Time Management Tips for Bloggers
Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
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Balancing your blog with your life can be hard.
It might feel like you're always chasing your tail, with barely enough hours in the day to keep up with everything on your plate. As true as this may be, sometimes it's just about finding the time to fit things in properly. Take a look at your typical weekly schedule and see where you can fit something else in. Can you reply to emails on the bus in the morning, or maybe use some of your lunch hour to squeeze in some writing? Maybe you can take an hour in the evening to work on a post instead of watching one more episode - but I know that's difficult.
Spend it well
You don't need to find extra hours in the day to be able to blog, but you do need to look at the hours you have and see how you can use them more efficiently. If you're heading out for lunch with a friend, could they snap some outfit photos for you and save you having to sacrifice an afternoon for shooting? At the same time, you could always grab a few photos of what you're having for lunch, which creates a bit of content for your Instagram or blog if you fancy, too. Two birds, one stone!
Adapt your routine
Maybe you can make some changes to your routine. Waking up an hour or so earlier (even 30 minutes!) can make such a big difference to how much time you have in the day. I've slowly turned myself into a morning person over the past few years, making myself get up a little bit earlier than usual so that I can squeeze a bit more into my day. I don't do this every day - because I love sleep a bit too much - but adding an extra hour once or twice a week means I get a lot more done.
Using "Dead" Time
A lot of the time, when you sit and really examine your day, you might find a lot of wasted time. We're all guilty of it, sitting scrolling through our phones in the morning instead of getting out of our cosy beds. Sometimes, this time can be used a bit more productively, and every little helps! I know it's easier said than done, and there are a lot of days I'd much rather spend my bus home scrolling mindlessly through Twitter - hence the state of my inbox - but if you can make a habit of using your spare minutes to tick off little tasks when you can, it'll work wonders.
Ultimately though, you need to be realistic. There's no point saying you can post four times a week because you'll write on your lunch break when you know that you'll more than likely spend your lunch catching up with pals over coffee in the staff room. You know what you're capable of and the time you have to do it in. There's no one size fits all solution, it's just about finding what works for you.
It's good practice to generally be a bit of an organised person. I use a Google Calendar and an agenda to keep track of my commitments so that I know what to expect for the week, and know where I'll have any extra time that I can use to work on my blog. Using my Google Calendar lets me see all of the different parts of my life - like college, freelance work and my personal life - at a glance, so I can easily balance each different area with everything else that's going on. Just knowing what I have on really helps me feel like I'm on top of things, which is great for my messy brain and my productivity levels.
Schedule, schedule, schedule
Don't fancy spending every second of your spare time glued to your laptop? I don't blame you! This is where scheduling comes in handy. If you find yourself with enough time to tap out a couple of posts or snap a few shots for Instagram one day, save them for later and spread them out across the week so that you've got content ready to go. I try to spend one or two days a week actually writing posts for the next ten days or so and scheduling them to go out automatically so that I don't need to be there to deal with them.
The same goes for promotion! I'd be nothing without the likes of Buffer, which allow me to spend a few minutes scheduling social media posts to go out in the future, meaning my social media accounts are regularly updated without me having to worry about it. This is great for busy times, or things like going on holiday, as I can leave my social accounts running as normal whilst I'm spending time away from the screen.
There are a lot of tools out there that can automate this for you, like IFTTT (or If This, Then That). You can set this up to do things like automatically share your new blog post on Twitter, or pin it to a board on Pinterest. Things like this can save a lot of time in the long run!
Lists are your new best friend
I could happily rave about lists until the cows come home. I could not live without lists. Today, I ended up having to go to Tesco four times because I hadn't written my list and I kept forgetting things I needed. Yeah. Getting things down on paper so that you have a clear idea of exactly what needs to be done is excellent practice and I highly recommend. If you fancy taking your lists to the next level I'd definitely suggest breaking your original to-do list down into a second prioritised list so that you know what absolutely must have your attention and what can be left for later. Game changing.