For many people, freelancing and its meaning differs. For some, working from home on a defined schedule is freelancing. For others, having one-off projects come along is freelance work. Since there is such a variance in how people approach freelancing, it’s not possible to know exactly what every freelancer’s day is like. I can tell you what it’s like for me, though, so you can get an idea of what my work does for me and what it means for my schedule.
For me, freelancing is about not being tied down. I have deadlines for one freelance position, but as long as I meet them, I can do my work as an when I wish. At VIPKID, I schedule myself a week in advance, but I select the exact times I want to work in advance. If I want a week off, I simply don’t book any students. If I need to work more, I open more time slots. More on VIPKID here.
Let’s take a look at my typical schedule. I’m not a stay-at-home mom- I have no kids, but I do take care of our dogs during the day while my other half is off working a typical 9-5-style job.
My typical day Monday through Thursday:
- I wake up at around 7 a.m. EST to begin teaching at VIPKID. I work for approximately two to three hours each day in the morning.
- I grab a shower, breakfast and whatever else I need to do to get ready for the day next. My classes end at 10 a.m., so by noon, I will have walked the dogs, eaten, showered, and started on my next work project.
- I try to finish a number of jobs I have due daily by 1 p.m.
- Once done with those tasks and any research I have for the next few hours of work, I wrangle the doggos and we head to the park for an hour or two.
- We head home. By now, it’s about 2 p.m.- 3 p.m.
- I start my last bit of work for the day. It typically takes two to three hours to complete.
- By around 6 p.m., I’ll finish all my writing and content work. If I have no classes for the night, I’m done. In total, I will have worked around 8 hours split up during the course of the day. I do this Monday through Thursday. If I have more classes, I’ll add another hour to that between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
My typical day Friday:
My typical Friday isn’t quite like Monday through Thursday. I have only a little bit of writing work to do and spend more time with my Chinese students. Here’s an idea of what my day looks like:
- Teach from 8 a.m.- 10 a.m.
- Eat breakfast and walk the dogs
- Finish writing content by 1 p.m.
- 9 p.m. until midnight- VIPKID.
My Friday generally has only 6 to 7 hours spent working, depending on the number of writing tasks I have to complete on deadline. I try to split my Friday so I work three hours in the morning and three at night, but sometimes it’s a little longer or shorter, depending on the needs of the clients.
Saturday and Sunday
I do still teach on Saturday and Sunday, but it’s incredibly limited compared to my normal day. I teach approximately 3 classes on Saturday morning, 1.5 hours total, and I try to do the same Sunday.
My total week:
In total, my typical week runs around 24 hours total for Mon-Thursday with an additional 11 from Friday to Sunday. I try to keep my weekly hours under 35.
Of course, not all freelancers are like me. Some work much, much more, and others work less because of their fees or opportunities that allow them to do so. Some work one heavy week a month and then take several off to travel, while others use passive income as a primary source while filling in with freelance writing or class time when it’s needed. No one is the same in the freelancing community. For me, having the opportunity to adjust my schedule and complete work any time I want during the day is immensely helpful. It rarely feels like a 40-hour workweek, even if it is one, because I’m in charge of breaks, when I eat and when I can relax for a few minutes.
What would your ideal freelance lifestyle be?