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A Typical Day in My Life

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

 A day in the life of a jewelry designer and Etsy seller. How I plan my day as a self employed entrepreneur

The best thing about being self employed is the freedom to create my own schedule. I work a lot, but I don't have to work when I don't want to. My daily schedule varies. There are some constants: making jewelry, packing orders, jewelry photography, and social media. Probably the most surprising thing about my typical day is how little time is actually spent just making jewelry. All the other tasks involved with selling jewelry online take up the bulk of my time. 

"Entrepreneurs: The only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks." -Lori Grenier

6 AM ish: Wake up.

You know what’s amazing? Unless I want to, I don’t need to set an alarm to wake up. I can basically get as much sleep as I want. AH-MAZING. I'm an early to bed, early to rise type. 

The first thing I do every morning is meditate for 15 minutes. Headspace offers meditation series on various topics. 

headspace app meditation health pack depression stress

Currently I’m on day 29 of a 30 day Headspace Anxiety Series Pack. It teaches the noting or labeling technique. When a thought or feeling interrupts mindfulness, simply label it. First, is a thought or feeling? Next, is it pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? And finally, if it's easily identifiable: what is the feeling? 

This simple technique is said to reduce the intensity of a feeling by as much as 50%. You’re supposed to engage in noting calmly. It doesn’t always work like that for me. The other day I was frustrated when I was making a mala necklace that would not cooperate. I was mindful enough to remember to label. But it was not a gentle, calm labeling. It was “THOUGHT. No, FEELING. UNPLEASANT!!!!! FRUSTRATION!!!!!” Oddly, it helped anyway.  

6:30 AM: Feed the dogs, have coffee & breakfast.

7 AM: Blog work: write, edit, design graphics on Canva.

Canva is one of my new favorite apps. It makes designing graphics a breeze, and it’s mostly free. There are photos and layouts availabile for purchase. Usually they're $1 per use. I use Canva to design graphics for my blogs, like the one at the beginning of this post. I was looking for a planner image to use for this blog on Canva. All the nice ones were $1, so I took a picture of my own planner. 

8 AM: Email customers, print orders from my Etsy shop and my website. Check Etsy Forums, Facebook.

8:30 AM: Plan my day with my Day Designer planner, pin on Pinterest, get distracted by the internet, shower. 

day designer planner scheduling daily schedule

10-11 AM: Shoot jewelry photos.

Lately I’ve been taking jewelry photos in the kitchen. I recently ordered this cyclorama photography background that gives the illusion of no background in photographs. I love it. It was stupidly expensive. It’s a $130 piece of plastic. But I’d buy it again in a heartbeat. You can find it here: Professional Table Top Photo Studio.

photography background for jewelry photography cyc background

11-12 PM: Make and pack orders. Listen to podcasts while making jewelry.

I began listening to podcasts this month. The first five months of being self employed, I just listened to music on Pandora. As an introvert, I think I had a lot of processing to do after spending over 25 years working with others in retail, bars and restaurants. Up until last year, I was a manager at Barnes & Noble bookstore. It was enlightening to simply sit with my own thoughts. 

Right now I’m listening to an audio course on The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms, by Danielle LaPorte. It's really thought provoking stuff. That will probably be the topic of another blog. 

12-1 PM: Lunch. Get distracted by the internet. Do a little training with our dogs. 

Our dogs Gracie and Murphy are currently enrolled in Obedience Classes. Right now they’re in week 4 of Obedience Level 1. They’re signed up for Obedience Level 2 next, so we have weekly classes though mid April. I'm looking forward to having dogs with excellent doggie manners. 

1-3 PM: Make and pack orders. When it's nice out, I walk orders to the mailbox with one of our dogs. 

two dogs and a bag with Etsy orders

3-5 PM: Edit jewelry photos. Create new jewelry listings, revise old listings.

5 PM: Read for 30 minutes.

Reading is my New Month’s Resolution for February. My goal is to read for at least 30 minutes a day. So far, I've reached that goal 11 out of 13 days. This is what I’m reading:

Stack of nonfiction books paperbacks Gretchen Rubin Andy Cohen  

6 PM: Instagram. Then dinner with my husband. He cooks recipes that I find on Pinterest. 

7ish PM: TV. 

When I watch TV with my husband, we watch documentaries or shows like Shark Tank and Nurse Jackie. When I watch TV on my own, I usually watch reality TV. One of my favorite shows is Project Runway. Currently I’m watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Married at First Sight and The Bachelor. I’m sure you do embarrassing things, too, right? Right? 

I love receiving comments on my blogs! Feel free to ask me any questions. Or tell me your guilty pleasure TV show. Or, you know, whatever. Just say hi. 

 


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