my daily routine

Recently a few people have asked what my daily routine looks like. And though I’m a person who loves a pretty decent amount of normalcy in my life, I don’t have a very tight structure on what I do each workday.

Because I work for myself, I am the only person to blame if I don’t like my job. With that in mind, I have created a few guidelines that I strive to live by to keep myself excited and less stressed.

  • I do my best not to check emails on nights or weekends. There are exceptions to this rule now that I’m midnight hustling to get my business workshop off the ground, but if I’m not working on that project, I’m 99% of the time away from my inbox.
  • I work between 9am and 6pm for Jess LC and MML. This rule gets broken if we have a trunk show on a night or weekend. And as mentioned above, with the workshop in development, that work is seeping into after hours. But right now the passion for the project makes it a fun thing to create, not a “requirement.”
  • I get ready for work as if I was going to an office. Regardless of whether I have a meeting, intern, or am completely alone all day, I get dressed, put shoes on, and do my hair and makeup. I prefer to wear jeans most of the time but my outfit is cute, pulled-together, and makes me feel good.

As far as the actual activities in my workday, I traced my steps last Tuesday with my iPhone to capture what a “normal” day looks like. But since “normal” can be about 17 different things, I’ve also included a general overview of what else I might be doing at that time on any given day.

My Morning

I’ve been getting more intentional about my morning routine in 2012 and have made some good progress so far. The alarm goes off at 7 or 7:15am. In general I intend to read from The Course in Miracles right away before my thoughts have a chance to get worried or anxious.

After reading, I sit on the ground with a small candle in front of me and try to let my thoughts rest on things I’m thankful for and things that I would like help with through the day.

Currently I’m doing the reading and meditation about 50% of the time. Which is really encouraging, I have found that the days I do these two actions have overall been less stressful and simply more fun.

The other morning intention I have made is to workout every other morning. I go downstairs to my building’s gym to do weights and elliptical. In the summer, I run outside.

When I’m not working out in the morning I might spend more time with Mr. Lively eating breakfast and getting ready for our day. I love having the Today Show on and often follow it up by Joyce Meyer when I’m putting on makeup and getting dressed.

In the late morning I tend to get a few household chores done. I like to clean about once a week. I also love doing my nails and do them once a week in the late morning as well.

Generally somewhere between 9-10am I am done with my personal care and housework and sit down to officially start my workday. But to be honest, I’ve probably looked at my emails and maybe even answered a few around 8 or 9am.

My Workday Morning

Once I sit down to get to work, the first thing I do is plow straight into an MML post, or write a to-do list on TeuxDeux. This helps me reflect on all that I’d like to accomplish in the day and then put it in order from start to finish. As I accomplish my tasks, I cross them off the TeuxDeux.

Before or after the to-do list is made, I get to the MML post. I used to write them the day beforehand and while it was nice to be ahead of schedule, I find that I enjoy writing what you read the day you read it.

The reason the post is in the morning is because I feel that it is the most worthwhile thing I do each day. So no matter what else happens the rest of the day, if I shared on MML and helped someone, I know I fulfilled my purpose. And that is enough to make it a “good day.”

Around 10:30 Susie, my jewelry making assistant or interns come to the studio.

Right now Susie comes about three days a week and the interns are soon going to also be on a three day a week schedule. They stay between 11a-3p most of the time.

The nice thing about this is that it leaves me one or two days all to myself where I can leave my apartment and go to Next Door to do some work in a new location. And on Fridays I like to take things easy and do posts, emails, and orders in the morning and leave a bit early in the late afternoon to go to happy hour with Mr. Lively’s co-workers.

When the girls are in the studio I answer emails and design new collections while directing them in their duties. They each have a good understanding of what to do and how to do it, so by giving them their own mini to-do list, they can accomplish a fair amount without much oversight from me.

Susie makes orders, the girls (or myself if they are not there) pack them, and we answer any customer service requests. We also love to watch funny You Tube videos every now and then as well. As far as music, the girls get to pick while they are working.

Lunchtime for me happens at noon on the dot. By that point my stomach is rumbling. We chat through lunch and I usually look at blogs at that time as well. I don’t have a set time limit on lunch, I just eat, read blogs, chat with the girls, and then go back to work.

My Afternoon

After lunch I answer emails and make sure the orders are getting out the door. I also might have meetings, consulting calls, or consulting summaries to write.

Last Tuesday I took the orders we had to the FedEx store and then stopped by the grocery store for a few things to make dinner that night. This is pretty out of the ordinary for me, generally I try to not do any life maintenance during the workday, but rules are meant to be broken, right?

Towards the end of the day I took photos for the FLEA launch we had the following day.

Other things I do in the late afternoons include bookkeeping, more emails, and Twitter (I’m not great about responding very quickly to Twitter, but I do my best to respond to everyone).

By the time Mr. Lively gets home I am usually ready to wrap up the day.

My Evening

Though I’m not a big cook, I did successfully attempt my mom’s corn casserole last Tuesday night. Mr. Lively and I usually switch off cooking, cook together, or go out with friends in the evening. We also like our rotating collection of TV shows like Top Chef, Downton Abbey, and Modern Family.

By 10-11:30 we are in bed.


So there you have it. That is what my day looks like. I hope that by sharing this you have a better understanding of where I spend my time.

It goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of creating personalized intentions. I don’t think what I do is for everyone. I am not a night person, but if I was, I would be just as fine working till 3am and sleeping in till 11am.

Whatever works for you and your intentions is the most important thing to keep in mind.

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I really admire your structure – even how flexible it is! That’s something that I’ve struggled with since starting my own venture… I get going for a few days and then I drop the ball. Still trying to find a routine that I feel comfortable sticking to. Love that you can fit in exercise and meditation, something I’d love to do. And that you get dressed! In an outfit! I bow down 😉

  2. I like the flexibility in your structured routine. Since I started JostWrite, I have been struggling with schedules. Last month was good, I get up at 7am and get into bed at 11pm…February is a wonk. I’m tossing and turning until almost 9am and stay up until 12midnight. I also worked out only three times this month…”cover face” I need to get it together. I love how you get dressed…you are amazing.

    PS: I love Joyce Meyer. When I can’t spend time reading my bible and praying in the morning…I listen to her. Thanks for sharing Jess.

  3. Kylie

    Love love love! Thanks for sharing. And also (going along with much of what you talked about last week), it’s great to have you say that you’re not always “perfect” with your schedule. Flexibility is key. As I inch closer to full-time entrepreneurship, it’s so helpful to look to ladies like you who structure their days and weeks intentionally.

  4. Leslie

    Thanks so much for this helpful post! I just ordered “A Course in Miracles” since your other book recs (especially 7 Habits) have been spot-on. Thanks, Jess!

  5. Jess

    Yes, yes, yes! Thank you all for seeing that flexibility and doing your own thing is the key to working from home!! There is no “right” answer to things like this! It’s all about personal intention and personality. : )

    Leslie, I hope you the like the book! This is much more heady and unique, so it might not hit home. But if it does… consider reading “A Return to Love” by Williamson. So good!

  6. I love this post! It’s fun to get a glimpse into a business woman’s average day. I love that you make time for business and pleasure, and especially the Happy Hour on Fridays 🙂

  7. Emily

    Thanks for the tip! That site is gonna make my days look a little more like yours and a little less like, well, mine right now. Fruit-wise. 🙂

  8. Ann

    A second nod for the teuxdeux tip; I’ve been using it since your post was published and so far I’m loving it! Also like the insight into your typical day. Good to know I’m not the only one with a flexible routine; some days are just more productive than others, but it all gets done in the end.

  9. Tiera

    It was so cool to get a peek into your life like this! I want to start working on improving my morning routine, I’d like to get to a place where I’m working out in the morning before heading to the office, but I don’t know if I can bear to get up that early (I start work at 730am)!

  10. Loved this post Jess. I like seeing how people organise their time (as I’m a self-confessed procrastinator). I’m particular intrigued as to how self employed people structure their day as I haven’t found my ideal work routine and it’s been over a year! I think there are definitely some great ideas to take from yours though so thank you for sharing! x

  11. Patti

    love this routine. when I was freelancing from home mine was pretty similar but it was just me working and I miss it so much!! Although, I do like working around people i love teuxdeux for organizing my must important tasks etc. thanks for sharing! -Patti

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