In a recent blog post, I talked about the amount of work that goes into running a full-time blog, and this raised some questions for readers, regarding time-management.
Throughout the last couple years of college, I have constantly worked at improving my time-management skills, working to be more efficient and more productive, without compromising my mental health. With my genetic history of mental health issues, I've never been able to entirely eliminate the effect, but I have worked hard to minimize the cause.
This is a series of tips for the gal who has 500 things to do, but has no idea how to do any of it. I wanted to share my best tips for time management, and talk about how I balance being a full-time student, while running a full-time blog, and working a part-time job.
1. Set Due Dates
This one might seem obvious, but it can be incredibly easy to slip up as a blogger, unless you are maintaining a structured schedule and setting hard due dates. Because you are your own boss, no one is going to remind you to shoot, or edit, or post, or write, or respond to emails...this is a fully self-motivated job, and due dates are crucial for success.
I set hard due dates for things:
- I have to post at least once a day (ideally twice).
- I should have (minimum) the next 2-3 days of content edited and ready to post.
- I have to publish a blog post every 2-4 days.
These are rules that I set for myself, and I work really hard to follow this schedule. If I don't have structure in my day, I know that nothing will get done. Setting due dates helps me to see the bigger picture, and build long-term goals.
2. Keep a Daily Planner
Lists are your friend. Keep a planner, and write down everything. As a college student, I use my planner for everything: recording work schedules, writing down assignment due dates and exam dates, and maintaining my blog schedule.
Write off specific chunks of time to work on things.
- This much time for the blog...
- This much time for homework...
- This much time to watch Netflix so I can still maintain my sanity...
I find that I work more efficiently when I block out chunks of time to work on blog work. I will set a dedicated timeframe for editing, and setting up my feed. I also tend to write multiple blog posts in a single span of time- because I publish every 2-4 days, I usually have multiple drafts in the works, so that on a publishing day, I have something ready to go. I don't always have time to write my blog posts the day of publishing. Like a Youtuber might film 3-4 videos in a day, I often dedicate one or two days a week to mass-write my blog posts. This has always worked well for me.
3. Set Up Shooting Days
Every week, I have a dedicated shooting day, where I will go out with a photographer (recently it's been @oboealexis!) and mass shoot 2-4 outfits. This will usually provide me with a week's worth of posting content, and it also helps to inspire the blog posts for the coming week.
I'm in class from Monday - Friday, and I also work a part-time job, so realistically, I can't live my life constantly dressed up, with a photographer and a DSLR on hand. Shooting days are a must.
4. Be Realistic + Be Consistent
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.
That being said, be realistic with how much you can post, but be sure to follow that consistently. How ever much content you decide you can / will produce, make sure you can replicate those results consistently. Posting twice a day, everyday, and publishing a blog post every 2 days is incredible- but if you can only maintain that work ethic for two weeks before collapsing, it's not sustainable. When you post consistently, you are giving your readers / followers structure, and they have something to look forward to. Two of the most vital things for growth is quality and consistency, but be realistic about what you can take on. Whatever you do, do it well.
5. Put the Phone Down
Have you ever sat down and scrolled through your phone, to later realize you just wasted three hours accomplishing nothing? We are a society that loves technology, and I am so guilty of this. Especially for bloggers, it is incredibly easy to get sucked into our Instagram feeds, and lose track of time. When you are working on something, turn your phone on silent and place it face down (or put it in another room, all together). You can accomplish a lot more, in a lot less time when your focus isn't being constantly interrupted by your phone. And if you have to use your phone for work, turn it on 'do not disturb' so that it doesn't distract you. If your day looks really busy, schedule in your phone time. I know this sounds 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.
These are the tips that come to mind, off the top of my head. I hope this can be helpful for some of my busy, multi-tasking bloggers! Even if you are not a student, I think these tips still apply if you live a busy life, and have a full-time job / children to take care of / an internship that has taken over your time...
Thank you always for reading- happy blogging!