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Blog

MY DAILY WORK ROUTINE

Niki Pilkington

✖️DISCLAIMER✖
This is definitely not a self portrait.

I 100% hate lying in bed. I know I’m not alone here, right? My whole family are the same, so maybe it's a genetic/in-built habit type of thing? Or maybe because I see my home as my office too? Whatever it is, I just have an incredible feeling of guilt if I stay in bed. It isn't relaxing for me, my head is like, 'hey get up, you've got sh*t to do girl!!' So as much as I've tried to do it, when I know I've not had enough sleep, it just doesn't work for me. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that I don't procrastinate during the day, being your own boss is *tough* & takes a lot of discipline to avoid distractions & get down to it, but lying in bed is just not my thing. 
Lots of you have been asking about my daily routine as a freelance illustrator & how I balance the whole work/life thing, so I thought I’d write a post about how I manage my days working from home.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LISTS

Although no two days are ever the same for me, I try to stick to as much of a routine as possible to maintain some kind of structure to my work week. It’s taken a long time for me to find the perfect balance (& believe me, I’m still working on it) but at the moment this is what’s working for me.

I'm a fanatic list maker (or maybe unhealthy list maker - you decide..) so I've created a check list of the important components of my day & broken them up into time increments, so that although I don’t have to keep them in the same order, I cross each one off as I do it & keep track of what needs to get done. This way, nothing gets forgotten or neglected. Working with clients in different time zones & juggling multiple projects means my schedule needs to be flexible, so although in an ideal work world I like to start each day by tackling emails, sometimes they have to be set aside whilst I take/edit photos or finish drawing something. This list makes it easy for me to do that:

1HR: EMAILS / RESPONDING TO SOCIAL MEDIA

(starting with the most important ones / ones I don't want to tackle first, that makes it easier as I go along)

1HR: EXERCISE

(usually a gym session, or a class when I have a little more time)

1HR: SKETCHING / DRAFTING NEW IDEAS

(I like to be able to visualize all the notes & ideas I scribble down during the day, so these are very rough, but frees up my mind to know they're all in one place)

1HR: BREAK

(Food & usually a sneaky social media catch up & phone call with my Mum - which I always do at least once a day)

1HR: POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA / RESPONDING TO COMMENTS

(this where I do any final edits to my images, finalize the copy, share it on all my channels & respond to any immediate comments or questions)

4HR: DRAWING / CREATING / TAKING PHOTOS / EDITING

(I break this up into 4 x 1HR increments so if I spend 2HRS drawing, I have 2HRS to spend taking photos & editing..I always go over this time allowance, but I try my best to stick to it whenever possible)

1HR: PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

(eeeeek I'm so excited to tell you more about this one, but for now let's just say I'm working on something extra special)

1HR SOCIAL MEDIA PLANNING

(this is where I develop ideas for new posts, blog subjects, work on brand collaboration concepts, plan shoots etc)

30MIN: EMAILS

(I like to have bit of extra time to respond to any important emails that have come in throughout the day - sometimes I can't leave them until now & I do the occasional email during the day, but I try to leave them alone as much as possible so I'm not distracted from other tasks)

I know this adds up to 11.5 HRS, which is a long work day, but like I said, it's flexible, and who ever finishes their whole to-do list everyday right?..(plus 2 hours are gym & lunch break, so those don't really count.)

OTHER DUTIES

So like I said, every day is different depending on what I'm working on, so here are some of the many other work commitments that effect my schedule & I have to work around:

MEETING CLIENTS / CALLS WITH CLIENTS

ATTENDING EVENTS

CREATING NEW PRINTS / (PRINTING / SIGNING / PACKING / DISPATCHING) 

PHOTO SHOOTS / GETTING PROPS

SOURCING NEW MATERIALS / TESTING OUT NEW MATERIALS

I try to always take the weekends off (aside from the occasional shoot, nagging email or post on social). It feels weird enough to be solo most of the work week, so I try to get in as much fun time as possible at the end of each week. Work - life balance is so important guys!  

I know a lot of you wanted to know about my day because you're either in the same industry / work from home / studying right now & looking to go freelance, so I hope this helps a little bit. There really is no 'one size fits all' answer to cracking the challenge of working from home, but I'm trying my best to do it right & if this is helpful let me know & I'll keep you posted on any changes I make to this list / hacks as I keep perfecting it.  

Please leave a comment below if I've missed anything out or you have any questions. I'd love to know if you're enjoying these kinds of posts & as always head to my Instagram & comment on my latest post if you have a topic you'd like me to cover.

Like the watch in this post? Use code NIKI for 15% off @DanielWellington watches (& it includes a free strap too!) Valid until 4/24

XO