How to schedule your time when you work full-time and freelance

How to schedule your week when you work full-time and freelance

While it’s definitely tough, it’s definitely possible! Yes, you can still fit in working out, weekend vacations, seeing your friends, family, and significant others. Maybe even cook a little too ;)

There’s something about seeing other people’s way of living life that always gets me inspired. They can be the tiniest of details, but I’m always taking bits and pieces and learnings from how others live their lives and working these bits into my own way of living. After reading a few scheduling posts over the past several months, I thought it was time I share with you how I schedule my week when I work full-time and freelance. Feel free to skip this post if it gets a little much — this is a shout out to you detail-loving friends of mine!

When you’re working full-time and freelancing, there seem to never be enough hours. At first, I tried to ‘just see’ how my schedule worked out and I never gave it too much thought. I was stressed, grabbing too much fast food on the run, and generally living a chaotic lifestyle. Not good for me, not good for work, and not good for my clients. It took me a while to get on track, a new move to jolt a better schedule, and a year of living a consistent lifestyle for me to finally get control. Kind of. While every day varies, here is how I stay in control of my workflow, get enough sleep, workout, and still have time for a pretty full social life.

Here is how I created my schedule for working full-time and freelancing. I started with the necessities, and then sprinkled in the freelance and social life.


Block off all the time that you are at work


Block off traveling time to and from work


Pick times to regularly work out, and add in travel to and from the gym. Also note how much time you need to get ready before heading to your next item when you pick a regular time. If I don’t add this in before anything else, it won’t happen. Make it a priority!


Now, make room for sleep. It was easier for me to pick my sleeping schedule after I decided when I was going to work out. I always aim to get a full eight hours so that I’m fully present and well-rested for the day ahead. I feel like such a waste if I get 7, seriously! Sleep times are different for everyone, so pick your number and set a standard bedtime and wakeup time.


Fill in any other commitments you have. For me, this is time with Todd on Wednesdays (the one day he has free from class + personal errands, and a day I can give up from freelance work), and german dancing


Put in buffer room of meals, errands, and getting miscellaneous things done around the house that NEED to get done. For me, this is walking Eaton twice a day, checking mail, making dinners, prepping lunch, getting ready / showering, and doing the dishes.


From here, you’ll have a pretty clear view of where you can fit in your freelance hours. Decide how often you want to work, and for how many days. For me, I tried to schedule as much as I could during the week so that I had a clear weekend most weekends. I love to take weekend trips, see friends, hang out with Todd, and generally have the time to do what I feel like! Maybe you like this on your weekdays and you fill your weekends with freelance. Whatever you do here, make sure to not fill up the rest of your time with work. You deserve that down time!!

a schedule for working full-time and freelancing


2x per week + daily walks with Eaton right before and after work


Wednesday nights / weekends / occasionally during freelance hours when I don’t have a deadline the next day


Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 6 -9 // also ‘free hours’ to schedule a dinner with friends once in a while. I don’t always have deadlines, and many of these days simply turn in to times to relax after work and catch up on Netflix, or have a long walk with Eaton. While these are my scheduled hours that I know I have generally available, I make it a habit to schedule out my lunches while at work to use that time towards business-related things. In fact, I’m writing this during a lunch break! When I’m not working out on Monday + Wednesday, I still get up at 5 to get an hour or so of work done in the morning. This is when I usually write the Pinegate Road Newsletter, and when I’m prepping files to send to clients first thing in the morning. Working nights, I need that little bit of morning refinement to make sure everything is just right before sending along.


Every Friday night, and currently Sunday afternoons at various hours for about 3 hours


Saturdays + Sunday morning/afternoon // when necessary, I pepper in work here but it’s usually tying up a few loose ends, sending out an email, or doing a quick refinement of a design to send back out. Unless there is a huge project that I need to spend an entire day on or I need the daylight for photography, I usually keep my weekends free to take trips, have friends visit, spend time with Todd, take nature walks, and generally do what makes me happy!


Any day right after work / Wednesday I get my farm bag at work

While a schedule is full of good intentions, there is always room for slight changes. Once you get in to a rhythm and clients start to know when you’ll be able to respond to emails and get work done, you’ll be able to see where you can squeeze more ‘me’ time into your week. OR, when you need to forgo those weekends and hunker down to get that job done! Setting the schedule helps you prepare for those ebbs and flows and make sure that you’re putting work, life, freelance, and health on an equal playing field most of the time.

An actual day for me:
Monday, July 13th


Wake up, walk eaton


Head to the gym




Leave the gym

6:30AM – 7:05AM

Coffee, breakfast, make lunch, shower, get ready, leave for work with wet hair (it dried on the way!)


Work work work


Ate lunch, wrote emails, and worked on my budget spreadsheet entering in all of July so far — yikes! hah


Work work work


Went home


Grabbed the mail, took Eaton outside, made dinner


Answered emails, wrote yesterday’s blog post, sent out a contract for a new project, defined some small projects for a couple current clients, organized emails from applicants for the part-time position


Finished up with freelance, and decided to do something about the tart cherries I got in my farm bag the Wednesday before. One of my most favorite things to do for fun is to cook. I took the recommendation from a friend and made a tiny cherry cobbler. Yum! While it was cooking I caught up on some Netflix and then took Eaton on a 20-30 minute walk. I’m also pretty bad about still doing emails while I’m relaxing — I wrote a few emails from my couch while watching Netflix. Eeek.


Got ready for bed, made some tea, started listening to the Mystery Show and just HAD to finish the second one where Starlee tracks down Britney Spears.



I hope this gives you some understanding and reflection on how you can make your schedule work for you, your business, and your full-time work life. While it takes some getting used to, with a little determination it’s so possible. Remember, every minute counts!

When you're first starting out, PINEGATE ROAD NEWSLETTER

the Pinegate Road newsletter: When you’re first starting out

Everything is kind of paralyzing.
Have you ever felt this way?

You get crazy excited about a new something, spend an entire day (or three) dreaming it up, and then stop. You starting thinking about where you are now and what you need to do to get to that goal and the overwhelm sets in. You say, “oh, that’ll be on my list for tomorrow,” or “I’ll do that someday.”

This is probably one of my biggest issues when it comes to making things happen. I have all the best intentions, and then somewhere along the line ‘real life’ sets in and I just can’t seem to connect the dots. Instead of starting, I push these new things into my someday pile.

BUT there’s hope!

A good friend of mine once sent along the quote “the first step to getting ahead is getting started.” That stuck with me. How do you push past paralyzing, and get started? Here’s my two biggest tips:


Think of the ittiest bittiest thing you would need to do to get the ball rolling — AND DO IT.

For me, starting this newsletter became one of those ‘paralyzing someday’ kinds of things. Three weeks after my new launch, and several people on this list (hi! Thank you!!), I felt that ‘eeeek I have to get started, but I have no idea what to do’ start to set in. Yesterday I sat down, took a couple minutes to gather my thoughts and realized my first step was to hit the ‘make a new campaign’ button. I did it. That small step helped push me in the right direction, and the next thing you know I’m sitting at my computer and making the header for this post. After that, I’m waking up early the next day and sitting down to write this to you all. Taking that first small step towards a goal makes all the difference.


Think progress, not perfection.

Did I want to make this perfect before launching? Yes. Did I feel like I needed to make an entire ebook to give away for free before launching to give you all a little something for my gratitude that you are here? Absolutely! Did these things stop be from getting the ball rolling and making this happen? You bet. In order to get this going, I had to do away with the idea of perfection, and realize that any step towards making this happen would be good for now. Starting this newsletter is something entirely new for me. I can’t expect myself to be perfect at it right away. As long as I’m connecting with you all and giving you something to help along your journey’s I know that I’m working in the right direction. My biggest goal for this space is to encourage you all to make your dreams happen. This is my first little step.

With that said, has there been something that you’ve been putting in to your ‘someday’ pile that you’re ready to get started? I’d love to hear! Hit reply and tell me about your dreams and goals. At the very least, I’d love to send some encouragement your way and see if there is anything I can do to help you get started.

If you’re needing an extra daily push, I created this hand-pressed art print for an extra burst of inspiration. I have never regretted hanging up these little reminders, and it’s something that has helped me concentrate on what’s important.

I hope that you’re all having great Tuesdays, and that you have a great and productive rest of your week.

Lots of love,


PS: You’ve got this!

Did you resonate with this post? Well there’s more where that came from in the bi-weekly Pinegate Road newsletter. Sign up in the sidebar and get a look into my creative process — where I’m struggling, and how I’m working through life as a creative professional. Hope to see you there! The next email will go out bright and early Tuesday morning, so don’t miss out.

an interview with Pinegate Road via galery no. eight

an interview on gallery no. eight

I feel like I’m back on my blogger game with this one. I’m happy to let you all know that the Pinegate Road shop is being featured over on Gallery No. Eight with my dear friend Britt Douglas. It was refreshing and fun to sit down and talk about this process — one I realized I had never shared around here. Noting something else I have never shared, I go in to the story behind why I named this space Pinegate Road. Head on over to Gallery No. Eight to figure out why! Also, you can enter to win one of the prints from the shop.

Get your gift swap on


Just a friendly holiday PSA to chat about one of my favorite new things about the holidays: blogger gift swaps.

Last year I participated in Ali’s city swap, and was matched up with a lovely lady from Portland. She sent along tasty delights — I’m still enjoying the amazing Seven Smith Teamaker tea she sent along, and dreaming about a certain chocolate. I sent along some locally printed gift enclosure cards, and a tea towel from Mirdinara to my recipient. Here, who you give to and who gives to you are different people. What makes Ali’s swap unique is that the gift you give must be local to where you’re living. Supporting local artisans, making new friends, learning about other cities, win win win. Anyways, this was something I signed up for on a whim, and it turned out to be such a lovely experience that I wanted to give you all a heads up if you wanted to hop on board. The deadline to join is tomorrow, Nov 26th!

This year, on another whim—holiday time seriously puts me into whim-mode I guess—I signed up for the Goody Goody Gift Swap. The names on the exchangers list were too good to pass up, and I’m looking forward to getting a taste of a different swap this year.

The deadlines for both swaps are fast approaching, so if you’re wanting to get in to a little extra holiday spirit, hurry up and get yourself signed up.

Wishing you all safe travels if you’re heading out this week, and lots of love on Thanksgiving. I’ll be heading out west for a Cronkhite family Thanksgiving reunion on the farm. I’m so looking forward to taking a few days to unplug and relax with all of them.

Pssst: I opened a Pinegate Road Etsy shop, just in time for the holidays! I’m still going to be doing some tweaks, but I wanted to get it up in time for holiday shopping. If you have a creative go-getter on your list, one of these limited edition handmade prints might be a perfect new treasure.

weapons of mass creation 2014

weapons of mass creation featured designer 2014

This weekend marks a pretty big milestone in my design career. I’ll be heading to the Weapons of Mass Creation festival here in Cleveland as a featured designer. Some of you may have seen a little bit of this stamping craze that I got in to last month, and that was all in preparation to take part in the National Poster Retrospecticus that will be held at the festival. Along with taking part in this event, I’ll be spending my weekend soaking in inspiration from speakers that will be traveling here to Cleveland from around the country. I had a major pinch-me moment when I saw Grace Bonney’s headshot pop up as one of the speakers at the festival. Gah. That’s stuff my design-girl dreams are made of.

While I made the move here shortly before last year’s event, with my unpacking craze I wasn’t able to make it to the festival. I don’t know what to expect in it’s entirety, but I’m crazy excited to take part in an event that celebrates artists, designers, and creativity in this expansive way in my new hometown. Cleveland, I love you, honestly and truly. I was gushing to my coworkers last week about how there really couldn’t have been a better place for me to end up after graduation. It’s events like this that make me realize that the decision to move here was one of the better choices I’ve made in my life. There’s still a long way to go and a lot that I haven’t explored here, but after a year I can really say it’s feeling like home.

If you’re around the area, or are making your way to Cleveland for the festival, be sure to reach out! Send me a tweet, and I’ll be happy to come say hello. It will be amazing to get to know the creative community here in a new way, and there’s no better way to experience some major inspiration than in-person events like this.

Hope to see you this weekend!

You can purchase tickets here.