Back when we first started Lyrical Host, we sat down and decided the hours we wanted to work each week.
I say that like it was an easy task, but actually it was incredibly difficult. Having been a freelancer and contractor for so long, Joe doesn’t like the idea of a 40 hour week, and having been a workaholic for forever, anything under 60 hour weeks sends me into panic mode.
Eventually we compromised on something – I can’t remember what, but I think it was around 30-35. Looking back now it’s hilarious because 80 hours was the norm for a long time.
After the intensely busy period of December and the first half of January, we just kind of crashed a bit. All the necessary tasks were being done, but the business wasn’t moving forwards in terms of new products and services.
I realised that I’d been feeling a bit lost. Sure, there was plenty to do and I had a list or five to work from, but no schedule to anchor me in place. And more importantly, nothing to “let” me have time off without feeling guilty for working.
Ever since I can remember I’ve had a routine, and since theoretically I can now do what I want whenever, it’s extreme the other way. Whereas when I had a job everything around the house and in life got done because it had to fit into very limited time windows, now very little gets done and it’s mostly dictated by “Crap, people are coming over. Must get some food and clean the house!”
So eventually I realised I needed a proper schedule, so this is what we planned out. It’s probably going to change a lot and we haven’t been sticking to it 100% so far, but it’s made me feel happier already…mostly because we weren’t getting any weekend time at all other than what we could cram in around other things!
8:30am – 10am: Support tickets/casual wake up/short read/feed cats
10am – 1pm: Work
1pm – 2pm: Lunch break/walk
2pm – 6pm: Work
6pm – 8pm: Work/break/dinner prep
8pm – 9pm: Dinner
9pm – midnight: Work
midnight – 1:30am: ish Wind down, read, ready for bed, support.
One of the biggest differences about running my own business (still feels weird to say that!) is how many hours I can work and still want to work more. And I don’t feel stagnant learning-wise either because I’m reading so much about business and finding out so much stuff about dev and support from Joe. I’m never going to be anything close to a developer – it requires a specific mindset and thought process that I just don’t have – but I’m still happy when I manage to figure out an issue on my own, no matter how small.
I also love that I can figure out my time from an “overall” perspective; no more having to reseal the bath at midnight on a Tuesday because that’s the only free time. Now everything flows better, fits like a jigsaw puzzle, and things can be swapped around or done in an order that makes sense. Although I’m doing a lot and I’m busy, having more flexibility schedule-wise means I can do a lot more without feeling slightly burned out. I’m able to listen to what my body needs more: eat when I’m hungry, nap when I’m tired. It’s a lot easier to be nice to myself and not beat myself up about anything, and it makes me wake up happy