Being a blogger and working from home seems like a dream job, but let me tell you, it’s no walk in the park. You are one person basically doing 10+ peoples job with precision efficiency (only 24 hours in the day). When you go to an office job, you wear one hat. Sure, your job title might branch out into different areas of responsibility but ultimately you are in charge of one designated job.
A a blogger you are a: writer, editor, coordinator, location scouter, photographer, accountant, creative director, buyer, stylist, PR, etc. Our job requires us to wear all the hats whether you like it or not and you better be ready to juggle and switch in and out of one duty when another calls.
Ultimately, everything comes down to how you’re managing your time. It’s easy to get sucked into the noise and feel overwhelmed and stressed out thinking/worrying that you don’t have enough time. So, you end up rushing through life without really taking a step back, assessing the situation and tackling a plan of action.
I’ve been blogging for almost five years. I launched my blog in 2014 (rebranded from a past university project requirement) while I was working full-time at an Ad Agency in Vancouver. Back then I didn’t spend much time on it, because quite frankly the Ad business is demanding and my workload just wouldn’t allow too much extra time for blogging & taking photos. Back then, I also had zero idea what I was doing.
My main goal at the time was to build a platform to share my work — even if I wasn’t quite sure what that looked like yet — something that I could show companies and businesses in addition to my career capabilities that would set me apart from my peers and show them how I could market myself and my brand. At this particular time, I had no intention of making blogging my main business. I was very much focused on building my career in Marketing and Advertising and couldn’t have been in a better position than I was.
All I knew about blogging at the time, is what I was taught in school and what I was seeing in front of my eyes (to peers around me). This was a thing. So I started writing and sharing little posts here and there and slowly it started gaining interest from local brands in Vancouver. I remember booking my very first paid campaign with Happy Planet for the launch of their healthy fall soups. It was a shot in the dark but I learned as I went and tweaked along the way (…still tweaking). I could write miles on the topic of blogging and how I got here but I’ll save it for another post. What I wanted to share with you today are my tips to managing your time & how I manage mine blogging. Scroll down to ready my tips:
*I realize that most of you probably work M-F and this list won’t apply to you. This list is a detailed look at how I manage my time each week, as a blogger. I get hundreds of Qs about blogging and how I do things ie; manage my time, so I thought I’d start giving my personal advice from experience.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME (BLOGGING):
- Figure yourself out: learn to make a habit of listening to how you feel. Over the years (working for myself) I’ve learned to go easy on myself when I’m feeling like I need a break or a breather. I used to get stressed thinking that this was ‘wasted time’ but in reality when you learn to give yourself what you need you open yourself up to feeling more inspired in the long run. I’ve learned when I need to take breaks, press pause, get some air or push harder and what helps me move through those feelings to get back on track.
- Allocated different days for different activities: I like to divide my time into buckets. Usually I plan two days downtown for meetings, to pull looks, brand visits and attend media engagements, and two days for writing & working from home. Scheduling my workweek this way makes much more sense then making little trips into the city each day. I group all meetings/apts downtown into those two days and the other days I reserve to handle day-to-day operations, business development and blog writing and planning.
- Operate for you: when it comes to managing your time, find what works best for you. If you prefer to have everything stored in your iPhone then do that. If you prefer to write everything down in pen on paper in a day planner then do that. I do both. I like to be able to refer to my daily/monthly calendar at a glance on my iPhone but when I’m working from home I must have it written down on a physical calendar.
- Schedule it in: even your breaks, dog walks and workouts. Having tasks/activities penciled in on paper will help you stick to your commitments and feel organized to tackle the day.
- Find a stress release: for you that might mean meditation or yoga. For others that might mean kick boxing or taking their dog for a walk or reading or taking bath — find what you need to do to release any built up stress, tension or anxiety and schedule that time in for yourself. The time you invest in you is the best gift you can give yourself.
- Tweak regularly: if success is what you want, be prepared to fail. Like a lot. The upside to failing is you have a front row seat to learning the most important lessons that you can take forward with you when you try again. You can’t fail when you’re not afraid to. Some of my greatest growth has come from massive failure. It truly is how you choose to move forward with failure, can you then suceed from it. Set weekly plans, execute your ideas and take note of what worked and what would work better next time. Tweak it to the top.
To go one step further, so you can see how I block out my time, I’ve outlined a typical week below:
Monday: writing / planning day working from home.
Tuesday: meetings / appointments / pulling day downtown.
Wednesday: shoot day to create fresh new content for the blog.
Thursday: writing morning / afternoon meetings & evening media events downtown.
Friday: writing / prep for next week day working from home.
*Note this is “typically” what a week looks like for me. Every week is different and it’s my job to juggle and make it all work regardless of what pops up in between. I try to plan for this each week and then I build out my days depending on what comes up.
I hope you found this somewhat helpful. If you liked this post and want more blogging advice, please let me know!
Images: Melissa Skoda