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What nobody teaches you about running a Design Business

Freedom is a peculiar thing...


On one hand, it's something we all desire, and it's probably a motivating factor for many of us to work for ourselves.


On the other hand, freedom without order leads to chaos.


For instance, the experience of facing a creative block. Often, this occurs because there are too many options and possibilities to choose from (similar to struggling to pick something to watch on Netflix).


However, if the project you were working on had certain rules you needed to follow, like using a specific font and colour palette, it would narrow down your creative choices. Oddly enough, this narrowing down helps you overcome the creative block because it eliminates the feeling of being paralyzed by analysis.


I say all of this to say that when transitioning from a 9-5 job to freelance work, there is no playbook to guide you on how things should go. Most of the time, you have to be comfortable with figuring everything out as you go along.


And one thing I learned along the way is that if I don't put some kind of structure and order into my days and weeks, I find it hard to stay consistent.


This is probably the same for you because in a full-time job, you don't really need much discipline in your workday because you know that if you don't show up, you risk losing your job.


However, when you start working for yourself, it's a different story. There isn't much accountability, except for project deadlines.


So what do I do to ensure I consistently show up every day?


Well, it’s perhaps not the most exciting thing in the world, but my days pretty much follow the same structure. It might sound mundane, but having a daily routine has been incredibly helpful.


Here’s what that looks like 👇


Morning Routine


5:30 am: Wake up


6:00 am: Gym


7:30 am: Skincare, get ready for work, and walk to the studio


 

Work Routine

8:00 am: First deep work session

10:30 am: Admin/light tasks

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Second deep work session

3:30 pm: Admin/light tasks

5:00 pm: Walk home


 

Evening Routine


6:00 pm: Cook dinner and get ready for bed


7:00 pm: Read


8:00 pm: Sleep (yes I go to sleep at 8pm 😅)


Having structure in my life provides me with mental and emotional freedom.


Following a routine and scheduling activities on my calendar gives me peace of mind. This way, when I'm out on a walk or watching a film, I don't feel stressed or overwhelmed with work because I know I have allocated time to complete those tasks.


Now, don't get me wrong, having a daily routine doesn't automatically eliminate feelings of laziness or give me loads of accountability.


There are still times when I have to use discipline to show up even if I don't want to.

And this will happen to you too.


There will be days where you won't be motivated, but motivation doesn't just arise; you have to build momentum for it to come.



The last thing I want to mention is that running a business will NOT look the same for everyone. Something that works for me, might not work for you. It’s all about creating your own manual so you can run your business the way you want to.


Chat next week!


Abi 😊


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