I wear many hats as a mum, author, and business owner and my days can be quite varied. However, I try and have a basic schedule that I follow. As an author, you’re either writing or marketing, so I tend to group tasks together as much as possible. For example, rather than writing a thousand words each day, I’ll put aside one day a week to write 5000 words. Any additional writing that week is a bonus. It’s the same for marketing – rather than doing a little bit each day, I dedicate one day a week and use it to focus completely on marketing-related activity. This saves me a lot of time switching between tasks and allows me to really get stuck in to the creative process.
In general, I work one full day and four half days a week and the rest of the time, I spend with my sons. Of course, it doesn't always work out that way, but I'm lucky I have a lot of flexibility. Here’s how a typical day looks like for me along with a quick Q & A.
5:30 am: I struggle to be an early riser but always feel so much better if I’m able to have a few minutes to myself in the morning with a coffee before the boys wake up.
6:00 am: The boys are awake and my husband and I give them breakfast and get them ready for school and nursery.
7:00 am: Usually my husband drops the boys off for school and I will exercise or do yoga for an hour. I used to think this was a bit of an indulgence but I've found it really helps in every area of my life.
8:30 am: After showering and changing, I sit down at my desk. I have a home office but occasionally, I'll head out for a change of scene. If it’s a writing day, I will spend several hours writing or researching the book I’m working on. If it’s a marketing day, I usually spend the time writing social media posts, blogs, and doing PR. I usually eat lunch at my desk. These are quite intense hours but the sense of satisfaction afterwards is well worth it.
1:00 pm: I pick my sons up from school / nursery and chat about their morning over a snack before they have a little bit of rest time. I’ll then check emails, attend meetings, run errands and so on.
3:30 pm: I take my sons to swimming classes or a play date, or sometimes we just go to the beach or the park for the afternoon.
6:00 pm: Dinner, bath time, and bed for the boys.I also like to read to my sons before putting them to bed. The current favourites are Thomas & Friends, The Gruffalo, and Peppa Pig.
7:00 pm: With the boys tucked up, my husband and I have dinner and will either relax by reading or watching TV. Sometimes, we’ll go out for a meal, meet friends or go to the cinema.
10:00 pm: I normally spend a few minutes checking my to-do list for the next day before heading to bed. Even if I'm exhausted, I'll always read a few pages of a book. I've just finished Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie - amazing.
Quick Q & A
1. Most productive time of the day?
Definitely the morning once the boys have gone to school.
2. Three tips to stay focused on writing?
Exercise, take regular (timed) breaks, and listen to motivational podcasts.
3. What's the hardest part about working from home?
The proximity of the bed means it's always tempting to have a nap!
4. And the best thing?
Being able to have a nap :) Just kidding - being comfortable in my own space.
5. Dress code?
It's easy to stay in your PJs but I feel better if I dress smartly - it puts me in the mindset of 'having a proper job' and helps with productivity.
More About Karen Osman
"So, you can read my official bio here but on a personal note, here's a quick snap shot of my life. It's currently a mixture of looking after my two sons, writing novels, running a content writing business, and keeping fit! If I do get a few hours of downtime (thanks to my incredible husband) you will usually find me reading or at the beach or cinema. My debut novel, The Good Mother was published 1 October 2017 and my second book, The Home, was published in September 2018. Both novels are available on Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, and Apple or in paperback in Sainsbury’s in the UK and in all good bookstores in the UAE.