Lessons Learnt - Self Employed Life

I’ve been freelance for 6 weeks now, and not a minute have I regretted my decision to make this huge change to my life. My days are mostly unrecognisable to the previous format, and have been filled with huge new challenges.

Anyway, I don’t want to post a soppy blog (if you want a soppy story fill me with approx half a bottle of wine and ask me how happy I am and you can have that for free!), I wanted to post a little update on how this new and exciting journey is going so far.

I have always been a busy person, incapable of sitting still and doing nothing, but my golly I have never been so busy! I’ve been so fortunate to get some great work coming through, in addition to doing lots of brilliant events, so I have absolutely no complaints at all! That said, here are the main challenges I’ve faced so far...


Time Management:

I have always been good at time management and prioratising, but now I am 100% in charge of my schedule I have really had to assess my prioraties and the order/importance I place on doing things. 

I’ve been working silly long hours, but getting better at telling myself to take breaks. Throwing on a cardigan and going for a walk in the park, or to get a coffee has been really good for me, as getting away gives you a little bit of perspective. 

Main lesson learnt: the job you allocate the least time to will probably take the longest


Diet:

No, I am not on one. Everyone told me I would put on weight when I left working full time in an office, and so far you have all been wrong. I had a blip about two weeks in where I had a day where I felt miserable and grumpy and then I realised it was because I hadn’t been drinking any water and I had been eating rubbish. So that’s the end of that. Water is so important and I’m making sure to have a glass of water with every meal, and have a bottle alongside me to sip from. 

I make myself a fresh fruit milkshake with almond milk every day for energy and vitamins, and am trying to have healthier snacks so rather than a crunchie I’m enjoying a treat of roasted hazelnuts and small pieces of dark chocolate, or some fruits. If I get ill I won’t be getting any sick pay!

Main lesson learnt: water is the best thing you can give to your body. We are so lucky to have taps!

 (having a) Social Life

All the above taken into consideration, I am trying hard not to become a bore! In the past year I’ve had to say “no, thank you” to far more invitations that I’d like to, but it all ties in with time management. That said, I’m doing much better at balancing my workload around having a social life. For example, last week was crazy busy, however I managed to fit in doing to a close friends wedding dress fitting in an afternoon, and then did an event where another great pal joined me for cocktails, then the next day I went to a house warming party in the evening and was up 6 hours later to get to Brighton, where I tied another event in with catching up with more friends! It does take a lot of planning but if I can maintain the level I’m at now then that’s great. I haven’t managed a day off yet, an afternoon or an evening here and there, but I really don’t mind. I’m doing my dream job! 

Main lesson learnt: taking time out a couple of times a week so see friends, sit in the  pub, walk round the park, go to the pictures etc is stupidly important. 


Money

Money and Faith are two things to leave off my blog, but I wanted to touch on this ever so slightly. I had calculated in great depth how much money I needed to live on to cover my bills, food and general life expenses. I live in a nice part of London and life isn’t cheap, but because I planned this in great depth and know my cashflow well. I feel a lot less anxious about money than I thought I would, and that is a wonderful thing. It’s not because I have lots of it, because I don’t, but it’s because I understand it. 

Main lesson learnt: you wait until you see my spreadsheets, I’ll surprise you with how organised I am!

Organisation

I loose my scissors on an hourly basis. Don’t bother suggest tying them round my neck as I did that once, jumped, and hit myself in the face with the blades. 

Main lesson learnt: if you spend the time to put something away properly, it can prevent a very big meltdown


Working by Yourself

I haven’t cracked up! There have been times, for sure, but I’m doing well! I’ve sadly started to grind my teeth in lieu of actual human conversation every ten minutes but I’ve caught myself doing it and am cutting it out. 

I’ve given myself rules such as no telly until after 6pm and make sure to leave the house, even if it’s just going to the post box every afternoon.  

I spend a chunk of my day on my emails so I’m constantly communicating with clients and see friends a lot so I’m definitely not a hermit! 

The only real problem I have is that I now genuinely think all of the 6 Music presenters are my friends... 

Main lesson learnt: Katie, radio presenters are not your friends.


Katie x