I received an email from a gentleman at an agency who wanted to hop on a call and discuss a work project. We ended up scheduling the call for nighttime (for a lot of freelancers, 9 to 5 can really mean 7 to noon and then 7 until 11). I answered the phone, we both said hi, and then I asked this total stranger, “What did you have for dinner tonight?” Uh, what? Roo, isn’t this a work call? (It was; maybe I was overly comfortable, but it wasn’t a detriment… in this case, anyway.)
I would describe myself as being insatiably curious, but maybe that’s just code for nosy, because I foam at the mouth when I see blog posts about “a day in the life” or “what’s in my bag right now” or “ten products I cannot live without.” I love seeing how other people live, operate, and make decisions. I have no qualms about texting a friend to see what her favorite apps are or whether or not she owns a hand vac and by the way, do you like it?
I guess I put a lot of value in what others experience. When it comes to freelancing (or running a start-up or small business or something else), there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules in place. A lot of it is make it up as you go and fine-tune and then maybe panic when you make mistakes. I voraciously read books on work-life balance (or blending or whatever) and productivity.
In this new series called ‘How We Do,’ we’re checking out how other people live/work. (So nosy, I know!) I weekly receive emails from people who are ready to quit their jobs and start something new (but wait, do you have a plan?), SAHMs who’d like to start making money from home (wait, do you have a plan?), SAHMs who want to be more productive (girl, me too) and freelancers who are trying to grow their businesses (wait, do *I* have a plan?). I’m hoping this series (4-part? 6-part? IDK) inspires and gives a little insight. And forgive the length of this post, please. It required a long intro, but next time I’ll just jump right into the good stuff. :)
Meet Titania Jordan, full-time freelancer, work-from-home-r, and all around super smart business person. (Her client list is like, whoa. I also totally call her if I need a kick in the right direction.)
2. More about you, please. I’m a wife and mom to a little boy, love to get crafty and DIY (unless it involves food, then I’m very happy with Whole Foods making it for me thank you very much), and have been on a healthy eating/healthy living kick since I could walk, besides those few years at college which we shall not speak of.
3. What’s your work setup like? I wake up at 5:30am to work until my son wakes up, then I shift into mom mode but do the majority of my work while he’s at school after I squeeze in a workout. When we get home (he goes half days) we play while I take care of less fun things, like laundry, dishes, and my personal favorite: cleaning the bathroom. The rest of my afternoon consists of juggling motherhood, work, and life in various degrees with lots of backup help from my husband/mom/MIL/sister (and Disney Junior and the iPad) come nighttime. Bjorn, my husband, is basically a gourmet chef, so he makes dinner almost every night and does bath most nights. I try to be in bed, eyes shut, by 10 but that’s easier said than done.
4. What’s one aspect of your work where you’re like, “I’m killing it right now?” Even if there was one, I couldn’t say, because I would feel like you do in those dreams where you go to school with no clothes on (totally embarrassed). I will say I’m getting more confident in my writing abilities, but as every writer or pseudo writer knows, you can always be better. I’m of the opinion that I can’t do an A+ job at my job AND an A+ job at parenting AND an A+ job at life…and family…and friendships…and…and…and.. so I try to maintain a steady B+ average across the board.
5. What’s one aspect where you’re all, “Uhhhh nooooo ahhhh whyyyy”? Invoicing, man. You’d think I’d be more on top of getting paid for work I’ve completed, but it’s the biggest pain in my rear.
6. What’s your favorite tip for working smarter, not harder? I work so much faster and with a clear mind when I know there is a place for everything, and everything is in its place. When I’m organized, I’m not distracted by everything that needs to be organized. Also, I have to STAY OFF THE FACEBOOK if I want to accomplish anything (unless I’m posting something for a brand). I don’t even leave the tab open because it’s too tempting to just pop over and see what’s happened since you last checked 3 minutes ago.
7. What are the biggest perks and biggest drawbacks to your current setup? I can work anywhere, any time, as long as there is WiFi or cell phone service. Want to invite me to the beach? No problem. I’ll be there. Seriously, we should go. I’ll just be on my laptop/iPhone some of the time. Drawbacks? I am never really off the clock. I’ll take that drawback, however, because the perks have allowed flexibility and opportunities I never dreamed of in my 20′s, trying to climb an extremely competitive corporate ladder. I work with some amazing individuals and teams that inspire me daily.
8. What’s one tool you cannot live without? Pandora. It gets me pumped in the shower, helps me block out distractions at the coffee shop where I work, pushes me harder when I want to give up on the treadmill, and it’s a quick fix for when I’m down.
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And that’s how she doooo. If you have any questions for Titania, feel free to throw them in a comment. She’ll swing by and answer!