Since I was ten years old I knew I wanted to make theatre when I grew up. There was nothing else I wanted, I didn't have a backup plan. I loved the days of rehearsals, to dive into a project, the evenings of performing, even the nights of waking up with an idea and writing it down quickly - afraid to forget it as the morning comes. I always knew I wasn't made for the nine to five job, I am easily bored and working for a boss is not my strongest point (a little of an authority problem;)).
But, how do you keep structure when you don't have fixed hours?
Make lists - Making lists helps me a lot, I write down what I want to have done by the end of the day. Mornings (or afternoons after rehearsals) are for answering e-mails and doing administrative stuff. When I am in the preparation phase for a project, I try to sort out practical things first, so there is plenty of time and space in my head to be creative.
Wake up everyday at the same time - When I am rehearsing for a performance, like now, it is not that difficult. Everyday my rehearsal starts at 09.00, having a daily rhythm is very important to me. When I am working on my own or when I am performing in the evenings, this is a bit different. However it may be tempting to stay in bed after an night of performing, I rarely do this.
Don't see in between time as free time - This one I have to explain. Some days in the week I teach theatre workshops after my rehearsal. That means that I sometimes have one hour or more in between. I use that time to have a break, but also to, for example, work off my to do list. Preferably at a nice cafe :) So I don't have to do that in the evening before I go to bed.
Switch off - I am not very good at this one, I have to say. Creativity, inspiration, work never stops. Ideas come and go, and when I suddenly know the end of my performance at 00.00, I have to write it down. And before I know it I am working and working and working and a few days later my body warns me that I didn't really relax. So, time for yourself. Switch off your phone, internet, take a bath, read a book, watch a series.
When I keep an eye on those four things, the rest can be as chaotic and rural as it can be. Because that is what I love about my job, not a single day is the same :)