How I Manage My Time & What My Typical Work Week Looks Like
A few weeks ago, I shared on Instagram I shared that it takes me up to 10 hours to edit a YouTube video.
Now, this isn’t for every video.
Sometimes it’s only 2 hours.
And I would say that’s the fastest I can get a video edited.
Most of the time, a video can take 5 to 8 hours to edit. That means multiple days of work if I don’t have the time to get it done in one day.
And I wouldn’t even consider my editing skills advanced in any way.
I perform simple edits, like cropping out my “um”s and when I’m thinking about what I’m going to say next.
I crop the frame in and out a little to add some interest.
But I would still consider myself an editing beginner.
And if you’re thinking about starting a YouTube channel, this might shock you. But creating a simple YouTube video can take DAYS at a time.
Back to the point of me telling you this.
When I shared that I spend so long editing 1 YouTube video, someone asked me how the heck I manage my time to get my other work done.
And I thought to myself, that’s a great blog post idea!
So here I am.
Sharing with you how I manage my time as a blogger, YouTuber, and freelancer.
And the best way to do that is to bring you behind the scenes and show you what my work really entails.
Let’s get into it!
WHAT MY WORK ENTAILS
I’ve shared this before, but I’ll share it again.
As a business owner/blog owner, I have to wear many hats.
There are so many things that need to get done and I’m the only person that can do them.
But there is so much more that goes into it!
I also have to write emails for my email list. Plan out sales for my paid products (speaking of which there is a pretty big sale going on right now where I’m offering EVERYTHING for 50% off).
I set goals, create paid products, manage my QuickBooks & finances.
I schedule my pins on Pinterest, research what I could do to grow my blog, respond to emails daily (or almost daily), and the list goes on and on.
I didn’t even mention client work!
And I’m not complaining in any way.
I honestly love what I do.
And since I’m a bit of a control freak, I’m glad that I get to do everything myself. In the future, I know I’m going to have to get over that need for control and hire people to help me.
But right now, I’m a one-woman show.
And there is a lot of work that needs to get done.
So I find the time to get it done.
HOW MANY HOURS I WORK A DAY
Out of all the excuses out there, I think that one I hate the most is “I don’t have time”.
Each of us has the same amount of time in the day.
And sure, I do this full-time. So it may seem like I have more time than you.
But here’s the reality…
I started my blog as a side-hustle! I worked late nights, early mornings, and every weekend just to get the work that needed done done.
Not having time is bull.
You make time for what’s important to you.
And if you’re spending any time at all scrolling through social media or watching tv, then you have time to be working.
So cut your crap and get to work.
Now since I do work for myself full-time, people often wonder how much I actually work.
Do I sit at my desk 8 to 5 like everyone else? Do I spend some nights working in bed?
Or do I get to chill on the couch during work hours and only work 2 days a week?
Well, it’s definitely not the last one.
I would say on average, I’m working 6 to 8 hours a day.
But there are some days where I’m working for over 12 hours.
That’s not all that common. It only really happens when I have a product to launch or when I’m not being 100% productive.
WHAT A TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOKS LIKE FOR ME
I’m a very visual person.
You could tell me some facts but unless I see it, I won’t believe it.
So let me give you a rundown of what a typical day looks like for me so you can better understand my work schedule.
6:30 AM: Wake up time.
I take care of Fancy, empty the dishwasher and tidy up the living room. Then I’ll do my morning routine of reading, journaling, and meditating.
7:30 AM: Gym time.
It really depends on the day but I can spend anywhere from 25 minutes to 50 minutes working out. And if it’s a yoga day, then my butt is in the yoga studio for a 75 minute class.
9 AM: Eat & get ready
This is when I’ll shower, check Instagram for the day, put on some human clothes, do my hair and make-up (if I’m feeling like it), then head to work.
10 AM: Work time
Most mornings I start work at 10. Today, I made it to a local coffee shop to write this blog post by 9:20. It might not seem like that big of a difference. But that’s 40 extra minutes to work!
12:30 PM: Lunchtime
It’s a bad habit, I know. But I eat lunch at my desk almost every day. And I’ll work while I’m eating.
5:30 PM: Quitting time
Alex usually gets home around 5:30 or 6 and whenever he walks in the door, that’s my cue to quit work for the day. But that’s not every day! If he’s working on the pop-up that he’s currently rebuilding, then I’ll work until it’s time to make dinner around 7. And on the nights where he’s out of the house (every Monday and some Wednesdays), then I’m working from the couch for an additional 2 hours.
WORKING ON WEEKENDS
If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know… I work just about every weekend.
So during the work week, I would say that I’m putting in over 40 hours. Sometimes over 50 hours.
And then I work an additional 8+ hours on the weekend.
Now, this isn’t every weekend.
Sometimes I can only sneak in 2 hours. Other times, I’m working 2 full days.
But I would say on average, I’m working 6 or more hours a weekend.
I’m 10000000% grateful that I love what I do.
It’s my choice to work on weekends.
No one is forcing me to do it.
And most of the time, I’m not working on any client work during that time. It’s just some extra hours that I get to put into working on my brand.
WHAT I NEED TO GET DONE EVERY WEEK
So at this point, you get it.
There is a lot to do. And I work a lot of hours.
But I want to break it down even more so you get the full picture of what my work life looks like.
Here are the tasks that NEED to get done every week:
- Write, edit, & launch 1 blog post
- Design pins for new content
- Shoot 2 (or 3) YouTube videos
- Edit and launch 2 (or 3) YouTube videos (Now the list for this work could go on forever. Not only do you have to edit the footage, but you have to design a thumbnail, write what’s included in the description box, add the end screen, SEO the video, AND then promote it)
- Write and launch blog posts for each of my YouTube videos
- Schedule pins through Tailwind for myself and all my clients
- Shoot Instagram photos (almost daily)
- Plan out my Instagram feed, edit & share photos
- Respond to all IG messages & comments
- Respond to all emails by Friday
- Respond to all YouTube comments within 48 hours
And that’s just the starting point.
I didn’t even mention working on my current paid products and new projects that are coming in the future.
Developing new email opt-ins and freebies for you guys.
I didn’t even talk about client calls and the reports that I have to make for my clients!
But I guess what I’m getting at here is that there is a lot of work that needs to get done.
Just with creating content alone, that’s a full-time job.
And then you add everything else on top of it.
So let’s go back to the beginning. Because I’m sure you’re wondering how the heck I manage my time to get everything done.
STRATEGIES THAT HELP ME MANAGE MY TIME
Really there are only 2 strategies that help me get through the week.
I have so many other productivity tips and working-from-home advice that I do incorporate into my daily work.
But at the end of the day, it’s these 2 that help to keep me sane.
1. Theming my days
All of the work that I have to complete on a weekly basis can be boiled down into 4 main categories.
- Client work
- Video content
- Blog/writing content
- And big picture work (or projects & further growth of my brand)
Now, really, there is so much more that goes into owning a blogging business.
You need to make time for things like marketing and managing your finances.
For me, those things tend to find their own way of getting done.
And honestly, all of the content that I create is the best marketing that I have for my brand.
So I focus a lot of time on that!
But with those 4 categories, I break them down into separate days and only work on those tasks.
Monday is my client work day.
I will do all of the client work that needs to get done that week on Monday. And then if I have some extra work pop-up in the middle of the week, I’ll do a bit more on Thursday.
Tuesday is my video content day.
I’ll shoot my YouTube videos or course videos that need to be shot. And then I’ll spend a lot of time editing those videos! And I’m talking about a lot of time.
Wednesday is all about the content that I write.
Like this blog post. It’s a Wednesday and I’m posted up here writing this bad boy for you guys.
But it’s not just blog content that I work on Wednesday’s. Any content that needs to be written, like emails or maybe another book in the future (wink wink), I get that work done all on my content writing day.
Thursday is a bit of a split.
My main goal with Thursday’s is to make them a big picture day. Where I work on continuing to develop my existing products or new things I plan to launch in the future.
But Thursday is also my extra client work day if I need it!
Then Friday is my “dump all” day.
Any work that I wasn’t able to get done on its appropriate day, I’ll put it on my Friday to-do list.
And honestly, this tends to be an extra day for editing YouTube videos because we know how long that takes!
2. Making a daily to-do list
I swear by my to-do list.
If I don’t have one written out in front of me, my mind is all over the place!
My to-do list helps to keep me focused. And forces me to get the things that really need to get done done.
So I make my to-do list for the day either the night before or first thing in the morning.
And I’ll write down 3 or 4 main things that have to get done. I can’t end the day without completing those things.
Then, if I think I’ll have some extra time, I’ll add some bonus items.
And I tell myself that the day would be ridiculously productive if I also got those things done.
But they aren’t life or death.
I’m happy if I just get the main 3 or 4 things done.
THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR ME
It may seem simple, and honestly it is, but those 2 things work wonders for me.
If it wasn’t for theming my days, I probably wouldn’t make that much time for working on my future product launches.
It’s just too easy to get comfortable and think the simply maintaining your brand is a lot of work.
And don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of freakin work.
But if you aren’t working on bigger picture things and learning how to push your brand forward, then you’re going to find yourself treading water wondering why you aren’t growing.
So try theming your days.
Figure out what main things you need to get done every week and reserve the time to do them!
But just know, that this stuff works for me.
It might not work for you. And that’s okay.
When you work for yourself and when you’re chasing a big dream, you’ll learn how to best motivate yourself to get the job done.
And you’ll figure out what makes you most productive.
P.S. I dropped a mini bomb in this blog post and let you guys know that I’m working on some next projects launching this year. So for the next for weeks, I’m going to be sharing only 1 blog post every other week. But my YouTube schedule will stay the same with a new video every 3 days so make sure you’re subscribed to my channel so you can continue to get helpful content weekly!
Cathrin (Cath) creates content that encourages bloggers & online entrepreneurs to be themselves, chase their passion, and create their success online. 1 year after started her blog (TheContentBug.com), Cath left her full-time position working in the digital marketing industry to pursue her dreams of being her own boss. In weekly blog posts, sporadic YouTube videos, and constant talking on Instagram stories, Cath hopes to spread her story and be an inspiration to others who desperately want to change their lives.