As you know, I’m a work-at-home-mom. My oldest is in first grade, so she’s gone from 8am to 2:19pm every weekday. My youngest is still home and doesn’t start preschool until the Fall, where she will only go two half days per week. I don’t want to say that having a preschooler at home is a hassle, because I love that I’m able to be home with her and raise her myself. But it’s no easy task to run two blogs, social accounts and have a kids at home.
I feel like I’m trying to take care of a heard of cattle some days!
Today begins the first of many posts sharing a little behind-the-scenes look at my blogging mama life. I don’t claim to be an expert and I don’t claim that any of my tips will work for you, but if they do, fantastic! As a blogger and business owner, I’m always looking for tips to do better, so if you have any, feel free to share them in the comments below!
Finding Balance and Staying Organized
I feel like the instant I find a good work/home balance, a wrench gets thrown in my spokes and our schedule changes. The ever-changing schedule of life as a family of 4 makes it really difficult to devote as much time and attention to my businesses as I’d like to, but somehow I find the time to get my projects done.
The truth is, I still haven’t found the perfect balance between work life and home life. Some days I devote more attention to everything and everyone at home, and other days I have to devote to getting work done. Sometimes I’m a mom and wife by day, and a blogger by night while everyone sleeps.
I read about people preaching about balance and how to maintain a good balance. I can read about it ’til I’m blue in the face, but it’s not going to happen! When you have kids at home, you take what time you can get to yourself. What you choose to do with that time is completely up to you.
I tend to get really overwhelmed when I have time to myself. I kind of don’t even know where to begin sometimes. Do I trim the bushes outside? Do I fold the 5 baskets of laundry sitting in my living room? Do I get a head-start on those blog posts? Do I vacuum? Do I grocery shop? Do I take a shower and actually get ready for the day? Do I answer emails? This is when I whip out my paper!
The Paper Method
The easiest way for me to stay somewhat organized is THE PAPER METHOD. Most people these days are all about digital organization and using less paper, but the act of writing down my to-do-list helps me remember everything.
I have a giant desk calendar hanging on the wall next to my computer and as projects and due dates present themselves, I write them down. I visit this calendar every day and keep an eye on when projects are due in case I have time to get a head-start on them.
I also keep a few different journal-style books on my desk. One is to jot down my ideas as I think of them, and the other is to keep track of collaborations. I used to use composition books for this, but I moved onto something much classier. 🙂
My To-Do List
I mentioned earlier that I often get caught up with what to do first when I have free time. When this happens, I sit down and write out everything that needs to be done. I figure out which projects are an absolute priority and put those at the top of the list. I then take the projects that aren’t necessarily a priority, but are things I would like to get done and list them out based on the amount of time they will take me to do, with the items that take the least amount of time at the top. For example:
- Blog Post #1 (due tomorrow)
- Photography for blog post #1 (also due tomorrow)
- Photography for Instagram for the week.
- Blog Post #2 (due next week)
“Other” List: (put in order from least amount of time to the most amount of time)
- Empty garbages (10 minutes)
- Fold laundry (30 minutes)
- Sweep, vacuum and mop the floors (45 minutes)
- Grocery Shop (65 minutes)
- Emails (90+ minutes)
The reason I order the “other” list like I do is so that I can feel a sense of accomplishment when I get something done. Rather than setting myself up for failure and trying to tackle the biggest, most time consuming job first, I try to tackle all of the little jobs first so I actually feel like I got something done. When I try to jump into the biggest tasks when I get a little bit of free time, I end up getting interrupted and can’t ever finish those jobs.
As far as keeping track of the specifics for each blog post collaboration, I also have a paper method for that, too. Stay tuned for more details on that!