Freelance Schedule: How I Manage My Time As a Creative Studio Owner Skip to main content
Being a typical former full time marketer, my schedule was pretty much fixed every day. I’d get to work for 10AM and leave around 6PM or later depending on how much work I had for the day. So naturally, transitioning to the creative freelancer life was all but a peachy ride for me.

Former Schedule

At first, I tried to follow the same schedule I did when I was working full time:
  • Wake up at 8
  • Rush breakfast and head to my home office for 9
  • Start working
  • Lunch break at 12
  • Continue working
  • End work at 5

Did it Work?

Now, it seemed like a really swell idea in the beginning, however, I soon started to fall off the tracks and my schedule started looking like a scribbled mess on my planner and before I know it I am going through panic attacks and feeling overwhelmed to the point that I almost gave up this lifestyle as a whole! Wow! 
So, why didn’t it work, you might ask. Well for starters the whole reason I wanted to start my own thing was to ditch the fast-track and move over to the slow living mantra I so adored before. However, since I was still rushing and skipping breakfast, I wasn’t as happy or inspired when I sat down on my desk to work. Another reason why it didn’t work was the fact that my work load was now 10 times more than it was working full time. I no longer had a team to distribute the load with and thus had to resort to wearing several hats to make sure it doesn’t all tear up at the seams. Hence, working 8 hours a day did not seem feasible anymore. I now found myself not having enough time every day and that caused me to either wake up earlier (I am not a morning person so that kind of made me angry) or had to stay up late (which kind of also made me angry because then I wake up later than usual which isn’t ideal).
Another problem I had with my schedule and work load was juggling several projects. I run a creative studio and a lifestyle blog. One job is stressful enough but two? Yeah, that would definitely push anyone to the edge. So, I had to reevaluate everything and start from scratch.
It was mainly a trial and error sort of situation at first. I’d read a few blog posts and guides and try to implement them just to realize they weren’t working for me and back to square one I’d go.

Out with the Old in with the New

Finally, I found a solution that has been (so far) working quite well for me. I got to the solution by focusing on the pain points: juggling two businesses, finding more time to get tasks done and avoiding burnouts.
Now, the schedule:
  • I wake up at 9AM
  • Do not rush my morning routine, in fact, I take my sweet time because it helps set my mood for the day – I will be sharing the routine on my blog soon so stay tuned
  • I start working at 1030AM in my home office/studio
  • The first 3-4 hours are spent working on the blog and its social media channels, mainly Pinterest and Instagram. I’ll be writing another post soon talking more in detail about these tasks
  • I take lunch around 12-1PM
  • The next 3-4 hours are spent working on the Studio doing mainly content creation, client work, etc. Again, more on these in a latter post 🙂
  • I have dinner around 7PM
  • Then head to the office again to work 1-2 hours on light-weight tasks such as scheduling, auditing, looking at analytics, planning the next day, sketching etc.
  • I head to my bedroom around 1030ish PM where I continue working on light-weight tasks such as finding inspiration for the next project, conceptualizing a shoot or design campaign, or working on my reading list.
  • I fall asleep around 12ish
  • And repeat!
You see, I work anywhere between 11-12 hours every day including weekends! However, dividing up my days between the two businesses and then subdividing heavy tasks to be done first while the lighter ones later help me stay sane while getting sh*t done! In fact, doing my daily readings and inspiration hunts before bed actually help me wake up feeling inspired the next morning setting my mood for the day without feeling tired or burnt out as I formerly felt. And yes, since the whole point of going full time freelance was so I could be doing what I love, long hours do seem like a dream and I do end up wishing I had longer days – but alas, you can’t get everything.
So, this schedule – at least for me – is doing the trick: keeping me sane and inspired and ensures I stay on top of my game and do more than what I have planned for the day.

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    A true storyteller at heart, a wanderess in search of magical lands and an aesthete who is perpetually dazzled by the enchantment found in the every day. Fatima's love for stories and the magic they ooze out, led her to co-found Zehra Studio, an atelier of magic. As the Chief Branding Officer (CEO), her intention for Zehra Studio is to help brands form authentic connections with their audience through storytelling and intentional design. Crafting stories with a touch of magic, Fatima has worked with a range of awesome clients to help them find their voice to tell their stories and elevate their brands while doing so.

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