Welcome back to week 7 of my series, The Skinny on Blogging. Last week’s topic covered one you all have been very curious about, How Bloggers Make Money. This week I’ll be discussing time management and ways to be productive when you work full-time while also managing a blog.
If I am being honest, time management and work/life balance is something I struggle with on a daily basis (Drew tells me that ALL the time!). I’m a yes man. Well, gal. I want to please everyone and constantly over-commit myself when I know I can’t possibly do it all. Yet, I continue to accept tasks and often push myself to the limit. I’m a worker, I always have been. I’m bored when I’m not accomplishing something or working towards a goal.
Today’s Outfit Details:
If you are unaware, I have always worked full-time while managing my blog. I started out working in marketing for a NASCAR team, and now I work at an interior design company where it is just myself and one other person. Working for yourself and creating your schedule is never easy. You always feel like you could be working. Can anyone else relate with that? You must put tactics and skills in place that force you to be productive.
To manage my own sanity and to physically be able to do it all, I’ve had to implement some time management skills which have helped me be more productive. If you find you struggle with the same thing, or you’re having a hard time managing your blog while also working a full-time day job. This post is for you. Keep reading.
- Create a calendar and schedule everything. Digital is best. If my dogs have a vet visit, if my husband counts on me to cook dinner, my blog post topic, my daily work out, my personal to-do list, my day-job tasks, it all gets scheduled on my digital Google calendar. Not only do I love that it is easily ‘shiftable,’ but I love that I can share calendars with other people so they’re always aware with what I’m doing, or what I’m working on. This has been a life saver with Drew because both of us have very busy weeks, so knowing where each other is at all times keeps us sane.
2. Schedule your days according to your consistent weekly tasks. On Saturdays I shoot content, on Sundays I edit, on Mondays I respond to e-mails, on Tuesdays I shop for new content, etc. If you have tasks throughout the week that you HAVE to get done, then have a dedicated day to complete that task. This helps you prioritize your mandatory to-dos, while also making sure you’re always staying up on these things. I get most stressed when things start adding up that I HAVE to get to. Don’t let that happen to you.
3. Set advance deadlines. This one seems self explanatory, but I’m a culprit of waiting until the last minute to get things done, and hardly does it ever get done. This is especially true of blog posts, and inconsistency is the death of your blog (isn’t that what I’ve preached all along). I’m guilty of this myself, but I’ve started setting advance deadlines for my posts and I’m slowly getting better at a consistent blogging schedule. Write Mondays blog post on Friday, Tuesdays blog post on Sunday and Wednesdays blog post on Monday. Staying one day ahead gives you a buffer in case something comes up, and helps you plan ahead.
4. Use the Snug or Planoly app for your Instagram posts. Another thing I’m guilty of is Drew and I walking out the door at 7:50pm for dinner and saying, wait, I have to post at 8pm and need to prep my post. Not only does that frustrate Drew because he struggles with always being hungry :), but I feel stressed to pull together an unthoughtful Instagram post with a mediocre caption. Lately, I’ve been trying to edit my photos in advance and add them to the Snug app (that is the one I use because it’s free). That way, my photo is already edited and I always know what is coming down the pipeline. Not to mention, this helps me plan out my feed so that my photos look great together. This is important for brand consistency and platform growth, so I definitely recommend.
5. Utilize your Notes app for blog content and planning ideas. If I get a free second throughout the day, whether its lunch or a coffee break, I always try to jot down ideas or write some of my upcoming blog post to get me started. Utilize empty time throughout the day, and you’ll be less stressed later. Moral of the story is, you don’t have to be at the computer to be writing your blog post and creating content ideas. If you think of something or get started on the first paragraph of your post, jot it down, that is progress, and it will likely be easier to continue those ideas later on.
6. Write a nightly to-do list and prioritize it. Each night when I’ve completed all my tasks for the day, I always take a moment to write a realistic list of what I’d like to accomplish the next day. This keeps you focused on what needs to be done and gives you a forward thinking mindset. The important part about this is ‘realistic.’ Don’t write down everything you need to do, just the most important things you have to do tomorrow. You don’t want to make yourself discouraged when you don’t complete the entire list. It’s all about baby steps. This has helped me significantly in maintaining a full-time job while blogging.
7. Find out when you are most productive or creative, and set that time aside for yourself. My husband is a morning person, and I work best at night. That is our own chemical make up. Find out when you are most effective, and set that time aside for yourself to complete tasks. Don’t multitask, don’t have your e-mail open, that should be your own uninterrupted time to start marking things off your to-do list.
If you manage a blog and work full-time, or even are a full-time mom while managing a blog (that’s more than a full-time job!), I hope these tips help you find more time in your day to be productive and accomplish your to-do list. I know they’ve helped me tremendously.
P.S. How are you liking this series? I’d love to hear feedback from you on whether you’ve found these posts helpful. If you’d like to catch the previous posts in the series, you can read the past 6 posts of this series by searching ‘blogging series’ on my search bar.