Business Hours vs Freelance Hours


recently decided to stop following the general business hours and set my own hours. I know, it doesn't sound groundbreaking but hear me out.

Like many other freelancers, I've fallen into the trap of always trying to work as if I worked in an office e.g get to 'office' (my desk) at 9am, start work at 9.30am, reply to all emails by 11pm, take my lunch break at 1pm and finish work at 5 or 6pm. I tried to set boundaries that way so that I can actually, occassionally, switch off from work and enjoy not thinking about it or doing 'little bits, here and there'.

It worked for a while but I've noticed that doing clients' more creative work such as post design or planning out a marketing strategy was just not a task that I enjoyed doing in the morning. I would procrastinate, struggle for ideas and the whole thing was making me feel ill. Then afternoon came around, and just about the time where I was 'finishing' work, I would get more creative and productive. In result, I ended up forcing myself to finish work at 5pm and my best ideas were rotting in my mind instead of being utilised in the outstanding designs.

This continued for quite some time until I started to hate my job. I started to hate getting up at certain time, doing certain things in certain order... The routine wasn't sitting right with me. I decided it's time to switch things up again.

I do have to mention here that it wasn't entirely my own thought process that led me to change my schedule. It was also a post by a fellow business owner who is also a very creative individual, and her post said 'How to discipline a creative?' and the next slide read 'You can't'. And it clicked.

What am I doing? I am not listening to my own body clock, to my own creative mind. I am not in tune. I got caught up thinking that getting up at 6am was the key to my success without giving it a second thought that what I was actually doing is causing burnout and making myself unhappy!

How ridiculous!

New decisions were made. Get up when I do (I am not a morning person, although still manage to wake up before 9 without an alarm clock on most days!), do all things I want to do first like check socials, have coffee, catch up on morning news or read a bit of a book (more on what I'm reading at the moment in new blog posts) then when I feel inspiration strike, I do some design work (whatever time that may be).

Not having a morning alarm clock means that if I decide to do some more work in the evening, I am not stressed I will be tired the next day. I can sleep in. Who's to say I can't?

I have to say, since I've started living in accordance to how I feel and listening to my body clock, I feel so much more excited about work, so much more motivated and energetic.

I suggest you try it out and see if it works for you. Remember, as a freelancer or company owner, you set your own hours. You do not need to follow the general 9 - 5 business hours. In the digital world, business hours are ALWAYS. Don't limit your potential, your energy to just society's acceptable brackets and make sure you get out there living the way that you want to.

- Mags

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