What do people who work at home all day do? Well it’s not watch soap operas or nap (okay…I nap sometimes). This week, we asked experts to share their typical daily schedules. As you can see by their responses, there’s no one way to manage your day. They have all figured how what works for them. Designing your work that fits best with your goals and energy is one of the many perks of working at home.
My Unorthodox Schedule for Work-at-Home Entreprenuer: As a work-at-home business owner that lives with a 9-5 wife, and maintains a focus on fitness, my schedule is usually a bit of a balancing act.
Complicating things further, I’m most productive at night, but of course business meetings and correspondence needs to be done during normal business hours. So my typical day looks like this:
9:30 – 10AM – Wake up, coffee, catch up on morning news.
10AM – 1PM – E-mails, small tasks for the day, correspondence and client check-in.
1PM – 2:30 – Lunch, gym break.
2:30 – 3:30 – Sleep/rest break to recharge after gym.
3:30 – 5:30 – Larger tasks and/or client meetings.
5:30 – 8:30 – Time with family, dinner, TV.
8:30 – Midnight – In-depth tasks, planning for next days schedule.
It works well for me. One of the most appealing things for WAH pros is that they can finally find a schedule that fits their ideal lifestyle and productivity levels. 9 to 5 jobs almost always have half of the workforce dragging in morning, and the other half dragging in the evening.
I am an author, speaker, musician, and consultant. I’m best known for winning a Supreme Court case with my band, The Slants, publishing bestselling books on music entrepreneurship, and speaking on diversity and inclusion (I have a world record for most number of TEDx talks). My typical day is as follows:
Morning routine: meditation, exercise, breakfast, review goals, browse news
Mid-morning: Work on high priority projects (usually scheduling marketing content for the day, urgent emails, etc.) and writing projects
Afternoon: Appointments/schedule appearances (both as a performer as well as keynote speaking)
Evening: Record podcasts, meal prep, read
My Typical Daily Schedule is:
6-6:30am meditate (or just lay in bed)
6:30 – 8:30 breakfast, kids out the door and drop off at school
9-11am client calls
lunch/2 x week crossfit then lunch
12:30-2 mastermind call with clients
2-3:30 creating content, responding to clients
4pm pick up kids
5-6 make dinner
6-8 playing and bath time
8-10 reading & relaxing before bed/ 2xwk yoga or dance class
So here’s my daily schedule, if I’m working from home:
545 am: Up, usually includes breakfast and a cup of coffee. Then emails until the kids get up.
645 am: Kids are up. I’m in charge of breakfast and lunch prep.
745: Out the door. I drop off my oldest at his elementary school, along with my toddler. We hang out for a bit until he goes in.
900 am: I drop off my preschooler
930-1130 am: Working on a long term project. No interruptions. My phone is off. Email is closed. This might be a blog entry, website redesign.
1130-1200 Lunch. I really do try and take a half hour to myself.
12-2 pm: Packing boxes. Handling shipping, UPS, returns etc etc
2-4 pm Customer service. Returning emails. Also wine tastings, if they’re handled locally
Typical Day: My typical day starts at 4:30 am, or usually right before then. I’m walking into the gym at 5 am, and home about 6:20 when I chug down a protein shake, shower, get dressed and am up in my home office by 7:30.
Between 7:30 and 8 I look for any fires to put out and review my Trello To Do board, moving cards from This Week to Today. At 8 am Standuply asks via Slack, What did you do yesterday, What do you plan on doing today and Okay, any obstacles? My whole team gets these questions and after we’re all answered, the responses are posted in Slack. This keeps the team on the same page.
I work down my To Do list, adding cards as necessary but always working on the top card on my list. If I’m doing something that isn’t my top card, either I add or move that card to the top of my Today list, add it to a Later list or I stop doing the work.
I have alarms set throughout the day to remind me to eat but also to stop and stretch.
5:00 typically wraps up my day, when I spend some time with my family, eat dinner, then spend the evening reading and moving Trello cards around, getting ready for the next day.
Notes from Leslie:
You’ll notice that several of our experts are early risers. I’ve often thought being able to sleep in was a perk of working at home. However, I’ve also learned that the earlier I get up, the more productive I am. I try to be up by 6:30 or 7:00 am, but I don’t always hit that mark. I work through my morning routine, which involves reading, coffee, stretching, and quiet time to prep for the day. Next I write or edit whatever book I’m working on. I exercise unless it’s cold and I might put it off until a little later in the day when it’s warmer. Then I get to work. I try to do tasks that require the most brain function first, such as writing blog posts, and save the tasks that don’t require so much mental energy until later, such as social media. I have lunch around 1 or 2 pm, and then work a little more. Next I rest (nap or read) and then I take care of home stuff such as errands or chores.
Because setting your own schedule is one of the perks of working at home, you can use it to motivate you to do the deeds that must be done so you can work from home as well. Imagine what your perfect work-at-home day would look like. Would you sleep in? Would you work in your PJs? Would you have less stress getting the kids ready for school? Would you be able to enjoy breakfast with your partner or take a walk with a local walking group? Take some time to think about what your work day would look like when you work from home. Consider writing it down or making a vision board, which can provide you with the inspiration and motivation to keep working toward your goal.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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