As any freelancer would tell you, establishing a routine is important. For me, however this is a much more daunting task than I initially expected.
Some days I wake with a world of ideas and other days drag by as I search of my oasis.
Nevertheless, bills need to be paid and I should at least try to fit in with the daily activities of the rest of society. After a week of trying to follow my own advice as to writing when you don’t have work; I decided it was time to seek an expert’s opinion. It is by chance that I stumbled upon Mary Cummings’ website and abundant Twitter timeless. This is a lady I just had to get in touch with.
About Mary Cummings
“Mary Cummings is a copywriter, businesswoman and mother of three. She is the founder of Work Your Way,www.workyourway.co.uk the online resource for freelance and self-employed mums and has over ten years’ experience of running businesses, as well as mentoring and supporting working women to do the same. Mary writes for www.sme-blog.co.uk one of the highest ranking business blogs on the Internet, and is a contributor to the book “Enterprising Child – Developing your child’s entrepreneurial potential” by Lorraine Allman.”
Mary’s Work Routine
1. I wake up early, approx 6am or 7:30am to check my emails for anything urgent. I use that time to schedule my morning Tweets and Facebook posts.
2. I get the kids ready for school, give them their breakfast, and continue working while they eat their breakfast.
3. I take them to school. I NEVER hang around chatting at the school gates (sounds terrible, I know!!) and make sure I am back home by 9:15am
4. It’s then heads down for me to get on with my work for the next 3 hours.
5. I never answer impromptu telephone calls in the morning. I always schedule calls for the afternoon when Millie is ‘quietly’ playing or watching kiddie television.
6. I stay away from Facebook/Twitter during those 3 hours.
7. I need to leave at precisely 11:35am (J) to collect her from nursery.
8. I use the afternoon to catch up on social media interaction, update the blog atwww.workyourway.co.uk; update new jobs at www.workyourwayjobs.co.uk and update new ads at http://club.workyourway.co.uk
9. I have just started blogging for one of the highest ranking small business blogs on the Internet, called The Small Business Blog http://sme-blog.com/ so I use the afternoon as my opportunity to catch up on ideas, make notes, etc.
10. When the kids are at home, it’s exclusive mummy time!!
11. I catch up with more client work after 8pm. Catch up with social media (particularly Linkedin and Google+) and schedule more social media posts.
12 . Crash into bed exhausted by 11 or 12pm.
Exclusive Time Management Tips
Find Your Productive Time
As I’m getting older I have found that my body wants to wake up earlier, but my mind is still behind. My productivity varies from day to day but I am generally more productive if I can get most of my work done before lunch. Mary emphasized that you have to work with your body’s natural routine. Don’t force yourself into becoming a morning person if you’re actually a happy night owl.
Establish Strict Working Hours
These hours don’t need to follow on each other, but you have to separate work and play. These ‘work hours’ is a way of effectively managing your time and cutting out all distractions, internet browsing and watching television shows. Even if your ‘work’ is to reply on social media comments and emails then focus on doing just that until it’s done.
Social Media Boundaries
Social Media can be really time consuming. An important video tutorial might link to funny cats video and before you know it you have lost half of your day. Establish which hours most of your following is online and set out scheduled times for social media interaction.
Get up and Get to Work
Don’t allow yourself the freedom of sleeping when you want to. The practice of getting up at the same time every day will teach you discipline which, when followed will lead to self-respect and confidence. If you can prove to yourself that you are capable of following a routine and getting your work done, showcasing your skills and expertise won’t be as hard.
What are you best time management tips? Do you use a program to keep you on track? I would love to hear about your methods and management.
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