Freelance communications consultant Sam Howard talks us through her day

My day

7.15am: Alarm goes off, this is really annoying as now I’m my own boss I’m sure I shouldn’t have to get up while it’s virtually dark, it says so in the small print somewhere. 

8.00am: Lasso the pup and accompany my son to the bus stop, and then go our own way.

8.40am: Go for a run.

10:00am: (sharp) Team commute to office.

10:01am: Team settles in for the day: I fire up my shiny new laptop, (last one died without warning, great week that was) cat settles on desk, giant rabbit flops by French window, pup flakes out on sofa. Drink coffee, review mails. The days of 200-plus mails every morning are thankfully no more. There’s a mail from a head hunter, 'do I want to go permanent in a super high-profile new role?' No thank you. Another mail from a journo friend, 'would I like to do some PR consultancy for a small tech company he’s just met?' Yes please. Check out Facebook, Twitter and my LinkedIn groups.

11:00am: The sun is now on the patio, so relocate to outside, animals follow. Start with some essential admin, this takes easily an hour a day. Arrange collection and repair of my stupid smartphone and brace myself for 10 days without it. To lift my spirits, raise a modest invoice. This still makes me ridiculously proud, as if I baked it myself or something.

11.30am: Okay, so now the day is free for actual work. What luxury! When I was agency side I was lucky if I could find 20 minutes to sit still and “do” anything at all. I enjoy being able to focus, turns out I am a starter finisher, who knew? This morning I’m preparing a workshop I’m giving at the Taylor Bennett Foundation, tomorrow.

1.30pm: Boy do I miss Pret, Itsu, Eat, Tossed. Stand by the fridge and finish last night’s leftovers, then take the pup out, visiting the Post Office en route.

2.10pm: Spend afternoon reaching out to contacts in search of internship opportunities for my USC Annenberg post grad students. I love working with my Californian crew, hopefully I’m teaching them the gentle art of self deprecation while they’re teaching me to be nice – won’t kill me will it? 

5.20pm: Welcome my son home. I had to return to full time work when he was only tiny, now he is 11 and this is the first time that I can open the door to him pretty much every day. The novelty has yet to wear off. Manage to fix my printer after a week of glaring at it, feel really rather smug.

6.30pm: Shut down office but brain is still ticking, it’s hard to switch off just like that, so take pup for a quick stroll. Pup is 18 weeks old and my reward for going solo, my bonus if you like.

7.00pm: Hit the kitchen and prepare something gorgeous. Tonight we’re having smoked haddock on puy lentils with hollandaise and an apple crumble. Not bad for a school night.