It's no secret that I've had a busy past couple of months and one thing that I've definitely learned is the importance of time management. In college I was pretty good at managing my time, but in some ways my time was much easier to manage in college. In other words, my life was much more compartmentalized in college. I had class during certain hours of the day on set days, my weekends and nights were the time to spend with my friends and socialize, and my free hours during the weekdays were spent doing my course work. I also spent some time working on this blog, however it was more at the discretion of my schedule and while I always enjoyed writing, I would take periodic breaks if I had too much school work or I just felt like I needed a break.
Since college this blog has become more of a priority and I want to dedicate more and more of my time to creating the best content I can. That said I have to juggle writing for this blog and a full time job, which can be challenging. I absolutely love my job and I would not trade it for anything, but it can be hard to find time to balance both working most days and writing, without sacrificing my social life. When I was in school it was much easier to put the blog on the back burner and not feel bad about it, but now I feel an intense feeling of guilt if I don't get at least one post up per week.
One of the best strategies that I have taken on since starting work and getting this blog back to where I want it to be, is to be extremely realistic with your time. For me that means that I don't try to plan to write four or even three posts a week, even if that's what I'd love to do in a perfect world. I see a lot more value in getting a couple or even just one well-written and thought out posts, rather than none because I'm too overwhelmed by looking at my editorial calendar. I fall more into the category of a slow blogger, and I'm totally ok with that because I know that while I'm not pushing as much content as others (and therefore maybe not getting as many views or gaining as many followers), I can be assured that the content I do create is meaningful and of a certain quality.
Going along with being realistic with time, planning and working ahead of time has proven to be absolutely essential in keeping my blog running whilst I work. I have become much better about not only writing all my ideas for blog posts in my notebook and making a coherent editorial calendar, but also including posts and their due dates in my everyday planner so that I am constantly reminded of their due dates. Before when I just designated my blog content to a notebook, it was really hard for me to be reminded that a post was due because it was out of sight and out of mind most of the time. So much of my content is also connected to pictures, which was the thing that really held me back at times from getting posts published. Luckily Brad has been a huge help with taking photos for me. While I used to take photos for one blog post at a time, I plan ahead more and try to shoot for multiple posts on one day, so all I have left to do later in the week is write.
Finally, because I do most of my writing on my days off, it has become extremely important to change up my environment for when I need to get things done. While I love working at my desk at home, I can also fall into the trap of feeling like since its my day off and I'm at home that I have time to binge watch Gossip Girl instead of getting things written. (In fact, as I'm writing this I am at a coffee shop now and have managed to write this post approximately 5x faster than I would have at home). Some people have a hard time working in more public places like a coffee shop, but for me it really helps me get more work done. I feel less inclined to procrastinate, because I feel like people are watching what I'm doing on my computer (which they most likely are not) and therefore feel motivated to get my shit done instead of watch funny cat videos. It also helps to have background noise that isn't a TV show or a Spotify playlist, because while I love listening to those things while I work they can be more distracting than not, but I also find it impossible to work in silence.
I'm definitely not in the perfect place that I want to be with my workflow, but I've definitely gotten much better at planning and managing my time than I had done at the beginning of the summer. My blog will always be a work in progress, and now that I've begun to accept that it won't be perfect, it's made it a much easier task to manage.