Why I’ll Never Work a 40-Hour Week

Confession: I work a lot. That might not be news to some of you who personally know me, but if you’ve been keeping up with me the past couple of years, you know that my job title is a little long (in the best way possible!). Here it is—I’m a freelance fashion stylist and stylist assistant, freelance fashion editor, industry consultant and blogger. I style for various brands, publications and clients, I assist a handful of other stylists and brands including Alice + Olivia, I am the freelance fashion editor at StyleCaster.com (read my articles here), I host fashion industry workshops around the country for college students interested in working in the fashion industry, and lastly, I run this blog and my small team of amazing interns. With that, I never work a 40-hour week. I never really have, and I don’t predict I’ll start anytime soon.

I’ve received a good amount of related questions over the past year from readers asking about my work week. How do I manage to do so many things? Why do I do so many things? And am I sleeping enough? My answer is no, I’m probably not sleeping enough, but then again, I seriously love what I do, and that is why I never work just a 40-hour week.

My weeks and days are never the same, and it’s a huge reason why I can’t maintain a regimented schedule of a 9-5 job. This week is a busy, yet pretty normal week for me so here’s my schedule:

Monday: I woke up at 5am this morning to get ready, write this post and work, I have a conference call at 9, I’m being interviewed for a podcast at 11am, I’ll work on emails and my to-do list until my intern arrives at 2pm; once she arrives, we’ll have a meeting, work on social media + blog stuff. We’ll wrap at 6pm when I have to head to work drinks with a colleague, I’ll come home and work on blog posts of StyleCaster articles until midnight.

Tuesday: I’ll probably be up at 5am again, I have a blog photo shoot with one of my photographers at 9am, back to back events and meetings from 11am-2pm, a PR lunch meeting at 2pm, I’ll then work on my to-do list, articles and emails until around midnight. I’m also launching a fun little project next month on SAK, so I’ve been working on that non-stop lately!

Wednesday: I have a couple PR press events in the morning and then I’m working at Alice+Olivia all day. After work I’m going to a press dinner and then I’ll come home and work on articles and emails. I’m also doing an Instagram brand takeover this day so I’ll be posting throughout the day too for the brand.

Thursday: I’m on set all day for a photo shoot, I have a press dinner event after, and then I’ll be able to work on articles, emails, etc. starting at 10pm and wrap around midnight or 1 am.

Friday: I’m with my second intern all day so we will work in a coffee shop and I’ll work on my never ending to-do list for the blog, StyleCaster and upcoming school workshops. I’ll also photograph blog content this day and finish up anything due for the week. I have two events that night with colleagues as well.

Saturday: I’ll work on articles, emails and pack for a trip I leave for on Sunday.

My days normally start around 5am (I’ve been trying my hardest in 2018 to be a morning person) and end around midnight(ish). I used to wake up at 7/8am and rush out the door and work until 3am, but I’ve been switching up my routine a little and trying to wake up earlier, and completely shut down work by midnight. My work days typically last around 16 hours. I produce daily blog posts, multiple StyleCaster articles a week, I have an overflowing inbox, blog sponsorships, photo shoots, meetings, phone calls, I manage three interns and I have multiple work events/dinners throughout the week. This rounds up to being around 80 hours during the week, which sounds completely insane—but I still feel like I could always be doing more.

One of my interns recently sent me an article about the 80-hour work week (read this one) and I couldn’t agree more. Work/Life balance is ultimately crap if you’re an entrepreneur or your own boss. I always strive to strike some balance in my life, but I realized that I’ll never have the situation where I work in a cubicle from 9-5, go home or to the gym immediately after and in bed by 9 or 10pm. Even when I worked in an office right after college, I still came home and worked on the blog or other freelance work—I called it my “5-9 job.”

I’ve realized that it’s okay to not follow the rules. My life is my business, and vise versa. Life is as unpredictable as my schedule, but having this weird schedule, also allows me to drop things at a moments notice and take vacation, or move things around in my schedule so I can do a 2pm coffee date or workout with a friend, or work from my bed all day if I really wanted to. The way I balance an 80-hour work week and not feel burnt out or overworked is because I shifted my mentality from an “employee” to a “boss”. When I worked in an office I counted down the hours until I could “switch off” work and be home doing nothing for a few hours until I wake up and do it all over again. I knew I would get paid regardless of how hard I worked, I just needed to be present.

Once I started working on my own, I realized that time was actually money, and the more time I worked, the more money I got, the more experience I gained, the more connections I made and the further I was going. It wasn’t a competition to say I worked more than someone else, or to look like I was working hard, but I started doing this because I wanted it so badly. I wanted to work for myself, maintain Simply Audree Kate and dive into the styling and writing worlds. I have become so invested in what I’m doing, and I love what I’m doing, that it never really feels like I’m working 80 hours in week, I always wish I had more time. I feel very fortunate that I’m able to spend time working on these projects, and I also have the flexibility to travel, make my own schedule and take a “day off” whenever I want to (even though that’s extremely rare). This schedule might not work for everyone, but there you have it—that’s what my week is like, I hope you enjoyed sneaking a peek at what my schedule is like! xo

  

PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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1 Comment

  1. February 26, 2018 / 10:39 am

    Wow! This post is so motivating. I’ve been reading SAK for a little while now and it is evident that you work SO hard and are SO dedicated to what you do. That’s really admirable and I would love to be able to adapt a work ethic as strong as yours. Keep slaying girl!!!

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