What does your average day look like?
I feel like there is no average day, and that is what I love it so much. It never feels old or like the same ole day. It is always challenging and exciting, and pushes me to do and discover more!
My day is in need of a better routine, to be honest. I have 3 kids with 3 different childcare schedules, but once they are all dropped off, I head to the studio and begin by returning emails, going over the items that I need to print to fulfill orders, and then check my team’s Gingiber FB page to communicate with my team members about questions, needs, and ideas for upcoming launches. After I’ve answered team questions and delegated products to order to my office manager and communicated about wholesale orders that need to ship out for the week, I try to sit down to work on current design projects and complete new designs for upcoming releases. Some days I am working on our catalog, other days I am working on surface patterns that will eventually make their way onto new products. Usually by 3 PM I am on my way to pick up my kids, then I eat dinner, put my kids to bed, and resume working by answering emails and thinking of ways to license my artwork.
CONNECT WITH STACIE
We wake up, take our dogs the park and then head into our studio. We’re not exactly early risers, so we usually get into the shop around 10. We work all day, Jane answering emails and keeping on top of orders and Andy working on design— whether it is sketching new cards, doodling, or working on design work for other clients. Having the dogs at the shop is great, because it makes us take breaks and head home at a decent hour. Then we get up and do it all over again the next day. It’s not exactly glamorous, but it’s fun and always interesting.
CONNECT WITH JANE & ANDY
I typically work Sunday – Monday. I get up around 730 but really am still in bed looking at my phone (a bad habit I am trying to stop!). I glance over emails, instagram and news (via Facebook). My husband wakes around 8 so that’s when I finally roll out of bed to get ready and eat breakfast. I have a ritual every morning when I get into the studio; I turn on the music, light my candle, and water my plants. I love to set the tone for the day! The mornings are usually dedicated to business operations/development- catch up on emails, social media marketing, product development, staff meetings…etc. In the afternoon is when I go into production or assist in fulfilling orders that need to go out the next day. I am trying to better my schedule by assigning dedicated production days but I haven’t been very good at sticking to it. Ha! At least for now, most afternoons are spent painting/marbling/sealing/packaging products. I leave around 5-6 to go home and dinner with my family and snuggle with my dogs! Between 9 to 11 is when I catch up on whatever it is I couldn’t get done in the morning, and a lot of times this is when I am the most creative in designing new products!
CONNECT WITH SHERRY
My alarm goes off at 6:00am, and if I don’t roll over, I try to have some personal time to myself before my husband leaves for work and my daughter wakes up. I do my morning pages, meditate, take care of personal things or just drink my tea and watch the sun rise. I’m the kind of person who has to have good alone time to work well. I also double-check all emails and posts are automated/scheduled correctly for the day. I automate almost all of my emails with Yesware.
My morning is either taking my daughter to preschool or going to teach barre3. Once I’m settled from one of those things, I work on a creative project first and spend a few hours on it or until it’s complete. This is when I am drawing up new story ideas, writing for Cottage Hill or my creative programs—Editor’s Course or Assured + Well. I listen to classical music while I work on creative projects or writing because lyrics distract me, I’ll start writing the lyrics, haha!
Then I tackle anything with analytics, numbers or spreadsheets. I switch my music to either musicals or rap. I know, I’m a bit confusing, but this is what motivates me through the mundane. Lunch is usually shared with my daughter if she’s not at school. I’ll take a peek at email, but not answer anything not urgent.
I schedule any calls after I’ve had time to get real work done. However, I just recently moved all of my calls and coaching sessions to one day a week which has been awesome. If you can make one or two days a week your ‘call’ day, I promise, it will change your life! You don’t have anyone breaking your focus on work the other days with sprinkling calls throughout your day. Do it! It’s massive batch-tasking.
Afternoons are for emails and planning, if my daughter is good about her nap. Otherwise, I do these things for an hour after her bedtime. Hence, the automated emails and posts. I do not want to open the door to receiving email after 5pm, because this does not happen every day.
My husband cooks dinner—have I mentioned he’s the best?—and I clean. We play with our daughter, maybe walk around our land with our pup Savannah, talk about our days, our dreams. I’ll stay up for an hour or two (I set a timer to keep me focused) if I need to tackle anything like if I didn’t get to emails or didn’t get my ‘naptime hustle’ in; otherwise, it’s bedtime!
Also, I give myself permission to change my ‘ideal schedule’ every few weeks. Life changes, new efficiencies are discovered, etc. so I try to not be too strict about it and leave room for margin as much as I can without losing sight of what needs to happen.
CONNECT WITH KATIE
I generally get up before my two kids. If I have a lot of work on my plate, I will start working around 4:30… even though I’m a night owl, I have found that the dark hours of the morning are a peak productivity time for me. I can get more work done in that time than the rest of the day! I start my morning routine and, by 6:20, I’m getting the kids up and ready for school. It’s a flurry of activity until carpool drop off at their schools and then I head into the studio to work. I start every work day exactly the same – ten minutes of focused planning time. I map out my day, prioritize my to-do list and delegate.
What I love about my job is that every day is different… I might be working on designs or recording a new episode for my podcast. My husband and I work together so we chat and work and laugh (a lot) at our shared desk. He and I leave work each day around 3 in order to be home for when the kids get off the bus. Once the kids are home, it’s homework time – I generally work next to them so I can assist with schoolwork. I generally make dinner in the evening while the kids are off playing; my husband, John, works while I cook, so we are usually brainstorming or planning. After dinner, it’s a walk/ bike ride with the family and then maybe a tv show. Once the kids go off to bed, it’s time for work again… or maybe some relaxing time. I try not to work at night every night of the week!
CONNECT WITH TONYA
Morning: Try as I might, I’m not a morning person. I usually leave the house at 9:30am and across the river to the studio, smoothie and coffee in-hand. At 10am, we all arrive at the studio. Heidi, Molly, and I pow-wow for a few minutes and we set to work. Heidi is our studio manager and she handles all inquiries, estimates, client coordination, and order fulfillment. She keeps me organized and in-line (or at least she does everything she can!). Molly runs the presses and is a master printer. I’m so lucky to have them both! Emailing and list-making is top of my morning to-do list.
Afternoon: I try to pack a lunch every day because I’m amazed at how disruptive to my productivity it is when I have to leave the studio to grab something to eat. After lunch, the hours between 2 and 6 are my golden hours, where – nose to the grind-stone – I knock out the bulk of my daily design work. (This is usually creating proofs of custom work like wedding invitations, branding projects, or dreaming up new ideas for our ready-made line of greeting cards and paper goods).
Evening: We oftentimes have client meetings in the late afternoon and evening. This is an especially beloved part of my day, where we get to brainstorm, collaborate, and get our clients excited about our ideas for their project. After work, most nights I head for the best gym everrrr and get my butt kicked in a hybrid yoga/cross-fit class. My husband and I both like to cook (and eat) so evenings are usually spent dinnering. I fall asleep reading every night. I love fiction – and read a ton of it – but this year, I’m trying to read more non-fiction. (A few current favorites in both categories are Homegoing, A Little Life, and Evicted).
CONNECT WITH CATHERINE
There is no average day! It could be anything from meeting with an editor for lunch to brainstorming with a potential client to consulting on a book cover. Sometimes I just have to take a reading day to catch up. Other days our agency hosts publishers or I’m emailing furiously trying to get a book sale going. If I’m ghosting a book, that could be part of it too.
CONNECT WITH KIM
My morning usually starts late. I don’t like waking up early. After drinking a protein shake and a cup of coffee I start my day by “eating the Frog” which means to do the thing that you least want to do first. If you do the thing you least want to do first, everything after seems very easy. I only check email twice today; once in the morning and once in the afternoon, but never first thing or last thing. I also use the Zero Ibox system.
I use calendar blocking to schedule everything, which is a productivity system from the 12 Week Year. The different types of blocks you need will vary for your type of business. I use a daily “strategic block” which is at least 3 hours of uninterrupted time that is scheduled in advance. No interruptions are allowed – no phone calls, emails, no visitors, or anything. All of your energy is focused on pre-planned items the things that are going to be money-making activities. When you can concentrate and be creative and this will produce break-through results. I also use a “buffer block” which is when I deal with all the unplanned items that come up throughout the day and when I answer emails. So, if you need to pack and ship product or process orders, you may need to create a block for that as well.
One thing that is very important is making sure you have a “breakout block” at least once a week. It’s so important for us to make sure that we have our own free time where we aren’t getting caught up with work. It may seem odd but it does produce greater results when you have more free time. A breakout block is a minimum 3 hour block, scheduled at a time that is during working hours, where you were not working at all and doing something fun for yourself that will refresh and invigorate you. When you return to work you can effectively focus.
CONNECT WITH JENNIFER
Get up, drink coffee, walk the dogs, workout. This is when I set my intentions for the day and find inspiration for new projects. Shower/bath, get dressed, answer a bunch of emails/ do technical businessy things that require my highest levels of caffeination.
Head to the studio; that’s when we have team meetings or schedule appointments. In the afternoon, I’m in the creative zone. My mind has relaxed enough from getting shit done, and I’m working on artwork. By dinner time, it’s very hard for me to tear away and go home. But I stop, because I have a husband who I adore and he’s ready to relax and catch up, and that’s pretty sweet. We eat, chill, and then I get back to work. I often stay up working from the couch til 12 or 1am.
I find the night time to be very conducive to creative work because when the world is asleep, there are fewer distractions. And also, magic. Night time is magic for creativity.
CONNECT WITH LIZ
Wake my brain up with a nice deep Instagram scroll haha. Then its coffee for me, breakfast for the cat and straight out to the studio in my PJ’s. Once I get through replying to the emails in my inbox I’ll get started on my design task for the day. Then its more emails, and on good days, a production project. I like to save the physical work for the end of the day like my little treat. Next thing you know, the sun is setting and its time for me to pack up a mindless assembly project (ie. envelope liners) to do as “homework” while hanging out with the hubs.
CONNECT WITH CAREY
One of the things i love about having my own business is that each day brings a little something different and can change course at any moment; It keeps me on my toes! but if there was an average day, it usually starts at home where i spend a few hours answering emails, ordering materials, requesting quotes, and organizing orders that need to be filled. i then head out to my studio to work on orders and usually stop along the way to grab a quick bite. After filling orders, i run errands then head back home to tie-up any loose ends or pressing emails. i find i do my best design work at night, oftentimes that means after dinner and into the wee hours of the night. One can usually find me sketching ideas and designing at my computer.
CONNECT WITH ROBYN
1. Walking Rocco
2. Making breakfast – it’s usually a fat free english muffin with sliced turkey Reading emails or delegating work!!!
3. Checking UP on things I enjoy (I have a pet hobby which is investing in stocks so I kind of like checking the market).
4. Going to the floral market, picking up flowers or shopping for supplies.
5. Working on flowers or the business
6. Making Dinner or Going out to a new place in San Francisco.
7. Watching Shark Tank or my Roku (if it is Thursday, that’s Grey’s Anatomy) or going out to catch a movie.
8. Playing with Rocco That’s it folks!
CONNECT WITH NANCY
I do a gratitude practice that I call Grateful Heart exercise and it helps me to get grounded in my day.
Then I set my goals for the day, reprioritize and assess where I’ll take breaks (if I don’t do this, I’ll forget to eat!). If it’s a content creation week, I’ll work for 45 minutes at a time then take a break. I feel most productive when I get the “big ticket” items done that day first. During client weeks, I have calls on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. On Fridays, I have a mix of days I call CEO day where I do tasks that I’ve been putting off (like bookkeeping, reviewing stats or SEO) and doing some reflection, I also spend this time to read or do some self care activities.
At the end of the day, I’ll make sure that my desk is clean. After I leave my office, unless there’s something outstanding that is urgent, I’m done with work! I typically end my work day around 5:30pm.
CONNECT WITH REINA
My days are all over the place and every day is different – but I usually check emails and orders first thing in the morning while I drink coffee, get the kids off to school, and head to the warehouse at 9. I spend the day checking emails and placing orders for inventory, styling product photos, shopping for props, working on graphics, checking in new product, rearranging the little storefront in our warehouse, and occasionally packing orders. Sometimes it’s my turn to clean the toilet. It can be very glamorous.
CONNECT WITH JESSIE
Coffee, paperwork, team meeting for design clients, store projects and delegating who is doing what, and taking care of our customers. SM travels quite a bit around town to check on design client projects, so we stock lots of energy bars.
CONNECT WITH STEVE & JILL
Average day?! What’s that?? One of the things I love about my business is that every single day looks different – some are very appointment heavy with podcast interviews or coaching sessions. Some involve video filming or writing for one of my online programs.
It keeps things fun, but this year, I’m trying to incorporate some routine into the day-to-day so that I’m able to stay grounded and focused. My goal is to have meditation, writing, and some form of exercise happen every day. Right now I’m hitting about 20%. Fingers crossed that number goes up!
CONNECT WITH TIFFANY
It typically falls between a 12-14 hour day, and never looks the same. Some days I’ll be at the Shoppe all day merchandising and selling, some days I’ll be on set shooting for a Blog collaboration, some days, like today, I’ll be at our warehouse all day doing inventory and shipping out packages, and some days, though not nearly enough days, I’ll be in front of the computer just trying to get through my email inbox.
CONNECT WITH MANDY
That’s a loaded question. Hmmmm… average. I honestly spend a lot of time in the car these days. From driving to market, to clients homes, the shop, and car pool line…. yep, it’s pretty much where I live. Awesome for a creative person right? We have a sitter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-3, sometime 5. Those are my days dedicated to off-site floral work and the shop. That can mean arranging flowers in someones home, meeting with clients, picking up what we need from market, running shop errands, and popping in the shop to make a mess before running out the door. Tuesday and Thursday my older son is in school and my two year old goes to a program from 9-12. On these days I work from home usually getting bills paid or proposal done. If I’m lucky I can squeeze in a shower and actually dry my hair. After I pick Birdie up at noon, my day is pretty much being a mom. Unless we have a wedding scheduled, I try not to work at all on the weekends so I can spend time with my family.
CONNECT WITH LESLEY
CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA
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Every day is different. People assume that I’m always sketching or doing something creative but most of my time is still spent on the back end of business such as list building, task building, coordinating projects and partnerships, as well as conducting interviews. I’d say 25% of my job is creative, but I’m hoping to change that so I can focus more on the creative part of the business.
CONNECT WITH MARY
The baby is up shortly after 7am, so I am as well. Breakfast for the both of us, then I try to catch up on a few emails while he plays. Emails are interspersed with reading books, building block towers, and fishing a ball out from under the couch. The first couple hours of the day are pretty slow, spending time with my son and doing a little work if it fits. This is fine. Once he’s down for his morning nap, I head into the office for a few hours. I meet with my team and we hash out whatever urgent thing is happening with an upcoming event. Office time is pretty glamorous, involving lots of to-do lists, spreadsheets, meetings, and hot chocolate. My time in the office flies by and soon I need to head back home to relieve my husband of child-care duty. (I’m pretty lucky to have not only an incredibly supportive spouse but one who also works from home and chose to make it a priority to adjust his schedule so that he can spend time with our son and I can be in the office a few times a week). I make it home in time to put the baby down for his afternoon nap, and then I continue working from the couch, joined by a cat or two. By the time late afternoon strikes, the baby is up and I’m ready to take a break. We either run errands, play outside, prep dinner, or some combo of all three. After dinner and some more family time, the little one goes down to bed. Some evenings I have to keep working, but others I take time to relax or socialize. It’s more of a give and take than an even balance. Before I know it, the clock is striking midnight and I have to hop in bed and get ready to do it all again tomorrow!