A day in the life of… Rainy London (aka: 7am to 12pm)

Some people are early birds, some other love to pull all-nighters… which one are you?

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My new series ‘A day in the life of’ found inspiration in a great @wordyrama‘s post so thanks Konstantina!

I’ll be discovering on habits and work-life balance tips of colleagues and friends, by asking them to be a ‘fly on their wall’ and know more about how they plan and spend their typical day.

Here’s the first one. No wonder: it’s yours truly. Enjoy!

7.00am Alarm goes off. The first one. Immediately tap on snooze!

7.20am Alarm goes off. Again! I eventually wake up. Getting up is a different story!

7.30am I start my digital life by checking my phone for messages: e-mails, Tweets, Facebook, Instagram etc. If something really important came through (ie. a client in the US sent me a job while I was asleep) I quickly take note and reply.

8.00am I have a healthy breakfast with porridge and my faithful espresso, one brown sugar. You know the cup, ‘course 🙂

8.30am Getting dressed and ready. Yeah, there’s a 50% chances I won’t actually change straightaway but that’ll depend. I’ll leave you with the benefit of the doubt!

I’d love to say I do yoga and all that zen business, but I don’t. I’m NOT a morning person, so stop asking yourself why it takes me so long since I opened my eyes to actually start working. Don’t ask, you’ll live better!

8.45am I officially sit at my desk and switch on the desktop. In my case it’s this – a 15” MacBook Pro connected to a 23” external monitor and an extension support for my iPad. All is synced and connected so I know that everything can be found even if I’m not at my desk. What comes next?

RL desk DSC_0499 DSC_0500

– Check to do lists. Apps like Wunderkit or Evernote or Carrot – the latter is very good as it has its own personality (and a very irritable one) so the mood swings are hilarious and stimulating. Still, not ideal if you hate being told off or are easily offended! Also, I recently had the chance to access (upon waiting list) to Mailbox – only for Gmail but very clever.

Carrot's mood swing

– Check bank accounts and/or pay suppliers if required. Sometimes it’s a good time to also chase money – which, alas, I hate doing. Most offices and people are easiest found or reached early in the morning before real work happens.

Check e-mails on my Mac client, Mail. I have several folders for several e-mails. I also have a flagged e-mails folder: if I flagged something here it has to be taken care of ASAP. If it’s the end of the month, I’ll dedicated some part of the day drafting and sending invoices. £££££! I’ll also end those e-mails drafts I’ve done the day before, if any. It is never too good if your e-mail shows 2am in the morning. Maybe I’m paranoid but some people may eventually notice those crazy hours I work at.

– Check social media plan. Am I launching a new blog post? I’ll plan how to do that on all platforms. Should I take note of events and appointments coming up?

10.00am Based on workload, I’ll start working! I try to have a healthy break every 15 min-20 min (including getting up, drinking water – I keep a 2 lt bottle next to me) and washing my hands. I don’t wear glasses (only to see from a distance) but it is recommended you look away from your screen as often as every 15 minutes to give your eyes some rest. Look outside the window, make sure there’s some distance to enjoy.

11.30am It’s my proper coffee break (sometimes even earlier, in case it’s a ‘I-feel-grumpy’ day). I would normally have a cereal or fruit bar. I’m loving Nakd bars at the moment. There’ s mocha-flavoured one!

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1pm I will have a protein-based lunch and some fruit plus my faithful coffee. At this point, it’s either TV (or BBC Player) or music (via Spotify) or glossy mag to get some mind fresh air. In between, I’d get calls and some of it would be my mother 🙂

3pm Sometimes, the day can be well over by now: I may have a meeting or some chores to run, but most days I keep on working until I can. During the day, I’d be checking my social media on TweetDeck or my mobile and then save pages I’m into on Pocket to check them later on.

5.30pm I usually get ready for the gym – I tend to go at this time as the busiest hour is after 6.30pm. I have become much stricter with my food and gym and now I strive to go 4 times a week, for at least an hour and do a mix of circuit training and resistance workout, and I also power walk to the gym and back. I usually keep my phone with me so I can attend work calls or emails if I need to. I use an arm band from InCase.

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7.30 home: I know for some this is craziness, but most days I’ll resume work if required (sometimes I do get last minute jobs that need half an hour to do and I’ll fit them in then. I hate waking up early (never did it in school either. I always studied late at night) so I see much more point in finishing off a job before dinner, which I’ll have around 9pm.

It’s not unusual for my day to continue after dinner too – I am always at my laptop from 10 to 11pm; sometimes it’s work, sometimes it’s planning or blogging. You choose. Of course when I have interpreting assignments or voiceover or consulting meeting the day may be well different but what I try to do is this in a nutshell:

  • Keep motivated
  • Maintain mental clarity
  • Find my head space
  • Focus with music
  • Make room for relationships. In-the-flesh ones.
  • Try to clear the to-do list as much as possible. Just to create a new one!
  • Exercise to keep aches and pains at bay

If I can be healthy and productive, I feel a better person.

Of course, ups and downs are on the menu, too. So don’t believe this is strictly applied day in, day out. Sometimes you are under pressure and kill it. Some other days, you’re just plain lazy and that’s OK too. As Marie Forleo once said in her blog, ‘you can’t be so hardcore all the time’. But let’s try, right?

Again: credit to @wordyrama for the inspiration I found in her blog. 

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About Val

London-based Rainy London Translations is offering a full range of top quality interpreting, localisation, translation, consultancy and voice-overservices for both businesses and individuals. Need something else? Just ask! It may sound like a cliché, but just get in touch: what you need can be done, at a reasonable price. Valeria is also offering a 'branding' clinic service, to help freelancers find their perfect business name or polish the existing identity by finding a logo, a tagline with sound creative consultancy. Based in the City of Westminster area, the heart of London, UK, since August 2011.

4 responses to “A day in the life of… Rainy London (aka: 7am to 12pm)

  1. Nice post! Made me: a) miss my freelance life, b) download the Carrott app!

  2. Thanks darling! I hope to inspire and it seems I did 🙂

  3. I enjoy seeing these snippets of our varies lives. Thanks for writing I wrote one in spring 2012. http://www.nitaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/e-NITA-Newsletter-Spring-2012.pdf

  4. Busy bee! I loved finding another night owl out there!

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