The other day I was discussing with a fellow artist his ideal schedule and we both agreed that it was nice to be able to wake up past 9 or 10 AM. When I tackled the topic previously with a business partner, she informed me that 7 AM usually was the latest she woke up at because she had to prepare breakfast for her son before he left for school. Other childless clients I worked with told me they woke up at 6 AM because they liked it. My partner and fiance likes to work at night and could sleep the whole afternoon if I let him. So, is there really such thing as perfect schedule?
The perfect schedule is subjective
Without getting too deeply into the science of the body clock, let’s just say that some of us are naturally wired to wake up early while others prefer to wake up later. For instance, while I am groggy and moody whenever I am forced to wake up as early as 6 AM, others thrive at that time. You can manipulate your body clock to a certain extent and gain a few hours by waking up earlier than your usual schedule but it takes some getting used to. You may also never feel as rested in your new schedule as you would if you followed your body’s instincts.
The beauty of being a freelancer is that you get to choose at what time you rise and go to bed. Whether you are a night owl or a morning lark though, besides your body’s internal clock there are a few things you have to consider before setting your alarm, the most important one being your business hours.
Open for business
If you have your own business, you will have to take your clients into consideration. If you wake up around 7 AM, you will probably be able to pull a 9 to 5 without too much trouble, if that’s what you want. But if, like me, you are more of a late-morning or afternoon person, you have to pick a reasonable schedule for your clients to be able to reach you. It’s very frustrating for them not to be able to get a hold of you and so you have to be considerate.
For me, 10 AM seems like the ideal time to get up at; not too early and yet still morning. Some days I sleep in (nobody’s perfect!) but I usually open my eyes around that time. With this schedule, I can go to bed at 2 AM and still get 8 hours of sleep. I can also start doing business between 10:30 and 11 AM depending on how much time I dedicate to my morning activities; Instagram, bathroom, teeth brushing, breakfast, sorting through my email and reading my RSS feeds.
Another great thing about being a freelancer and/or being a small business owner is that you can be flexible; depending on the length of your to-do list, you can plan afternoon and evening breaks if you need them. So if you manage well your time, you can free up a lot of time in your day for your hobbies or personal projects. Or you can also work more, if that’s what you like.
There might not be a perfect schedule that everyone fits in, but you can make one that will please both your body clock and your clients. Keep in mind that, whatever you decide to do in the end, you need to inform your clients so they know what to expect and don’t start panicking when you don’t reply immediately to the emails they send you at 6:30 AM (true story).