Soon I will be celebrating a year of being self employed and over that year I've realised how important it is establish a healthy work routine. Being your own boss is awesome and one of the most liberating things in the world however it is really easy to get lost in your own world of work. Particularly over the summer I really started to get into bad habits and stopped taking time off completely and worked my entire summer away basically. Nowadays I'm working hard to really establish a healthy work routine and here are some of the things that I've learnt:
Time off: Anybody who is self employed will probably know the feeling I'm about to talk about, the guilt. The guilt you have when you aren't working and that you probably should be. I feel incredibly lucky that I'm able to be self employed and do what I love and make a living from it but that doesn't mean I don't need time off too. I used to go weeks and weeks without having a day off and it got me into a really bad work cycle. Now I actually schedule days off into my week, normally mid week so I can have a working weekend which I love as I hate being out when it is really busy. Having a day or two away from my desk makes me feel completely refreshed and I then look forward to getting stuck into my work load again.
Saying no: Not having complete financial stability is scary so you want to make the most of job offers that come your way but sometimes you can't do everything. I've learnt that saying no might be a scary concept but there is only so many hours in the day and sometimes I can't do everything.
Prioritise: With every new work day comes a new to do list and I put the most important things at the top and try and do them first so that they are out of the way. Of course things can crop up and they take precedence but normally I like to stick to my list so I stay on track.
Switching up your schedule: If I do the exact same thing everyday for X amount of days I start to feel a little stir crazy. I've realised I should make the most of being my own boss and listen to what I feel like doing that morning, sometimes I will want to take pictures and sometimes I will want to write and sometimes I really do love getting stuck into my inbox.
Getting out of the house: 70% of the time I'm working from home and it can get lonely with only the dog to talk to. Working out of the house can be really refreshing and make me work at a better pace too and I've not go so many distractions around me and even just being around others can really help that stir crazy feeling.
A switch off point: Although I love having complete control of my schedule and whether I want to get up early and crack on or stay up late there has to be a point where I switch off. During the summer I felt like work just consumed me and there was no real cut off point for me, emails really can wait and thinking about work all day was doing me no good. I try and completely switch off at around 9 in the evening and just settle down and relaxing which I'm currently doing this by binge watching Lost.
Burn Outs: Sometimes I will go through a creative burn out and feel like I'm working on empty, instead of trying to just get through it I've learnt taking a step back is the best thing I can do. Even if it is just for an hour or two to take Bella on a walk and to come back to my desk with a fresh vision it makes all the difference in the world.
Breaks: I don't know when I started to eat lunch & dinner at my desk but I quickly realised how awful it was. Nowadays I tend to sit downstairs where I should be, although I'm sad to see the end of the summer days when I could eat outside it is still important to take regular breaks away from my screen.
Do you have any tips for a healthy work routine?