For a lot of us, the dream is to travel endlessly and work from home. At least, that’s the dream for me. That’s why, upon our return from living in Cambodia, I decided to commit to blogging & teaching ESL online full-time.
To the people I live with, it might look like a whole lot of walking around in my sweatpants. But the truth is – balancing these two responsibilities is a full-time job.
So – what exactly do I do? I’m about to walk you through my daily schedule as an online ESL teacher & content creator in the write-up below.
2:30AM: Wake up & prep
Yep, you read that right. To be available for the peak teaching hours in Beijing, I start my classes at 3:00AM. I wake up around 2:30AM to prep the props I’ll need for my lessons. I also get a cup of coffee and slap on some makeup to make myself look somewhat presentable (I mean, as presentable as you can look at 2 in the morning).
3:00AM – 7:30AM: Online teaching
… & we’re off to the races. I usually have back-to-back lessons between this time period. My classes are approximately 25 minutes long and start at either xx:30 or xx:00. I have 3-5 minutes between classes to drink some water, use the bathroom, and get prepared for the next one.
I do this for about 4 – 4.5 hours. If I have any open time between classes, I take it to get up, stretch, readjust my eyes and look at something besides a screen. This is super important if you work from home.
7:30AM – 7:45AM: Finish all class reports from the morning
7:45AM – 7:55AM: Engage on the app
PalFish (the app I teach on) is an online teaching platform that is similar to social media. To gain popularity and exposure, you can post “moments” (similar to Instagram stories) where you upload photos, interesting moments, learning ideas, whatever you want!
7:55AM – 8:10AM: Feed the animals
As I’m currently living on a farm with horses, this is when I go to feed them their breakfast! I also give my pet rabbit a bit of hay, and grab myself a banana as well.
8:15AM – 11:30AM: Back to sleep!
I go back to bed for the remainder of the morning so I can catch my second wind. Sleep is necessary for any job, but when you work from home, it’s especially necessary to schedule it in at a specific time.
11:30AM – 12:30PM: Breakfast & dinner prep
I often meal plan for the entire week on Sundays, so it actually doesn’t always take me this long. That said, I allocate an hour to be off my phone, drink my coffee and make sure I have food to fuel my body.
12:30PM – 2:30PM: Gym time / shower / get ready
The most underestimated part of my day by far. I sit A LOT – so going to the gym is extremely important. Then, of course, I shower. This is what’s great about working from home – is that you can do this at any point in the day.
3:00PM – 4:00PM: Creative work
I spend an hour each day working on something creative. This is different every day as I’m spread across both our YouTube channel and this blog.
That said, this is the time I spent doing something. This could be anywhere from editing, blogging, editing pictures or curating our Instagram feed.
I usually batch our Instagram content on Mondays so that I have something to post here. If I’m running out of content, I’ll plan a shoot for the next weekend when Nick is off work and we have time to go explore.
4:00PM – 4:30PM: SEO / Engagement
Oh, the nitty gritty stuff that I hate doing but wish I had more time for. Yep, I work from home but there are still things I *despise* doing. I allocate at least half an hour a day to making sure our SEO is on point, that you can find this blog post, that our key words are searchable.
Then, I engage with other accounts similar to ours! This part, I don’t hate – but it does take some time. I will only engage authentically and truthfully, so I don’t get to as many people as I want to, but hey – every little bit counts, right?
4:30PM – 5:00PM: Set up for teaching (round 2)
My next shift is at 5pm so I prepare for that now. Get my props ready, review my lesson plans and set up for the next few hours. I grab a snack and some water to have on standby, and get in the teaching headspace.
5:00PM – 8:00PM: Online teaching
Here we go again! Another three hours of teaching ESL to students in China via PalFish.
I find the night shift to be a lot more difficult, since it’s the morning for my students in China. This time around, I need to really step up my energy x 10 to get the kids engaged. Hey, that’s just my experience.
Needless to say, I’m usually exhausted after this shift.
8:00PM – 10:00PM: Family time / sleep
Ahhh, another underestimated part of my day that I value highly. My man gets home from work. We chat, eat, and watch Netflix. Then, close our eyes and get some rest.
Now, you may be wondering – “Raychel, why do you go to sleep so late if you wake up so early?”. Well, internet friend, I split my sleep schedule into two segments.
I generally sleep 3-4 hours at night and then for another 3-4 hours in the morning.
This is a personal preference and how I find myself to be the most productive and happy throughout the day. Isn’t that all that matters?
If you’re interested for more information on PalFish, please DM me on Instagram @nickandraychel or comment in the section below so I can get back to you.
In the meantime, you may be interested in reading my review on Teaching English on PalFish.