Juggling 9-5, Freelance and a shop
For the last year or so I have been juggling a 9-5 in-house design job, freelance clients, blogging and also setting up my own little online shop. Making it all work, getting everything done and not getting overwhelmed has definitely been a juggling act and quite a lesson in time management, but I thought I would share a little bit of what I learnt, as I know a lot of bloggers and people with creative projects have full time jobs too.
1. Keep a notebook with you at all times - You never know when inspiration for a project or blog post is going to hit you so you need to make sure you have somewhere to write things down. Very often you won't be able to do anything about your idea straight away and so you need to get it written down so that you don't forget and so you can come back to it later. When you are juggling different things you can't always work on things when you want to and so this helps to make sure you are ready when you do have the time.
2. Make the most of small pockets of time - I have got really good at dipping in an out of things when I can. 30 mins at lunch time, some time before meeting a friend. Some people find it hard to work in such short bursts but for me it has seemed to be working and when I use these little pockets of time throughout the day I can get a lot done!
3. Lists, lists, lists - I do not trust my memory and so making a list of what I need to do and setting reminders are so important for me. I have several notebooks with lists of things to do (except I am trying to get better at keeping them all in one place! ha). As much as I love technology, personally I much prefer a handwritten list that I can physically cross off rather than one written on my phone.
4. Learn to say no so that you are free to say yes - Remember you can't do everything. I think learning to say no will be a lifelong lesson for me, but I feel like I have been learning more recently that saying no is not necessarily missing out on something...it is actually making sure that you are available for something better.
5. Automatic Scheduling - One thing I have only been really making the most of recently is scheduling content. I am gradually starting to do that with my blog posts and some of my tweets so that I can do the work and then forget about it when I am at my 9-5.
6. Make the most of your phone - One thing I have started doing a bit is writing blog posts on my commute using my phone. I usually use Evernote as that is where I keep my draft blog posts but if you have a smartphone you could easily use the notes facility. I have found this a great way to use the time on my commute (or anytime when I am waiting around) when I am often daydreaming and coming up with ideas for my blog anyway. If you don't have a smart phone go old school and use a pen and paper that you can then quickly type up later.
7. Be all there - now this is a tough one and one I am still working on it, but it is important to be focused and present in the task that you are doing, not distracted by other things you might want to be working on for your other job.
Anyway these are just a few of the things that have helped me and that I am working on. If you are also someone who is juggling allsorts, and have any other tips I would love to hear them!