I've been yearning for full time employment since Christmas. Not that I haven't appreciated & been thankful this little self-employment/unemployment thing has worked out - believe me it's been sooooo helpful for the business! I feel like I've gotten so much done, have been able to refocus, & now know what I'm saving for. But with the opportunity to have full-time employment getting a bit closer, I wanted to share with you what a typical self-employed day looks like. I'm afraid my schedule is going to get shaken up (hopefully!) so I'll have to set up a new one. But it's good when things change....hopefully I'll be able to squeeze everything that I want to into left over hours & weekends. It was hard juggling a relationship, full time job, & part time obsession with self-employment. This adventure has been fun but I'm excited to start thinking about the present & not the future. I need to save, I need to have a consistant cash flow, I need stability. I hope that in the next few years I'm able to grow Five Sixteenths enough to enjoy self-employment rather than self-employment/unemployment!
Here is my typical self-employed/unemployed day:
8am - If I haven't been up crazy late the night before, I usually wake up right about now. I turn on the coffee maker, wash my face, brush my teeth, maybe get in the shower, etc. Then I sit down to watch my shows on Hulu. Usually, it's Colbert & the Daily Show and then whatever show was on the night before. Sometimes these shows carry over into my work time. I drink my coffee & enjoy reading some blogs. This is my wake up time.
9:30 am (ish) - I start to work. I publish blog posts for the day, write new ones, brainstorm. I'm still in bed at this point. I'm so glad I'm able to move to a desk now! I respond to emails, take care of a few housekeeping things on the computer. I work on client designs, blog designs, stationery designs, photo edits, listing products, etc. Sometimes it's just my time to mess around with ideas in my head.
11:00 am (ish) - This is when serious work is started. I'll finish up design files or drafts & email them to clients. I'll also take pictures for the various shops because this is when the best light is. I may even end up editing the photos. I also take measurements as I photograph. I say this is when the serious work starts because I'm nearing the middle of the day. If I'm working with a client I try to email them when they will be able to check it - to me that seems about noon (lunch breaks) or after work. I try to have emails waiting as best I can! If I have to do any running around, I tend to do it in the middle of the day too, just because I realize I really should get up & start doing things! It's also a good little break.
1 pm (ish) - That's usually lunch time for me. I'll have a little lunch, pay more attention to the reruns of Doctor Who or Law & Order that I have on in the background. I'll mess around on the computer, put the dishes away or in the dishwasher, what have you. Catch up on blogs that post in the afternoon.
2 pm (ish) - Get back to work. I'll respond to more emails, work on more blog posts, search for places to advertise. Create new things for the shop, list stuff, etc. I'll also begin preparing any orders for shipment from 516VINTAGE or from the Five One Six handmade shop.
3:30 pm (ish) - To the post office if need be. I hate going to the post office....so I put it off! But now that we've got the office done & my printer is set up, I'm gonna schedule pick ups! Hooray for the internet!
5 pm (ish) - I've probably just gotten back from the post office & any other leftover running around that needed to be done. Sometimes it's dinner time, sometimes it's mess around & craft time. I try to keep my business hours Monday - Friday between 9am and 5pm. So after five, I'll rarely reply to emails. Sometimes I put the work down to hang out with my man. Sometimes he plays games or is gone so I can sneak in some more work. I don't really like working all the time but it's also fun for me to make things. So I don't really see it as work. Work is the stuff I hate to do like count things, inventory, take measurements, & list things. Work is work. Creating things is fun! So I'll create stationery until the world ends!!
I don't do any work (the things I hate) or respond to emails on the weekends. Unless it's something I need Zach in on like the Sunday we made the inventory sheets, I try to keep my weekends pretty open. I continue to make things but we also like to travel. So weekends are for museum visits and the like. Once we get the house done hopefully we can do more of that! As I go into self employment, I'm going to still keep my business hours M-F. Of course I'll need to do work on these things on the weekends, but emails & responses will wait until Monday.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that outside of my ventures, I still have a life. Though you can shop 24 hours I may be asleep, or it may be the weekend, I may be out of town, or I may have a day job! I foresee a lot of cramming things in happening if I get full time work. But I also see a lot of focusing & realizing when to say no. I see a lot of scheduling time & a lot of put everything down, you need a break time. I also know that Zach & I need to be better at us time. It happens a lot that as I'm putting something down, he's picking something up & vice versa. Once we have our weekends free from fixing the house, I see us getting back into the groove.
I really hope a move into full time employment will help the Five Sixteenths brand grow. I've loved this little adventure but I need to take this serious step in order to plan for a self-employed future!