London is a very expensive city when it comes to basic needs like housing and public transportation. This means that a lot of students (not only at the SCA) have to work to afford living in or around the city.
I am one of these students; I have to pay for my home and transports, which means I need a way to make money. Lucky for me, I already had two freelancing jobs before starting the school, one as a designer for a shoe brand and the other working for a humanitarian start-up. These are jobs that I really enjoy doing but they do take up to about 10-16hours per week. Still, not only do I want to keep these jobs because I enjoy the professional experience but, more importantly, I can’t afford to give them up because I need the money.
So how do I make this work alongside the busy SCA schedule (which I know is only going to get tougher)?
Well, one very good advice that Diana Jervis-Read shared with us during her master class about time management was that to “eat an elephant” you must cut it into small pieces and that you should “eat your frogs” in the morning. What this means is that when you have a big task it makes everything much easier if you divide it into small chunks rather than trying to do it all at once. The frog metaphor means that if there’s something that you don’t really want to do, you might want to try doing it as soon as possible instead of pushing it back to the last minute.
I’ve tried applying these techniques, which means that I divide these 10-16hours into 1-2 hours a day and that I attempt to fit them in the morning as much as possible. However, I must admit that waking up 2 hours earlier is never an easy task so I try not to put too much pressure on myself and, instead, just make the most of any free time I have during the day to work for my clients. Also, the weekends give me more time to focus on freelancing so sometimes I’ll work for 6hours straight and that’s half the time done!
All this advice is great, but let’s be real, it’s really, really hard. So for all of those who are in the same situation as me, the best advice I can give you is just to do as much as you can whenever you can, make the most of these little moments where you don’t really know what to do with yourself to work, and do so with some damn good music.
Finally, it’s all about knowing your priorities and setting yourself deadlines. Speak with your client and be honest as to when you’ll be able to get the job done. Once you’ve fixed this deadline, organize your week so that you know that you’ll at least have a specific moment to do your job. But honestly, whenever you get one of those moments where you could be working instead of being on Instagram for example (my personal guilty pleasure), take the opportunity to get stuff done, you’ll be much calmer and not to mention, pretty damn proud of yourself.