Would you believe me if I told you that I feel more productive since getting a puppy than before?
I know. Even I find that hard to believe sometimes. But it's true! I look back at my time before we got Milo, and I genuinely wonder how I filled up my days.
Milo is a puppy with a lot of energy. He needs at least two decent walks a day. He's also very loving, which means that he wants cuddles ALL the time. Sweet, but not very useful when you're trying to type at your desk and he insists on sitting on your lap. *Side note* he's not so small anymore.
We also live in an apartment, which means we don't have our own garden to let him out into. So, you guessed it, every time he needs to wee, I have to go out with him!
So you can already see how even if I don't want to get up from my desk every hour or so, I pretty much am given no choice.
When we first got him, I genuinely had a couple of panicked moments where I thought my entire business would crumble before my eyes, because I wouldn't have time to get everything done. But this magical thing happened: I got MORE work done.
It all comes down to breaks.
I've since read up about this, and seen it mentioned quite a few times, but the key to a productive work day is actually to take more breaks! Our minds are amazing, but they can get tired. The reality is that you're simply not capable of working solidly for 8 hours straight at full capacity. It may have taken me getting a puppy to realise this, but I'm here to try and save you some time.
So how should you break up your day?
1. Find out when you're most productive: The first step for me was to realise that I am incredibly productive first thing in the morning. I write all my blog posts between 8-10am. It's just when I feel the most inspired and productive. For that reason, I try my best to keep my mornings free. Milo needs to go on a walk in the morning, but thankfully for me, he likes to sleep in the mornings! So around 10am, when I've written a blog post, or done my emails, or whatever my "important task of the day" has been, I'll take him for a walk.
2. Get Outside: The magical thing for me has been getting outside more often. I thought I got out a lot before, but now I'm going on at least two 30-40 minute walks a day with Milo. These walks are often where my best ideas come. Nature makes me feel a lot of clarity, and if I'm having a bad morning, or feeling really tired, this walk is bound to wake me up, or make me feel better.
3. Move At Least Every 60 Minutes: Take it from the girl with back trouble, you must not sit at your desk all day without moving! Get up, stretch, move your legs. Your back will thank you.
4. Drink Water: Yes, I know you've heard it before but it's because it's true! If you're wanting to be productive, yet you're not giving your body hydration, how productive do you think you'll truly be? The answer: not very. Set an alarm on your phone for every hour and make that when you get up and drink a glass of water.
5. Take a lunch break: It can be 30 minutes, or an hour. However long you want it to be, but taking the time to move away from your desk, eat something and recharge is so important. When you come back to your desk, you'll be ready to carry on.
6. See A Friend: If you're freelance, then use that freedom! Anna and I meet up at least once a week for an hour long walk. They're the perfect opportunity for us to vent, discuss ideas, worries, or just think about something other than work for a bit! We also try to go somewhere new whenever we can, because it's sure to spark inspiration.
7. Turn Off Notifications: Did you know that it can take up to 25 minutes to regain focus after a distraction?!I try to put my phone on Do Not Disturb whilst I'm doing work that really requires a lot of brain power (like this blog post!). When I finish a task, or feel like I need a break, thats when I look at my phone. It's so easy to get distracted by our technology, or our emails.
8. Aim For Two Hour Blocks: I try to keep my "work blocks" to two hours at a time. This always feels like a decent amount of time for me to be able to get one, or two tasks done, and done well. I will get up for 10 minutes or so (normally to take Milo outside quickly) between each hour, and then take a longer 30-60 minute break after two hours. Play around with this for yourself and tweak it to work for you.
I hope that this has helped you in some way! Will you be taking more breaks throughout your working day? Let me know in the comments below!
If you follow me on Instagram, you will possibly have seen me chat about a bit of a journey that I'm currently on with my personal style.
It all started a year or so ago, when Anna Newton from The Anna Edit, began to to share her journey towards a capsule wardrobe. I'd never heard of that term before, but I found it incredibly intriguing. Essentially, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes that all fit together perfectly for one person. Everyone has a slightly different take on it; for some people it's seasonal, for some people it's limited to 40 items, to others its something else. Regardless of what the rules were, the idea of having a "perfectly curated closet" really appealed to me.
You know that feeling where you open up your closet and have nothing to wear? I have that regularly. Feeling frustrated, bored and uninspired by my closet... despite having so many things to wear! I found myself reading blogs and following people on Instagram who had embarked on these capsule wardrobe journeys, but for some reason I never really pursued my interest in it.
Until this year.
Just before Christmas, I bought myself "The Curated Closet" by Anuschka Rees*. It's a book I'd seen floating about on the internet and Instagram for quite a long time, dedicated to helping women around the world discover their personal style and, as the title suggests, curate their closets.
I began to read this book in the first week of January, and before I knew it I was totally hooked. The desire to finally take my closet under control was in full swing, and I began to look at my clothes in a totally new light.
I've always been obsessed with fashion. Since I was about 12 or 13, nothing got me more excited than picking my outfit for my day at school (to clarify, I didn't have a uniform at my school). When I moved to the UK and attended University, that passion was still there, but got suppressed quite heavily by a difficult relationship that I was in.
Fast forward to now: I'm 25, working from home, the love for fashion is still there, but I feel totally lost. I never know what to wear, and find myself making regular purchases from cheap fast fashion brands. There's no method to anything.
The real eureka moment though was whilst working through the questionnaire section at the beginning of The Curated Closet, when I began to ask myself why I didn't feel inspired by my wardrobe anymore. It occurred to me that I no longer felt a reason to "get dressed" in the mornings.
I should clarify: I always get dressed in the mornings. However, when I used to get dressed everyday, there was a lot of thought put into my outfits, and it was fun! I realised that because I no longer needed to go to school, or to a university lecture, or to a job outside of my home, I no longer felt there was a reason to put any effort into getting dressed...and it made me sad!
This might be totally irrelevant to some people, but I think many will agree that the clothes they wear have a lot to do with how they feel about themselves. I know for sure that if I've got an outfit on that I love, I'll feel more confident, sure of myself, and importantly: ambitious.
I took to Instagram Stories, and shared my eureka moment with my followers, and before I knew it I was being flooded with messages from other freelancers also having the same realisation, or simply agreeing with me. Of course, my brain began to turn, and later on in the day, whilst walking and talking to my fellow freelance friend, Anna, I came up with the idea to start a hashtag: #FreelanceOOTD - "Freelance Outfit Of The Day."
The idea is simple: A place where freelancers all around the world can share their outfits whenever they feel like it (daily, weekly, monthly) and connect with others. It will make people feel like they can dress up for someone, make an effort, and connect with other freelancers!
I'm so pleased to see that so many people have already used the tag. Sadly, there seems to be a strange Instagram Glitch which means that the tagged Instagram Stories are STILL not showing up... but I'm hoping that with time they will begin to appear. Any images from actual grids with the tag are, however, showing up as normal - which is great!
If you feel inspired by this post, and if you want to connect with other freelancers who also love clothes and want to feel like they're dressing with a purpose, please feel free to use the hashtag #FreelanceOOTD :) I will keep everyone updated on the state of the Stories... but till then, let's keep sharing our work from home outfits :)
When running a small business, the biggest challenge is attracting the right clients. I can say first hand how much I've struggled with this. I've gone over my ideal client profile plenty of times, but I now have a pretty good idea of exactly who I want to attract, and how. This post is going to be all about how to figure out who your ideal client is, and how to best market yourself to attract them to you!
The Ideal Client:
When most people start out in business, they'll begin by saying yes to everything and everyone out of fear. I get it, it's hard to turn work down! They share everything they do, and don't niche down. The problem with that? They continue to attract people from all walks of life; as well as people they really don't want to work with.
So who is your perfect client? We all dream about them; that client that emails you, loves everything you do, books you and is super easy to work with. They pay you what you deserve, they're polite, you're excited about the project, they sing your praises to other business owners. Sounds good, right? The best bit is that they really exist!
But how do you work out who your ideal client is?
My advice is to try and imagine that your perfect client is just one person. It's much easier to create a character profile for a single person than it is for many. You can give them a name, an age, come up with an entire story on who they are and what they're life is like!
The best part? You'll notice how much easier it is to create content after you've done this exercise, because you'll be so clear on who you're talking to.
I get it, you're staring at the answers and now you're like... what next? Well, it's quite simple, you need to start analysing your business as it currently is, and figuring out if what you're currently putting out to the world reflects your ideal client.
Does your branding align with their preferences? Check out the websites of the store you said they like to shop in, what is their branding like? Can you take any inspiration from their website and apply it to yours?
What kind of content could you create for them? What does your ideal client need help with? Could you write any blog posts that could help answer those questions for them? Is the content that you're currently putting out there speaking to them? If it isn't, don't panic! You can start to change what you post, and slowly but surely, your ideal clients will come to you.
Where is your ideal client hanging out? If you're established that they spend most of their time on Instagram, focus your attention on building a really solid Instagram marketing strategy. If they love print magazines, brainstorm ideas on how you could get published in one.
As you can see, the options are endless, and its really up to you to research your ideal client, and figure out exactly where they are and how you can get in front of them with what they love.
Do you want an example?
I find examples to be super helpful, so here's a short break down of my ideal client profile!
My ideal client's name is Sarah. She lives in Cornwall and loves nothing more than a walk on the beach. She spends her weekends collecting sea glass and creating beautiful jewellery from her findings. She never set out to create a business, but as she began to wear her creations and friends asked her to make rings for them too, she started to share her work on Instagram. Eventually, she opened up an Etsy shop, and would spend her evenings after work creating pieces to sell.
After a few months, Sarah began to make enough money through her jewellery shop to be able to go part time at her main job. She realised that she loved making her jewellery more than anything, and wanted to make it her full time job.
Sarah's friends describe her as friendly, introverted and kind. She is ambitious and resourceful. Her only weaknesses are that she can be self critical and impatient. When she isn't working, she enjoys walking on the beach with her boyfriend and their dog. She loves fashion, but comfort is important to her. She likes to shop in stores like Anthropologie. She cares for the environment.
Sarah's biggest focus right now is solidifying her brand, and taking it to the next level. She is researching marketing tactics, and learning about branding. She's researching the possibility of investing in a professional photographer to photograph her jewellery pieces, as well as getting published in national magazines.
My full ideal client profile is much longer than this, and goes into a lot of detail, but I didn't want to bore you with all the details! I think you get a pretty good idea of who I'm talking to!
As you can see, thanks to my ideal client profile, I am able to get extremely focused on who my client is. Sarah doesn't exist, she's made up in my head, but the good news is that there are plenty of people out there just like Sarah! They might not be jewellery makers, but they may be in another similar kind of business, with similar ideals and goals. By creating content on my blog and social media which helps these kinds of clients, and inspires them, I attract them to me, and hopefully, gain them as clients!
You Can Have More Than One Ideal Client
If you market to more than one person, it's totally fine to create more than one ideal client profile; I have! The important thing is simply to get very clear on who they are, and what you can help them with.
There you have it, how to attract your ideal client! If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask in the comment section below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!