011. My 7 Day Work Week
Being a small business owner is hard. It’s very hard.
But it’s also a very freeing and rewarding path to take. For instance I can work from home, so I do. I can choose to take on projects I truly love, so I do. I can set my own limits, so I do.
The biggest problem I had with my 9-5 was how erratic the work was. Some days I would just be checking emails, making coffee with only one or two tasks to do that day. Other days I would stay for hours after I was meant to leave, either working or waiting on others to finish so I could help them afterwards. I felt like I was wasting so much of my own and my company’s time.
Overall it was an inefficient way to work, but that was the only way they could work.
Now that I have all my time for me and my clients, I can choose when to work and when not to. And for me that’s choosing to work 7 days a week. In fact I’m actually writing this on a beautiful Saturday morning.
Now I don’t work crazy hours every week. I would estimate my hours would average out to the regular 40 hour work week. But it’s the way that I structure my week and my days to really make a difference.
On the daily I work pretty heavily during the morning and afternoon, I usually start my ‘work day’ around 7:30 - 8:00. I do this for two reasons. Ultimately I am way more productive in the morning than any other time, I have yet to find out why.
The second reason is a lot of my clients tend to be in different time zones. The morning is a good time for me to connect with clients through email or calls and then update them again in the afternoon. This allows me to spend the majority of my night with my family and winding down for the day, sometimes focussing on hobbies.
I also don’t spend too much time on one project or task. Maybe an hour or an hour and a half is the most time I’ll spend on something. I like doing a draft of something then leave it, brainstorm something then leave it, do concepts then leave it.
Sometimes I choose to do these tasks back to back but I also like to take a break to keep my energy up. Taking a walk, collecting flowers, reading. Whatever it is I will do it around ‘lunch time’ (spoiler: I don’t actually eat lunch). And then work will start to wane down between 5-7.
Now that’s a ‘usual’ day but some days a week I will take a half day. Pretty self explanatory, I take a half day to do work and the other half to socialise or practice a hobby. These days can more often than not land on a weekend because most of my friends don’t have the liberty to hang out during the week.
I prefer taking half days over a full day break because, well I’m a workaholic, so I feel restless after a full day break. I like routine and I like work, that’s what it really comes down to.
A seven day work week schedule can seem intimidating and something no one would voluntarily do. But I hope from this you have learned that working every day doesn't need to be a 'chore'. Every day for me is so flexible because I am working, but I can work anywhere and I can take all the breaks I need. This schedule doesn't work for most people. In fact I know of small business owners who work 10 hour days, 4 days a week, but I'm more of a slow and steady girl.
How do you guys structure your work days or weeks as small business owners? Feel free to get in touch via my contact page or directly through email at email@example.com
- Maisie MacDonald, Creative Director, Maisie Heather Studio.