Finding Balance with Jamie of Spruce Rd.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about how I schedule my work week and how I get it all done as a stay at home mom of a toddler and business owner of a growing, thriving business. The response was overwhelming, and I quickly realized how many of you needed guidance for creating your own schedule and finding balance between work and life. I realized that we all want a glimpse of how others are making it work so we can better structure our own lives.
Because of this, I was inspired to start this series featuring other busy moms and business owners sharing how they manage their schedules and work towards work/life balance. My hope in everything I do is that we can make our lives less busy and more intentional so that we find more room for joy. I hope that this series will inspire you in your own life and help you find just the right combination of work and play so you can make it happen too.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business or work.
Hi there! I'm Jamie, the branding designer behind Spruce Rd. I work with small businesses, specifically in the creative industry, to create brands that reflect their vision Prior to opening up shop earlier this year, I worked as an in-house designer, freelancer and employee at a design studio. I made the switch to my own studio, because through my in-house experience I learned to really love branding (strategy, design, and holistic approach), and wanted to work intimately with small businesses to create that fresh start.
What are your main daily responsibilities?
The constant battle of taming my email inbox! I have a mix of client work, blogging, working on side projects, and managing the house-keeping of owning a business.
What time does your typical day start?
Take us through your typical day.
Everyday differs from the next. I set aside specific goals for each day of the week, so it changes on which day I'm on!
I would say a typical day involves creating a to-do list for that day, and prioritizing it. I work from home in the mornings, trying to accomplish as much as I can before I begin to get tired. I take a small break for lunch (and maybe catch an Office episode off Netflix), and refuel for the rest of the day. Lately, I have had trouble staying focused at home, so I pack up my laptop and head to a local coffee shop to refocus. I end my day around 5 or so, cook dinner and spend time with the husband, then I usually sneak in a couple hours at night for more work (shhhh don't tell my clients I work outside of office hours!).
What do you wish you had more time for?
Side projects! I absolutely LOVE working on new ideas, and get so energized by allowing myself the time to devote to this. Because I'm such an idea person, I devote one day a week to take a breath from client work, and focus on side projects. I highly recommend this to anyone, whether you are a freelancer or a large company, because so many creative ideas come from these days! Hopefully soon I will have more time to devote to this type of work :).
What is one thing you always make time for?
Time with my husband. I know that isn't work related, but it is important to me to have balance in my routine, so that includes taking time away to spend with the ones I love. It can be so tempting to work all day, reply to emails instantly, and never take a break (I'm definitely guilty of it). So instead, I remind myself why I am freelancing, and partly that is for the flexibility to have a better balance in life and not feel drained from work.
How do you manage your schedule?
LOVE this question, and reading how others manage their schedule! Not sure why it is so interesting to me, but it just always is!
Monday: Client meetings + catching up on email, client work. I also try to schedule out my week, and hopefully be realistic about it rather than overbook myself!
Tuesday: Blog post + newsletter, client work. This might be shifting soon, and I would love to one day batch these one or two days a month, rather than once a week.
Wednesday: Side projects. I take time away from client work, and focus on side projects. Right now, this is my upcoming Share-worthy Design course... which has sometimes consumed more of my week than Wednesday!
Thursday: Client work
Friday: Bookkeeping + client work. I try to make sure my Quickbooks is updated, and all invoices are sent out.
How do you find the balance between work and home?
I definitely don't have this figured out quite yet! The main focus I have now, is to try to systemize my processes a bit more so that I can have more balance. This might mean I spend money on a few apps that will improve efficiency, and I'm learning to be okay with that expense. I also recently hired a virtual assistant, which has helped tremendously! Trusting other people will take me far, so I'm learning to humble myself and trust others to take over on parts of my business. This will not only help my business grow, but also improve that balance between work and home. Humility has been my #1 business lesson this year, and hopefully will continue to be so!
What brings you joy in your day to day life?
I absolutely LOVE designing, and creating brands for passionate entrepreneurs. There is something so exciting about being involved in the early stages of someone's business, and helping them take it to the next level. That is the best type of joy in my business, is hearing about the excitement they have in their business, and being that advocate + cheerleader for their brand!
Tell us one thing that you have learned about managing a busy life.
Like I mentioned before, one thing I have learned is that I can't do everything on my own, but rather that trusting others will not only help me manage my busy life, but also allows Spruce Rd. to better serve its clients. I'm of no use if I am completely stressed out, and not managing my busy life. It is growing pains, but ones that I am so excited about and can't wait to share more of once I have my feet under me!
What is one piece of advice you would give readers about managing their own schedule?
Allow time for creativity. What I mean by that, is to devote a specific time — whether it is one day a week, one season a year, or one week a year — to take a break from your business, and focus on time to explore. If you only allow yourself the time to react to your client work, or constant email chatter, you will easily become burned out and guess why you started this business. Instead, allow yourself the freedom to pursue your own ideas apart from what makes the money. This looks different to everyone. It could be painting, writing, diversified income, or shift week to week. The important thing to note is to put this in your schedule, and allow yourself that time to breath!
Follow along with Jamie
If you are interested in contributing to this series, or know of someone you would like to see featured, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!