It sounds very cliche and I think most of my blog posts are started with “time flies too fast can you believe it” kind of sentences. Aren’t they? Hahahaha. But yesss that’s the truth, I always feel like I’m running out of time. Juggling between meetings, workshop, private tutoring session, events, working from home, you name it. I admit that being a freelancer is far much busier and chaotic than when I was still an employee. When I was still an employee, I have a fix schedule from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. I can sneak in some other schedules easily, like going to the gym before the office hour, or meeting with friends and clients, or working for other projects like after the office hour. While now, even to sneak in the gym session is a bit tough. I decided to go 3 times a week for meetings and events, while the other two days are the fix schedules to work from home. It sounds easy and manageable, but it’s not. There are always something jumping from a day to the other, messing up the schedules. It’s not always client or work related, but also the domestic stuff like grocery shopping or documenting the admin files (which now I have to do it frequently to keep everything on track). My activities are a combination of meeting or tutoring, walking to meeting places (malls are actually a long track to walk in), and sitting in front of my macbook working for countless hourssssss.
To that problem, here I am creating my own guide of surviving the hectic schedule.
1. Keep on track of your schedules
Keep on track of everything, from meetings with clients and friends, events, pre-deadlines, deadlines, client follow up, blog post or instagram schedule, when to refuel the gas, when to shop for fruits and groceries, when to pay the bills, e v e r y t h i n g. Last year I bought a really nice yearly planner which ended up in the shelve after I used it for only 3 months. Yearly agenda is quite heavy and not practical to bring everywhere. Though it’s the nicest agenda I’ve ever owned, but a smart phone can do everything with no fuss. I now keep my schedules in the basic calendar app which sends me notifications prior to the schedule. Truly what I need to keep on track of everything.
2. Always try to pull all your meeting requests into one day at one place if possible
If you’re saying yes to all the meeting and event invitations, you’ll get crazy of your own schedule and you’ll end up entangled with everything which leads to a nervous breakdown by the end of the week. So learn to bargain for the appointments.
3. If you are juggling between deadlines like me, bring your macbook, tab, and note book all together when you leave the house.
Living in Jakarta have taught me how to use my time efficiently, by always try to sneak in to work when I have the time, like while waiting for meetings and appointments. If I’m in a cafe, I can work with my macbook. But if I have no descent table around me, I have my tab to work on drafts easily. My note book are in hand when both of the macbook and tab are drained.
4. Keep your sneakers, a heels, and a pretty flats in the car
To juggle between the hectic schedules means I have to be prepared for the worst things. Sneakers to work out when I have the time or when I have to run between the meetings, a pair of classic heels for an important event, and a pretty flats for a workshop or tutoring session. Sometimes my meetings are set in a cafe in the mall. To walk from the parking area to the actual meeting place is a pain if I go with my heels. It’s not once or twice I got my ankle twisted when I’m trying to catch my schedules. Sadly, that happened a lot. So to keep a few options of shoes is a good advice.
5. Bring a pouch full of first aid kit
In my case, the first aid kit isn’t really a medical related thing. My first aid kit contains a (non matte) lipstick, blotting paper, safety pin, a pair of earrings, and a Counterpain. I need the beauty stuff to refresh my look a bit between the long meetings. Safety pin is of course to save my outfit from the unwanted minor events. Earrings are a great tool to switch mood from work to play instantly. And the last thing is Counterpain. I mentioned a lot of times in this blog that I often have muscle pain and minor injury (but hurts really bad) like sprained ankle. I realised that my leg muscles are in pain especially after a crazy work out session or a long walk in heels between meetings. Sore muscles due to work out are bearable, I only need to apply Counterpain, usually on my legs, above my knee or my arms. The worst things is when I’m walking in heels and all of sudden I feel this incredible pain on the calf, which hurts reallyyyyy bad. The only thing that saves the situation is my Counterpain cream. I heard that they also have the Counterpain patch. I haven’t tried it but seems like it’s a good one to try. Counterpain works fast in healing the pain. I used to hate the heat, but now I love it hahaha. My mom is like a loyal fan of Counterpain, she suggests me to use it whenever my muscles are in pain, which I already did, of course.
Oh well, that’s my version of hectic schedule survival guide. Do you have anything to add in the list? Or do you have your own version of first aid kit? Drop a comment below, I’d like to hear it!