How to structure your workdays at home: a framework for freelancers

Dear birds of paradise, today’s topic is for you, creatives & freelancers who work from home, and who juggle different projects at the same time. We’ll be talking Deep Work and time-blocking, the method of planning and organization I’ve adopted, as explained by my friend Theodora Petra, the happy one on the picture.

Miracles exist, and for this one, – getting structured – I was more than ready. I became – or I am becoming – someone who plans her workdays and follows through. If you’ve known me personally, now you believe in miracles too.

My entering into the realm of the organized was long overdue. Necessity (really) is the mother of invention, so I made it. I am a multi-channel content creator who manages different platforms (blog + youtube + newsletter + socials) and who’s writing a book, but also wants to be an overall functional human being who’s there for herself and her loved ones. I don’t have to do all of it, I chose to do all of it because doing different things comes natural to me. I know I have a wide pool of interests but in order to make it all work I realized I’d have to develop that which many people call discipline. After years of using the “go with the flow” approach, I was constantly crashing (like a wave) against the same difficulties. Lack of motivation struck, or self-doubt did, or something happened in my personal life that challenged my emotional balance and all my projects went into hibernation for an undetermined period of time. Which, in turn, made me feel worse, and made me procrastinate more, and doubt myself more, and feel more depressed. Ugh. All the fun stuff.

The road to getting organized was long, but there was a critical moment that helped me get my shit together: when I filmed this video with my friend Theodora Petra about her method of organization and planning. Deep Work and time-blocking were concepts she introduced me to. By that time I had already developed some core routines, which were very helpful in structuring my days as a freelancer working from home.

Having all the time at your disposal is indeed a blessing, but only if you can work independently, and have a system that supports you.

Before the video you’re about to watch, I was working with generalist to-do lists but that felt messy and a bit overwhelming at times. Theodora’s method just clicked for me. For instance, today, I knew that my area of focus in the morning was to write this blogpost + taking care of all the other aspects related to its publishing. I need to create two headers: one for the blog, the other one for Pinterest. I need to make sure I’m writing an intro that makes it easy for search engines to find and rank this post. Then, I’ll need to take care of affiliate links to the books I’m mentioning. If my readers use my links to purchase these books I get a small commission at no extra cost to them. Yes, the price remains the same for my readers while I make blogging viable for me. The making of this video involved one week’s worth of work (between preparing it, filming it, and editing it.) If I want to keep doing this I must have a way to finance it, and affiliates help me do that. Finally, I’ll have to promote the post on different social media platforms. Meaning:

Besides managing the finances and administration of my company, I play the roles of creative director, writer, editor, marketing and social media manager. As much as I resisted it, I NEEDED A PLAN.

After I finish my morning Deep Work I’ll do some yoga to relax and re-energize. After that, I’ll have Jan for lunch, so I need to cook. We’re making a song together and I’ll need to finish the lyrics. I’ll spare you from talking about the other small administrative tasks I need to complete today. If my brain allows, I’ll also attend a work-related online workshop at 18:30. I can only be confident that I’ll finish my tasks for the day because of the framework I’ve learned from Theodora. That confidence is a must when working for yourself. Everything depends on you, and that degree of responsibility requires a degree of self-assuredness as well. Now that I think about it, confidence is a by-product of working with a structure. If more structure is what you’re lacking right now, I hope this video can support you. If you’re have a friend on the same boat, send them this link! And, as always, feel free to share your insights with me on the comment section.

How to SUPPORT Amsterdive: If, after watching the video, you decide to purchase the book Deep Work, would you be so kind to do it with my affiliate links? That will earn me a small commission at no extra cost for you ♥︎

Note: Sustainability is one of Amsterdive’s core values so I partner up with small retailers only: I want to support the best practices in business. Bol.com is the local retailer in the Netherlands, where I’m based. Bookshop.org is a platform that “gives over 75% of profits to the stores, authors and outlets that make up the bookselling ecosystem, with a dedicated fund for supporting indie bookshops” according to Tech Radar. Bookshop.org operates both in the US and the UK.

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