Thinking about taking the leap to go freelance, or want to know what other consultants get up to during their days? We asked social media and community management consultant, Julia Sokele, about what she does on an average day in her home office.
I like to start the day early, dressed in my comfortable and cosy clothes – perks of working from home! By getting up that little bit earlier, I know I can get a head-start on my day. Always with a coffee in hand, of course.
The first thing I do is start to plan my checklist for the day. I use the notes app a lot on my iPhone – that’s where I write my daily to-do list. It means I can always access it, wherever I am. I also use my calendar and reminders a lot. Although I have daily goals, I try to be easy on myself and just do my best. Sometimes just being on top of things and making time for self-care is an achievement in itself!
I’m still trying to master a particular routine for checking my emails and notifications. I always read and reply to my emails as I receive them. I have a number of email inboxes which makes it easier to keep things under control. If an email needs more time, I usually mark it as unread so I can come back to it later with a more detailed response.
Once I’ve got on top of my daily admin, I start diving into my projects. I have to time block in order to maintain various clients and daily tasks. The nature of my job means I have to be available for all my clients on a daily basis. So time management is key, but it’s not always easy!
I’m most productive in the mornings, as I feel I have a whole day ahead of me. But more recently, I have been trying to take timely breaks to keep me on track as well. I always try and go for a walk or check in on my personal social accounts. It’s a work in progress as there are distractions everywhere – it’s very easy to forget about them when you’re working from home!
As I’m working on different projects, it’s not unusual for me to be on a few client calls each day. So I’ll take a pot of green tea or coffee back to my desk, and set myself up with my Mac and my notepad to make sure I can take good notes as I go and follow up on next steps.
I try to break for lunch and have something healthy to keep me going. Some days I might have a salad, but one of my all time favorites at home is avocado toast.
I try to keep part of my day focused on deep work so I can tick a few things off my to-do list. If there’s something I feel that I could do with some support on, to deliver the best client experience, I might work with another freelancer to share the load. However, this is rare and I’m usually a one-man band!
As I wind down towards the end of the day, I’ll try to tie up any loose ends to make sure I’m happy with my progress and follow up on any outstanding points. Lately, I have really been getting into my jazz playlists while I’m doing this. I find that having them on in the background keeps me relaxed.
I try to stop working around 7pm. But to be honest, I often find myself working later. I’m trying to find new ways to unwind, but the digital and fast-paced nature of my job makes it tricky. If I really need a screen detox, I’ll run a bath for myself so I can’t look at my phone. Sometime before I head off to bed, I’ll run through my to-do list and important tasks and calls to refresh my memory for the next day.
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