Daily Routine of a Freelance Graphic Designer

Being a freelance designer sounds like a great occupation and I’m not going to lie, it really is. I love everything about it.  Well, almost everything.  Working from a home office is both a freedom and a challenge because it takes a lot of discipline, drive and motivation not only to be productive but also achieve success.  While you do have the flexibility to create your own schedule and be your own boss, it pays to be organized, scheduled and savvy with your time.  

Having a daily schedule that works is a definite must so here is how that breaks down for me and what I do on a daily basis to keep myself in check:

Daily Routine of a Freelance Graphic Designer

Daily Routine

8:30-9:00 AM Check Emails

This time is reserved for checking emails, responding to inquiries and creating a task list for the day that includes any items that are not already on the calendar.  All this is accomplished while consuming at least two large cups of coffee and maybe a little breakfast.  I prefer to use Google Calendar because it syncs with my iPhone and allows me to check my schedule from anywhere.  

9:00–10:00 AM Creative Design

Now that I have an idea of what the day will entail, it's time to get to work designing. This is the absolute best time of day because I’m awake, full of ideas, inspiration and ready to take on the world.  This is the time reserved for creating branded social media posts, blog post graphics and other fun stuff that we plan to share on our website and social networks.  While designing, I mainly work with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop but love the occasional custom illustration project that I get to create on my iPad.

10:00–12:30 PM Client Work

This block of time is dedicated to working on client projects.  During this part of the day, I can be found working on anything from custom logo designs, website styling or branded marketing materials.  This variety of projects is quite diverse which is nice because it is never dull.  Anything from editing proofs, creating and finalizing design files, communicating with clients and brainstorming are within the realm of possibility.

12:30-1:00 PM Break

Sitting at a computer for hours can make your eyes glossy and melt your brain if you don’t take a break.  Want to see a good impersonation of a wax statue?  I should do a selfie at around this time and give the world a good laugh.  But I opt to take a break and get the blood flowing a bit with a good stretch or stroll, then grab a bite.

1:00–4:00 PM Client Work

Similar to the before lunch block, this block of time is also dedicated to working on client projects.  I tend to save the lengthy projects such as web design or completely new projects for this time of day.

4:00–5:00 PM Emails and Wrap Up

Alas, the day must end and we must tear away from the internet.  But it's important to check email one more time and answer any inquiries from current or potential clients.  Then I send off any quotes or making return phone calls before signing off.  I also update our project management software (I highly recommend Asana) and update notes on items that we need to attend to next round.

So there you have it!  Blocking time has definitely helped me to stay organized and productive throughout the workday.  How do you organize your time in business?  Would love to hear your thoughts!  

Photo courtesy of SC Stock Shop