My Average Day As A Self-Employed Person

Hey everyone! If you haven’t yet, please read my two latest posts about self-employment on Diversified Finances – Finding A Job That Suits The Lifestyle You Want and Four Months Of Being Self-Employed (there’s an awesome gif in that one that makes me laugh). Back in January, Cat published her article A Day In The Life: Self Employment Version,…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: May 28, 2023

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

My Average Day As A Self-Employed PersonHey everyone! If you haven’t yet, please read my two latest posts about self-employment on Diversified Finances – Finding A Job That Suits The Lifestyle You Want and Four Months Of Being Self-Employed (there’s an awesome gif in that one that makes me laugh).

Back in January, Cat published her article A Day In The Life: Self Employment Version, and it really made me want to do something similar.

Now that I’m self-employed, I almost always get the question “What do you do all day?” whenever I tell someone that I’m a freelancer and I work at home.

I will say that I definitely do not do the same thing each day.

Some days I work a lot (over 12 hours), whereas others I hardly work (no hours at all or less than 2 or 3). Usually my weekends are fairly work-free, and Mondays are my busiest.

Working from home is really amazing, and I’m so happy I can do it.

I really don’t know what I can say to explain to all of you how awesome it really is. I love my schedule, and I love that I can change it up each day if I decide to sleep in later (and that definitely DOES happen), or if I need absolutely need to do something else that day (such as with an appointment).

I’m on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Gchat) throughout the day, and I don’t really consider that “working” for me.

I also work on and off almost all day long. I also do a lot of blog management, and with that it means that I am checking on someone’s blog and/or e-mail multiple times throughout the day as well.

I don’t think I have ever really sat down and worked a continuous 8-10 hours on my freelancing. Is that normal or no?

Here is my typical day as a freelancer:

 

6:30 A.M.

Since I enjoy the work I do now, I actually like to wake up early. That is something I never thought I would EVER say.

When I had my day job, nothing could ever wake me up (I had to use 3 to 4 alarms each day to wake me up), but now I actually enjoy waking up to work.

Anyway, usually everyone else is still asleep when I wake up at this time to work.

I start working from my bed, and my dogs usually don’t wake up at this point so I don’t have to let them out yet (they are so nice about this thankfully!).

Usually, I hear the stupid squirrels above our bed chewing on whatever they are chewing on. Sometimes I get up and bang on our ceiling but lately I just try to ignore it (but that is REALLY hard because they are extremely loud). I try not to think about the damage they are doing to our home and I try to work instead.

Sleeeeeeep
One of my dogs sleeping…

I will answer e-mails (many, many e-mails usually trickle in throughout the night while I am sleeping) and I reply to anything urgent that needs a reply right away.

I then go check on my blog to make sure that my newest post has gone live. Then, I approve and reply to any new comments.

If I’m feeling awake enough, I will go through my Bloglovin feed and read blog posts. This is probably my favorite part of the day. I love reading blog posts and being nosy.

 

8:30 A.M.

I usually go back to sleep at this time and take a one to two-hour nap. Yeah, I don’t know why I go back to bed but it’s usually a glorious nap so I’m fine with that.

 

10 A.M.

I wake back up from my nap. At this point I brush my teeth again, throw on some makeup (BB cream, eyeliner, mascara, and some blush), and do my hair. If I’m feeling super energetic I will curl my hair, but most days I just throw it up in a ponytail.

The dogs usually want to go outside at this point. One dog only goes outside for one minute because he hates being outside, and the other stays out there for as long as she can withstand the cold. The dogs go outside probably 10-15 times a day. Our bigger dog is usually either asleep or outside haha.

I make breakfast (lately breakfast has been mainly oatmeal with fruit or some sort of meal involving eggs), feed the dogs, open all the window blinds and curtains, and so on.

 

11 A.M.

After all of the household stuff above is completed, I start working again. Usually quite a few more e-mails have trickled in – questions from possible new clients, replies to my morning e-mails, and more.

I also make sure to reply to any new comments at this point again. If you have a blog, I definitely think you should reply to comments. I usually go back to the blogs that I comment on to see if there was a reply to my comment. Bonus points if there is a reply!

Throughout the day I work on blog posts. I don’t usually write early in the mornings because I just cannot do it. I don’t know why but I can only write in the afternoon, evening or late at night.

 

1 P.M. 

Lunch time. Lately lunch has been a lot of sandwiches. We’ve been raiding the deli at our grocery store a lot lately. Oh yeah and if any of you remember – yes, I did break my bread ban. I just can’t say no to it. Loaves of bread for Michelle!

We have a constant stash of roast beef, buffalo chicken, honey ham, and roasted turkey in our fridge so that we can make awesome sandwiches all day long. I also have been making tuna sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches lately, which everyone raves about so I must be a master sandwich maker!

After I’m done eating, I do a little bit more freelancing and blog work.

I also try to fit in a workout around this time. My workouts are usually around one hour long. I like to do T25, lift a little bit, and then run a few miles afterwards.

 

Frenchie Sleeping3 P.M.

Depending on the day, I will usually hang out with Wes or my friends. If I’m leaving the house, I will put on normal people clothes (no pajamas!) and I will do my normal makeup routine and give my hair my easy-to-do beach waves.

If I don’t put on makeup then people tend to think I’m 12 so this is a critical part of my day 😛

Wes and I might go to the store and buy something that we’ve been needing, or we’ll do something outdoorsy such as taking our bigger dog to the park (remember, the smaller one hates being outside no matter how nice it is).

If I’m with my friends (such as this past Tuesday), we usually go out to eat or run a few errands together.

Lately, meeting up with friends means that I’m finally going to knock something wedding related off my to-do list. This past Tuesday was my first wedding dress alterations appointment. I was so nervous that the dress wouldn’t zip but thankfully it did.

If I don’t leave the house, usually I just work during this time period by writing a few of the numerous articles that I write each week. I  also reply to any e-mails, approve and reply to comments, do some freelancing work, talk to other bloggers (I love, love, LOVE the blogging community) contact affiliate managers if I need to, and more. I will also make a small meal again during this time.

 

7 P.M.

Wes is a horrible cook and is usually asking me to make something delicious at this point. I make food and we eat it (of course!). We watch movies a few times a week and usually relax for a few hours.

I work on any posts that need to be completed, reply to e-mails, reply to comments, and so on.

 

12 A.M.

At this point I am usually getting ready for bed. I will check my e-mails again and see if any comments need to be approved on my blog or on any of the other blogs that I manage or help manage. I also look at stuff on Pinterest and usually get caught up in the wedding section.

And now it’s bed time…

Did anything in my day surprise you? How many hours do you spend working each day? What does your typical day look like? Tell me!


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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. Since I’m not really busy starting this week I wake up at 6:00 A.M, I tried to do a quick work out for 30 minutes before doing something. At 8:00 A.M I started to work and preparing my little kiddo to school. That’s why I love being a self employed because I can take good care of my daughter.

    1. I wish I could work out right when I wake up. I’m just not motivated enough for that! 🙂

  2. Inspiring and awseome!! Without sounding like too much of a fanboy – I’m essentially aspiring to your life!!

    I’ve started getting up at 6am (13 days into the habit) to work on moneystepper and I’ve really enjoyed getting up earlier in the day. It makes me very tired around 10pm, but I usually counter that by going to bed!! 🙂

    Regarding working from home, I would really love to do this. We are going to make a post next week analyzing a recently study carried out in the UK which links the daily commute with anxiety and reduced happiness. I certainly agree with its conclusions!! Commuting sucks!!!

    1. Haha thank you! 🙂

      Yes, commuting does suck. I hate bad drivers!

  3. I am the same way, I prefer to work sporadically throughout the day instead of just sitting down working for several hours straight. I focus better when I take little breaks. Your morning nap sounds amazing, I am jealous.

    1. Yes, my morning nap is great! I can’t wait until I take it in about an hour haha

  4. I’m envious! I love what you said about how you get up early now because you enjoy what you do. THAT’S why I’m looking forward to being self-employed some day!

    1. Yes, it is amazing!

  5. LOVE the normal clothes comment – that’s so true! Sounds like our day is somewhat similar to yours, we just get up a bit earlier to get work done before the kiddos are up. I really wish I could write something legible in the mornings, but it’s a struggle. I usually leave writing for afternoons when the kids are napping or after they go to bed.

    1. Haha glad I’m not the only one who just CANNOT write in the morning 🙂

  6. Great schedule. Love your flexibility!

    1. Thanks! Having a flexible schedule is amazing.

  7. Jen

    Thank you so much for this post. I just started reading your blog a couple weeks ago and am so inspired by how you’ve gotten to where you are. Your story has definitely gotten the wheels in my head turning! Keep this kind of stuff coming!

    1. Thank you Jen! Comments like yours make me so motivated to blog 🙂

  8. Your daily schedule sound pretty great! Self-employment for the win 🙂 Oh and you’ve got me craving a sandwich now…yum!

    1. Hahaha now I want a sandwich! I’m going to make myself one soon 🙂

  9. I agree that it’s easier to get out of bed when you work at home. I used to HATE my morning routine, dressing up and doing full makeup and hair while trying to get the kids ready. I’m so glad I don’t have to do that anymore.

    1. Yes, I’m so glad I don’t have to do it. It’s wonderful!

  10. The flexibility of working from home is great, isn’t it? I can only partially relate though because, although I do work from home, I do so for my regular job. So, I only have a partial amount of that schedule adaptability since I still have to answer to the boss (and I’m in virtual meetings a good portion of the day). Nonetheless, it’s nice to see how a typical day might unfold when you’re self-employed and working from home. I think it’s something most of us around here would love to achieve one day.

    1. Yes, the flexibility is awesome. Do you work from home all the time?

      1. Yes, I do although the company I work for has been trying to force employees back to the office. So far I’ve held out!

        1. Hold out for as long as you can! 🙂

  11. Connie

    Great schedule! I would love to have some flexibility, I just hate 9-to-5s. And I feel the same way about waking up early. I hate waking up early to go to work but wouldn’t mind doing it for something I like to do.

    1. Connie, may I ask what your day job is? I probably asked that before but I don’t remember.

  12. Thanks so much for the mention! Glad I’m not the only one who works from bed in the morning. It’s seriously so so nice!!

    1. Haha it is wonderful!

  13. sounds like a pretty good gig to me, michelle!
    glad you are able to work from home now.
    i’m sure the dogs love to have you home, too (:

    1. Yes, I think the dogs love it! I love seeing them all day too.

  14. Just letting you know the whole going to bed at midnight and getting up six hours later thing only works when you’re young!

    1. Haha oh I’m sure! I’m not going to lie, there are plenty of days where I sleep in. This morning I woke up around 6 and worked for around an hour. Then I went back to bed and didn’t wake up until 11:30.

  15. No surprise here Michelle. Your days make sense to me. Mine are more like get up, wake up my son, make breakfast, drive to daycare, go to work, come home, make dinner, do blog work, and go to bed!

    1. Sounds like you have a very busy day Grayson!

  16. It’s great that you have so much flexibility and no commute! And of course that you enjoy what you do. My typical day, I wake up right before 7, get ready, help get the baby ready, drop him off, drive one hour to work (hate that commute), work 9-5, drive one hour or more back depending on traffic, pick up baby, go home and my wife and I prepare dinner, wash dishes, take a brief break and maybe, just maybe I’ll try to do some work on my blog =) Wow, I just looked up and saw Grayson’s day…seems like it’s about the same, haha!

    1. A one hour commute sounds horrible 🙁

      Your day sounds jam packed!

  17. WOOOHOOO! I can’t wait for your day Michelle 🙂

  18. You actually are putting in fewer hours than I thought you were – good for you! I always assume self-employed people are working 16/7. I’m glad you have such a balanced schedule. I’m definitely jealous of being able to work from bed and go back to sleep if you want.

    Does Wes have a job right now? I remember he was selling cars and thinking about going back to school…?

    1. Thanks Emily! Some days I work all day long – 6AM to midnight, but there are a lot of days where I’m not. I think I’ve gotten a lot better with streamlining my tasks and outsourcing as well.

      Wes left his car sales job a few months ago because we thought we would be doing the traveling thing. Now, he’s just working on our house and doing a bunch of side hustling, and he plans on going back to school as well in the Fall.

  19. Waking up in the morning is very mental. 430 am will always be awful!! Too early! But in general when you are waking up to do something you like it’s so much easier. I love waking up and then going back to bed for a nap. It feels so good. The only thing that keeps me from doing it sometimes is that I often wake up groggy for some reason.

    1. I don’t think I could ever wake up at 4:30, that is just too early for me!

      Yeah, sometimes I wake up after a nap and feel even more tired.

  20. I love your schedule. I would probably do something similar if I were working from home. I have about three alarms that go off right now to wake me up, it’s so bad! Is there any way you could listen to music or something in the morning, so you don’t have to hear the squirrels? I know that can be even more distracting sometimes. There were summers I couldn’t sleep because of crickets, I wouldn’t be able to listen to scratching!

    1. I have tried listening to music while working, but I am usually extremely unproductive when I do that. I’m just hoping that the squirrels will be trapped soon. Whenever I hear them in our attic all I hear is $$$ signs AHH!

  21. Your schedule seems pretty cool. I’m surprised you can;t write articles in the morning. That’s when I do most of my writing.

    1. I just can’t do it to save my life! haha

  22. The First Million is the Hardest

    I would kill for a mid-morning nap! I could see myself working long hours if I was self employed. Even blogging part time, I find I can work at it for hours and never feel like I want to walk away. Which is a sharp contrast to my “real” job where I can’t wait to take lunch & go home at the end of the day.

    1. Usually I just get sidetracked and that’s why my day is broken up. There have been plenty of times where I work all day and even forget about eating.

  23. Haha sometimes I stay up, but for the past few weeks I just go back to bed.

  24. Sounds like an extremely awesome day. Gosh…I’m a little jealous :p

    1. It is amazing! 🙂

  25. Yay I can’t wait until you get a dog! 🙂

  26. I am surprised by your 2 hour nap in the morning. That’s amazing. Once I get up an go, I am going. And my day is different every day depending on whether or not I have to meet with clients. If I don’t, then I am in yoga pants and no make up and it is the single best thing I love about being self-employed. 🙂

    1. Haha I love my morning naps!

  27. It looks like you have a great work-life balance. I too work from home and my day is a little more hectic but that is mostly because I have two kids and work for a PR agency, which can get a little stressful. I love your story and what you have accomplished. I am also looking to work for myself, so that I can minimize the stress and pressure, and focus a little more on my family. I am so happy I found your blog. It is truly inspiring!

    Vanessa

    1. I definitely have more hectic days – I should make a post about my more busier days 🙂

  28. Crystal

    My days also range from 3-4 hours of work to 12-16 hour days depending on the week. But I’ve been self-employed for nearly 3 years and have started going to bed at 3am and waking up around 11am…I’m a night owl, so it makes sense that I slid down that path. 🙂 I posted a video and post about a slow day at my job on BFS –

    1. It’s because of you that I decided to make the switch! 🙂

      1. That’s always cool to hear. Congrats on definitely making it work for you!

  29. Sara

    This day looks similar to mine probably except I wake up and stay up! I wish I could go back to sleep. You seem so efficient.

  30. I love this schedule. I imagine that you’re feeling really invigorated and happy with a schedule like that!

    1. I’m loving it 🙂

  31. Addison @ Cashville Skyline

    Your schedule sounds amazing! I wake up around 6, but it usually takes me 30 minutes or so to get started. I work on my blog until 8:30 and then get ready for work. My day job typically runs from 9:30 – 6:00, and I try to work in my blog during my lunch break if I don’t have a meeting. After work, I’ll either hang out with friends or my boyfriend. I try to go to bed early whenever possible (I say as I’m commenting at 2:49 AM! Hahaha!)

    1. Your current schedule sounds a lot like how mine used to be when I had my day job!

  32. Krista

    That’s awesome. I’m on the opposite end where from about 6:45 a.m. (when I go help out a family get their kids off to school) to work (8-2) back to babysitting (3-6) and then finally home or off to a meeting (3x per week). My days are the definition of structure. I’ll just live vicariously through this schedule!

    1. Sounds like you have a very busy schedule Krista!

  33. Wow! I’m a new follower so I’m not sure how your readers would have perceived you but I was pleasantly surprised at how you spread your day doing pretty much the things that made you happy. I would have imagined the writers stereotype of a desk, a laptop, ciggies and a glass of whisky!

    My day: get up at 6 – check blog and on-line stuff – wake up son and husband – go to work – on-line on train – teach – on-line at lunchtime – teach – home – either family time or social committments – on-line before bed – read!

    1. Thank you Victoria! 🙂

  34. You’re very welcome Michelle! You’re doing a fabulous job 🙂

  35. Logan F.

    I like you post because you describe your day in increments and really describe what you do. Also like me at 7PM I eat dinner and I’m also a horrible cook. And also I blog and I love the community too. My favorite part of this Blog is when you specify that you wear clothes when you is and aren’t going any where and you don’t when you get up right away.