I don't have a normal 9-5 job and with that comes some downsides and some upshots in terms of my schedule. Coming from a very flexible schedule in college (I had three day weekends every single weekend for almost my entire college career), adjusting to a busy, often-changing, and weekend-working schedule was difficult to say the least. While I haven't completely nailed how to spend my days off productively, I've come up with more of a routine that leaves me feeling more productive, yet well-rested on my days away from work. I've definitely learned to love having the odd weekday off, because they allow to me to focus on errands and other side projects that I just would not have the attention span for on the weekends when I feel far more inclined to be sociable. For the purposes of this blog post, I'm going to be talking about my days off that fall on the weekdays, because if and when I do have weekends off, there is almost no routine to those sorts of days.
I am definitely an early riser and am the type of person that if they sleep past 9am feels like half of the day has already been wasted. I also know myself and my work habits well-enough to know that my most productive times are in the wee hours of the morning. I try to wake up by 7am at the very latest, but I aim to wake up at 6:30am most days. I pretty much get up and make breakfast and a cup of tea straight away, mainly because I have a really hard time thinking or being productive without a bit of fuel to get me started. While I have my breakfast cooking I'll wash my face and do my skincare routine. While I'm eating my breakfast I will tick off some of more admin-like tasks such as email and I will also take some of this time to browse through social media, especially Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram, to get some inspiration for the day and get my creative juices flowing. Around 8am I will make a to-do list of all the tasks I want to get accomplished for the day. I love making lists and it's one of the best things I can do for myself to keep myself on track and away from procrastinating. After the to-do list writing, I will slap on a bit of makeup. Some days I choose to go bare-faced, however I always feel like making a small effort in getting dressed and putting on a minimal amount of makeup always helps me to feel motivated and like I'm working even though I am at home. I will also try to, at the very least, begin writing a blog post before noon.
The afternoon is by far my least productive time. There's something about the sun being at its high point during the day that makes me feel extremely distracted and I often will find myself falling down a black hole of YouTube videos by about 1pm if I'm not too careful. Whenever I'm starting to feel my morning motivation trail off, which is usually around 12:30-2pm I will close my laptop and take a lunch break. I also take the afternoon to either get outside and go for a walk or do some yoga, which I haven't been great at doing lately but am trying to get into again. I find that doing some sort of exercise helps me to get my mind back into work mode and it also helps to not make me feel like I'm just sat at my desk all day long without a substantial break. Luckily, because our new place is close to Golden Gate park and the heart of the Inner Sunset, there are plenty of destinations to walk to during my mid-day break. Because I'm usually not at my most productive during the afternoon, I also take this time to read blogs that I love, add to my content schedule/ideas section in my notebook, and take blog photos since the lighting is usually at its best.
Evenings are usually a time of wrapping up any loose ends that I might have left during the daytime. I usually have found my creative groove again by about 4pm and will finish up any writing or photo editing that needs to be done. If I have the next day off I will also take the time to make a to-do list for what I want to accomplish for the next day. I try to wrap up the day around 6pm since my boyfriend is usually home by 5:30 and I try to use the later evening to cook and just relax so my days off aren't totally dedicated to work.