A typical day

After some experimenting, I’ve finally found the perfect solution of getting everything done in a day. That is, to split my day up into several chunks.

About three to four times a week I get up at 4am. It’s to take advantage of the quiet time before the kids wake. For years I thought I was a night owl and would work late into the night. And only in the last year did I discover that, in fact, I worked best in the morning.

Around 7am, sometimes earlier, the kids tumble out of their beds. A quick breakfast of porridge all round, and I’m back on my computer or blackberry – for emails, the day’s to-do list and jotting down ideas and notes.

After the school run, on the walk home, is a great time for ideas for features. I put it down to the fresh air and brisk walk.

Then I enter phase two of the day. Mostly it’s finessing what I wrote from earlier in the morning. Then it’s on to drafting the next piece or researching more ideas. Lunch is either at the desk or standing up while prepping the kids’ tea.

Phase three of the day, I’ve found the most difficult. Slightly sluggish from lunch – even if it’s only a light one – I go into tunnel vision. It’s one foot ahead of the other and getting on with it until it’s time for the school run again.

When we get home, that’s phase four. And this part has to be executed with military precision. The kids get their tea within 30 minutes of setting foot in the house or they go ballistics from tiredness and low blood sugar levels. While they feed, I slope off back on the computer to round up the day’s work, tie up loose ends, or there might be a conference call.

Actually, there’s no such thing as finishing up a day’s work. Working for yourself is unlike working for somebody else. Work just trickles into the next day and the cycle continues. Exactly the same as having children.

7 Comments

    • It takes a little trial and error. But am sure you’ll find something that works best for you

  1. I have been trying to do something along these lines, but I really need a mentor – will swap you time management skills for wordpress.com back-up!!!!

    • sounds like a good swap!
      try waking an hour earlier than usual. do it for a week until it feels normal(ish). then you can push it earlier by another hour if you want.
      the trick is to do it in stages. also, listen to your body closely too. sometimes there could be a maximum point. like i’ve tried waking at 3am or 3.30am and my body (and mind probably) just will not accept it.
      my bedtime’s moved forward to about 9pm these days as well. unless there’s something REALLY good on tv, like homeland

      • Right, game on! Starting with 6am. It’s the going to bed earlier I’ll have to really work on – good job the likes of Homeland are on iPlayer!

  2. Wow, you are a SUPERMUM!! I wish I could be that strict but I am by no means a morning person (I found this out when my LO arrived). I do tend to get distracted at home with housework too. Does anyone else find this?

    • I’m not achieved supermum status yet, but I’m working on it!
      The housework was a major distraction and I had to discipline myself into a strict routine. Dishes get washed before work and after work. They don’t get touched in between. It took me a while to do this as seeing the dishes pile up in the sink would stress me out.
      You’ll be able to find your own rhythm. I thought I was a night owl for ages and it was a recent discovery that, in fact, very early mornings work better for me.
      It’s trial and error. Just keep tweaking your routine bit by bit until you find that magic click.

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