Today, I wanted to chat a bit about finding structure and balance as a full time student and blogger. I've been doing this for a while now, so I've developed a relatively sound system for doing both, without compromising the integrity of the other.
I also have a part time job, where I work about 15-20 hours a week, which also adds to the stress of my daily life. If I don't schedule out my life, inevitably, nothing gets done.
I wanted to share my tips on balancing college life and maintaining an active blog.
1. Make Schedules and Set Due Dates:
You have to treat your blog like an obligation. When you decide to become a blogger, you are essentially agreeing to be your own boss. Unlike work or school, it is so easy to get behind when there is no one telling you what to do. Keep a planner, and set due dates for yourself, like you would for school. If you have a really busy life, time-schedule your days and consciously pencil in the frame of time that you are going to work on your blog.
I have dedicated myself to posting an article every 3-4 days-- that means typically two posts a week. I also post twice a day on Instagram. I have to enforce these rules, otherwise nothing gets done.
2. Put The Phone Away:
Have you ever sat down and scrolled through your phone, to later realize you just wasted three hours doing nothing? We are a society that loves technology, and I am so guilty of this. When you are working on something, turn your phone on silent and place it face down. You can accomplish a lot more in a lot less time when your focus isn't constantly being interrupted. If your day looks really busy, schedule in your phone time. I know this might sound crazy, but when you have a lot to do, those due dates need to take precedent. You might be amazed at how much additional time you have when you put the phone down.
3. Be Realistic with Yourself:
I believe in quality over quantity in everything I do. Life is about balance, so do not take on five blog posts a week if it means falling behind in school or losing your mind in the process. Be realistic with your time, and focus on producing good content, however much that is.
Again, I have a strict rule for myself. I have to publish a blog post every 3-4 days. Realistically, I know that I cannot dedicate anymore time than this, but this rule also forces me to challenge myself, while still being realistic about what I have time for.
4. Be Consistent:
Be realistic with how much you can post, but be sure to post consistently. Not only is it important to be realistic about your work load, but it is important that the work load you decide on, is consistently replicable. When you blog consistently, you are giving your readers structure, and they have something to look forward to. Nothing is worse than cranking out four quality posts, and then leaving your blog dry for weeks. Space things out, and be consistent.
5. The Weekends are Your Friend:
I get 75% of my weekly work done on the weekends. Sam (my best friend) I get together every weekend, and we shoot a minimum of two outfits. I plan my blog ideas out ahead of time so that our Friday shoots can contribute to a good post. I shoot a lot of my flat lays and outfit photos on the weekend, so that I have Instagram content for the week. I write a blog post or two and save them as drafts, so that I have something to publish during the week. Unless you are a full time, paid blogger, you do not get days off. The days that I do not have class, I binge work on my blog. This way neither part of my life takes a loss.
It is definitely a lot of work, but if you love to write, blogging is an incredibly rewarding job. Personally, writing helps me destress, and this blog brings me so much joy, because it's mine, and it's everything I've created. If you are a student and you've considered starting a blog, do it. The work is rewarding, and it's amazing to see how many people you can connect with.
The amount of work that I put into social media and my blog can definitely be overwhelming-- it's like taking on a second full-time job. As a full time student, the work load likely isn't worth it, if you're just doing it to get paid or receive some free things. It is hard work. And my life would be significantly easier without this blog, but it would also feel very empty. I love bending over backwards to get things done-- you have to love the work.