I have been meaning to do a “day in the life” post for a while now and then Victoria shared hers which inspired me to dig my own post out of “drafts” and actually finish it! I always really love reading other people’s “day in a life,” especially the ones in Bazaar, where they’ll profile some fabulous person or designer. What is it about that? Maybe it’s a little voyeuristic but I love seeing how other people spend their days!
I think there’s a misconception as to what we do all day as bloggers. People either think it’s glamorous (I’m rarely sipping fancy lattes in coffee shops or having a champagne lunch), or reallllly flexible (which it could be as I am self-employed so could technically work anywhere/any time) but honestly, my day is probably a lot like yours. I’m on email a lot, I try not to leave my home office during the hours of 9 to 6 (besides lunchtime yoga a few days a week – my greatest luxury), and things are pretty scheduled. I really don’t like working on the weekends so by sticking to a very scheduled work week I’m usually able to enjoy my weekends.
I know other bloggers who are constantly bouncing around the city during the day (it gives me all the guilt and I constantly feel like I don’t network enough) but I am happiest when my days are really structured and spent at home, in my little office here. When I first started working for myself I would stay up til 2am working and get up at 10am the next day. At the time it felt like a luxury (it felt great to do what I wanted and keep off hours!!) but gradually, that novelty wore off and I realized I missed working more traditional hours. Working at night is a little bit depressing and starting your day that late made me feel super behind the rest of the world. So at the end of the day, as much as this is a flexible job, my own hours/schedule aren’t all that flexible but that is completely by choice and is what I’ve found works best for me!
6:45/7am // Wake up. I will do a 5 or 10 minute meditation using Headspace and walk to my gym (Equinox) to get in some cardio and stretching/foam rolling. The gym is about a 10 minute walk so depending on how I’m feeling I will walk or run there. And once I’m there, some days I’ll run, some days I’ll walk, but I make sure to get in at least 3 or 4 miles on the treadmill. If I’m walking I am multi-tasking – doing emails and replying to DM’s + Instagram comments. I am a big believer in this… the treadmill is a good place to do those menial things. But some days I just want to run and blow off steam. It all sort of just depends on how I’m feeling.
8:30am // Breakfast. After the gym I pick up a smoothie from Juice Generation. If I don’t go to the gym, I make something easy – usually scrambled eggs or Greek Yogurt + fruit! If I didn’t do DM’s/Instagram comments at the gym I’ll spend half an hour or so doing that while I have my coffee.
9am – 11:45am // Desk Time — Critical Stuff. This really depends on the day. Usually this means 30-60 minutes on email and then closing out my browser to write/edit images/find links for upcoming blog posts. I try to work at least a few days out so that I’m never scrambling to get up the next day’s blog post. This does not always happen (especially during the holidays!!!) but I hate feeling rushed so I work pretty far out. I’m not a morning person so I try not to schedule conference calls for the morning…I really like having these 3 hours to work without any interruptions. This is also when I try to work through all the critical stuff that absolutely has to get done that day. So, contracts + emails to brand partners, drafts of sponsored posts, any important deadlines all (ideally) get done before lunch. I will be back at my desk in the afternoon but this is where I hammer through the critical stuff.
12-1pm // Lunchtime Yoga Class. This isn’t every day probably 3-4 days a week I would say and is hands down the BEST part of my day. I really look forward to it. If I have an afternoon shoot I will instead spend this time prepping for the shoot (steaming clothing, fixing my hair, etc). I only shoot 1-2x a week… my outfits are things I really wear during the week but as I shoot all of my blog content with a professional photographer who I pay by the hour, it’s easiest to shoot multiple outfits at a time.
1:30pm // Eat lunch at my desk while doing menial stuff (emails, opening packages, responding to Instagram comments + DMs).
2pm-6/7pm // More desk time — Creative Stuff. Unless I have a shoot I am back at my desk – usually it’s a mix of creating content, responding to emails, and corresponding with the brands I work with. When working on a collaboration I actually prefer a conference call so that we can be creative and brainstorm. If all has gone well, I did the critical stuff in the morning so I can spend this time being creative… writing, brainstorming, creating a cool collage layout in Photoshop. I’m more creative later in the day after coffee and ideally yoga so this is when I do my best thinking. Once a week I spend two hours doing organizational stuff (my least favorite part) sending out invoices, following up on late payments, entering expenses + payments into Quickbooks, etc.
6/7pm – 9:30pm // Free time. I would be lying if I said that I don’t sometimes work during this time (especially if it’s a month where I have a lot of travel) but I try to take this time just for me – to read, watch a movie or TV, see my friends, go on a date, etc. Or I’ll take a yoga class if I didn’t go during lunch. Sometimes I will have a brand event for work but again, there is that trade off. Do I really want to go into the city or sacrifice the time I could be spending with friends/family to go to a blogger event? Usually the answer is a resolute no. It has to be something really cool or I am good. I feel badly about this but I’ve also learned to put myself first. That free time to spend by myself or my IRL friends is the most important thing.
9:30pm // Start winding down. I’ll do my bedtime skincare routine, check my to-do list for the next day (circling the most important stuff to make sure it gets done first thing), change into PJs, feed the cat, all that really glamorous stuff.
10pm // BEDTIME. I really, really try to be in bed every night at ten. This does not always happen but when it does, I am the happiest. I need a lot of sleep. I am not ashamed to admit this. 8 hours definitely, but nine would be nice. Everyone in my family is like this so I really do think it’s hereditary! I LOVE my bed. It’s my happy place. I have really nice bedding from my sister and really relish the hour I spend in bed before I fall asleep. I have talked about creating a luxurious bedtime routine so that you look forward to getting into bed and I think it’s really important! I will read for 30-40 minutes and then do a 15 minute Headspace meditation and drift off to sleep. Having that 45 minutes or so to really unwind before bed means I sleep so much better… and as I love reading so much, I really look forward to getting into my big fluffy bed with a great book.
A few of my ground rules // things I’ve learned over the years.
* I am RUTHLESS with my time. I don’t take very many meetings or go to very many events simply because of the trade-off. Like Victoria said, a lunch meeting isn’t just an hour long lunch, it’s usually 2 hours once you factor in travel time. I take a meeting in the city, it often takes me half an hour to get there each way and so there goes TWO HOURS to do something that could probably have been a phone call. That time could be spent working (or going to the gym/doing something I want to do). I will occasionally take breakfast meetings but I cap those at one per week and typically ask the person to come to Williamsburg.
* Like Victoria, I work in batches. I think this is a HUGE productivity hack/time saver. I block off time for editing + sizing images and do several posts at once. I’ll add links to multiple posts at once. Or if I’m in more of a writing mode I’ll write several blog posts at once.
* I love setting timers! (Like, my kitchen timer.) I am doing this now as I write actually. I set the timer for one hour and I can only do that one task for an hour – whether it’s writing, or something more tedious like sizing images and finding links for outfits… I find that I’m more focused when I do this. I get so, so much done doing this… it’s one of my favorite productivity tips.
* I schedule social media as I go as opposed to doing it the day a post goes live. For example, once I hit “schedule” on a blog post I will also go into Facebook and schedule a corresponding Facebook post and Tweetdeck to schedule a twitter post. A blog post is not marked as “done” until it’s corresponding social media is up. This definitely makes mornings easier!
* Working out is a big priority. While my yoga class isn’t particularly athletic, it’s been huge in terms of getting stronger. I got really out of shape this past Fall + Winter and it was because I was putting everything else before that. My mental health is also a big priority. I’ve always been a pretty anxious person and put a lot of pressure on myself. The sad truth is that I’ve realized I only have myself to blame. I know that if I take on too much, if I go to a lot of meetings and events I will fall behind on my regular work. So I say no a lot. I also make sure that I always, always meditate at least once a day – it’s been a really big game changer.
photography by Trent Bailey.