My Business Structure Series Part 1
Day-to-Day

My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day © Tide & Tree

Welcome to this 2 part series breaking down how I plan my day, week and month to maximise creativity and productivity.

Part 1: A typical day – this post

Part 2: A typical month

It’s taken me a long time to work out the best structure for my working day. And I’ve revisited it numerous times. I’m someone who needs routine, structure and a plan. I cannot sit down to work with no agenda or deadline and expect to get anything done. I know me, I’ll just turn on Netflix.

Now this daily structure is designed is for me; it works to my strengths. I’ve made many revisions, and I’ll make more as my business evolves. But when I sat down with a blank spreadsheet on day one and thought to myself ‘what now?’ – I wished I had a framework. Something that’s working for someone else that I could start with.

Maybe you’ve got a good working routine going already, if so that’s great – leave me some tips in the comments please! And possibly take this framework as a few extra ideas to increase your creativity and productivity. Or maybe you’re burnt out and frazzled, getting nothing done and feeling a bit frustrated, hopefully this will give you a starting platform to re-align and clarify what you’re doing and how to get it done. And if you’re brand new – don’t start without some kind of structure – prevention is better than cure and nothing prevents burnout like a good ol’ plan in my opinion.

So take my framework; change it, adapt it, play around with it, and hopefully you’ll see the benefits of a good solid structure to your working day. I’d say at this point this is based on me working full time on my business. If you’re a part-time entrepreneur due to another job, parenting or studying – then take what will help you, and leave what won’t. Simple as that 🙂

My daily structure:

My day runs from 9am until 4pm. I like to feel like I have an evening to break away from work. Unless something is really behind, I always turn off at 4pm. I find 4pm an optimum time to finish as it very much feels like only half the day has passed, especially in the summer. Cue chill time, exercise, drinks, chores and time to socialise.

I used to start my day at 8, but if I can, I prefer to start at 9. This allows me to go swimming, walking, or even get out with the camera first thing. Make sure you value your hours around your working day as it has a major impact on your working day.

It’s important to know this is based on an ‘indoor’ day for me. As you may or may not know, I’m also launching my landscape photography prints soon. If I’m out shooting landscapes I’m pretty much bound by a completely different schedule – usually the sun, the tides or the overall weather.

And finally if meetings and such are booked in, the day has to adapt to fit. I don’t like to lose any of the below segments for my business however, so make sure to check out my weekly structure in the next blog post to see how I balance my week when your day to day isn’t going to plan.

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Check out my 5 Super Mindful, Super Productive Daily Routines for an awesome working week!

Morning:

My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Writing Time © Tide & Tree

9am – 11am | Writing time

This is usually is the best time for me to write or edit a blog post. Bear in mind this is daily. So you’re looking at 2 hours each morning. Just think about how much you could get written in that time if you’re distraction free.

Get the most out of this time by:

  • Not checking emails
  • Listening to some chilled music. I prefer instrumental so my brain can really get in focus. Especially if I’m writing
  • Putting your phone away – no distractions
My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Take Ten © Tide & Tree

11am | Break away for ten minutes

I clock off and have ten minutes to myself. Just move, walk, stretch, make a drink, whatever – it doesn’t matter. Walk around the garden for 5 minutes, if you can. Fresh air is an incredible ‘reset’ button.

Get the most out of this time by:

  • No phones still
  • Fresh air if possible
  • Move
My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Eat a Frog © Tide & Tree

11:10am – 12pm | Sort your emails, check your phone, and eat a frog – not literally

I heard of this ‘Eat the Frog’ principle a few months ago and really liked the idea. It basically means doing that rubbish job you’ve been putting off right away. Just get it off your list. Now as I mentioned above, I don’t like doing any mundane or rubbish jobs first thing – it doesn’t work for me. So I use this mid-morning hour to get those quick or unwanted jobs off my list. After the hour is up, I move on to the next segment and leave any undone jobs until the next day. This requires prioritisation and discipline. It’s very easy to let jobs such as accounts and budgets take up hours.

Get the most out of this time by:

  • No distractions – possibly even no music. Time to power through those emails!
  • When you’ve finished, sign out of your emails. This can help you to stop re-checking throughout the day
  • Rewarding yourself after every job is done. I usually have a cheeky chocolate. Unless I get through like 10 quick jobs in an hour in which case I hastily switch to grapes. Your call.

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Four ways to harness the power of accountability to get stuff done!

My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Learn & Develop © Tide & Tree

12pm – 1pm | Development time

Sometimes, I admit, this segment can get eaten up by other jobs. But it’s so important to give yourself some time each day to stay on top of your learning and development. You’re likely only a pro at one or two things to do with your business – but you need to know the basics of a lot of areas; accounts, sales, marketing etc.

An hour is a very conscious choice of time for me. I know how quickly an hour can go and by having only 60 minutes to learn areas I’m unsure of, it forces me to concentrate. I spend 16 hours a month learning valuable things needed to grow my business, or improve the quality of my photography. Just think about how much you could learn for your business in this time.

Get the most out of this time by:

  • Having a list of areas you’re unsure of, along with possible books, courses and experts to reach out to
  • Keeping valuable blog posts favourited and ready for this slot of time, so you’re not wasting time elsewhere in your week when you should be doing other tasks

Afternoon

My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Lunch © Tide & Tree

1pm – 1:30pm | Lunch

A thirty minute lunch is usually enough to stretch away from the desk and monitor and reset. If an hour is needed, just push your finish time back by 30 minutes. Simple as that 🙂

Get the most out of this time by:

  • Getting out of the house if you can – a garden will do
  • Preparing a lunch beforehand
My Business Structure Series Part 1: Day-to Day Big Jobs © Tide & Tree

1:30pm – 4pm: | Big jobs

Now is where I’d tackle the big jobs for the business. My productivity is usually at a high as I feel I’ve made real progress on the day. Or I’m having a sugar crash from the chocolate earlier.

So whether I’m working on a new stock collection, looking at new ventures, overhauling my website, improving traffic, looking at collaborations or planning my content and social media for the next month – here’s the time to get it done. You can choose how to spend this time each day by having a decent weekly or monthly planner, which lucky for you is the next blog post.

Get the most out of this time by:

  • Have a separate list of ‘to-do’s for each ‘big job’. That way you literally dedicate an afternoon a few times a week to ticking through that to-do list for that particular big goal, getting you there much quicker than just ‘winging it’ for two hours in a mass of ideas that has no structure
  • Get that chilled music back on and get your brain in focus

And there you have it! A typical working day to maximise when I’m getting stuff actually done. Coming up next: My weekly and monthly routines on how I break down that ‘Big Jobs’ chunk of the day to move forward with goals.

Do you have a daily routine that works for you? Or have you used any of the framework above? Comment below with your experience!

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