some leftovers from the weekend while reading a book; spend some time chatting with Mr Science now that he’s returned home.

2:15pm Continue to check emails (got another half out of the way! Now down to a quarter from where I started out this morning. Progress.), and do some blogging and social media-ing.

3:30pm Dinner time! My late lunch did not go the distance. (Check out my food diary blog for what I ate today).

4:30pm Learn French (Rosetta Stone).

5pm Read a book that I have for a blog review.

5:30pm Finish up some of my work from earlier today, read some more book, and have a little snack.

6pm Decide that my work day is *officially* over and get into my comfy clothes. Settle down to watch Resident Evil for the millionth time (we’re watching all the movies in the series yet again. It just doesn’t get old! Alice is my hero). Take 40-minute break to get ready for tomorrow in between watching movies.

9:20pm Bed time!

I think the most interesting thing about having tracked my day – down to the quarter-hour – is the frequency with which I changed what I was doing from one thing to the next. The longest amount of time that I spent doing any one thing, work-wise, was 1 hour and 45 minutes. Perhaps rather indicative that our typical 9am – 5pm day isn’t right for all of us?

But that’s another interesting thing that freelancers have to consider: when does the “work day” really end and begin? Depending on how you look at it, today my schedule could count anywhere from a 5-hour work day to a 9-hour work day today. Most fascinating! And I found myself, at 5:30pm, thinking hmmm, I have an article due this week; maybe I should finish it up this evening… I think it would be very easy to work 12-hour days regularly when you’re working from home, simply because of this: when do you stop? There are so many questions to ask oneself!

What does your schedule look like? Do you have clear boundaries between work and play? If your hobbies and work life blend together, do you find it important (or necessary) to try to distinguish them from one another? If you’ve worked from home, what did you like or dislike about it? Share in the comments section below!


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