Finding some structure in self employment
Structure, something I seemingly took for granted before, the structure your mind and body have when you have a weekday, at an office, job.
I realised last week it’s one of my “needs” as a human. After months of furlough, trundling along, building my business with work & on socials. Something I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to be able to do or after taking redundancy I wouldn’t have had this as an option.
So, I’ve taken back hold and decided to make a few changes in order to regain momentum & a bit of normality to my week.
I have never been the “exercise” girl, I tolerated it at school, and I get by at the gym, but I know that I feel better when I exercise, it helps my mental health if nothing else. So, step one was getting back to the gym, I’m a slow starter they’ve been open a while but I was anxious about the cleaning rigmarole & how busy it would be.
(I’m actually writing the first draft of this in my iPhone notes on a treadmill – sweating, rank.)
My aim is to start a few days of my week with a little run, walk, maybe crawl if I must (kidding).
2. Time Management
I’ve signed up to Toggl, a time tracking website which will work for tasks I set myself and client projects. Keeping everything to set times, and I guess challenging myself not to procrastinate. All too often I jump into the social media rabbit hole and lose an hour or 3!
Another little thing I’m going to start doing is 1 hour admin to start the day. Replying to emails, sorting out invoices, then closing them for the day and targeting my to do list. When you have a “real job” these parts of the day are already structured and you have accountability with team members and managers.
I also recognise that I’m pretty bad for getting email overwhelm, I know I’m not alone, so by targeting them in a set time of the day I’ll not be able to get lost in them through the day or let them big me down. Also, not being scared of the delete button where necessary – not everything needs a folder! 🤣
3. Meal Planning
Let’s be honest, tea time is the best meal of the day, and I usually LOVE cooking but recently I also lost my mojo in the kitchen.
I guess, without the structure of getting home from work I was lacking motivation and we were starting to fall into the dominos coupons far too often. I haven’t meal planned just yet but over the weekend I did a fridge cull and batch cooked with the stocks in there. We also have a gousto box this week. I had a voucher this month so I reopened our subscription, I tend to order us 3 meals each week. It takes a little bit of stress away from that aspect of life and also allows for a bit of what you fancy, if Tuesday you don’t want them or end up with last minute plans you don’t have lots of meals going to waste in the fridge.
*This is in no way affiliated with Gousto, we pay for all of our meals with them. But if you fancy trying them I do have a referral code I can send you and we both get money off & you can cancel at anytime – bonus!
So it’s taken me a couple of months since I got made redundant but as the world seemed to go round at a more normal speed this month, I’ve recognised what I need to stay in control of my mental health, workload, life admin, the lot.
As part of being more structured I thought I needed a new diary, somewhere I could plot things… then, I didn’t want to spend on one in September. So I’ve created these A4 calendar sheets that I can print off, edit on the iPad or computer, print extra when I make a mistake, etc.
If you sign up to my mailing list and select to hear about “Design & Branding” you will receive an email once a month with some things I have been upto and a download for the next calendar sheet to plan your month.
(It’s digital you can use it as you wish, but you cannot sell it on for your own commercial gain and it remains the property of Laura Jayne Designs NE Ltd)