Welcome to the start of my week long blogging event! Today is just an introduction to lay out what sparked my interest in creating this blogging series, and lay out what the week is going to look like.
I have been blogging for about 4 1/2 years now, and the one question that I never fail to get is “how do you find time to blog?”
I get it from my friends. From my family. And when readers/book lovers/ and followers of my blog do happen to ask me a question, it is always some variation of this.
I always kind of just brushed it off with an, “Oh, I just read fast.” response. And that is true, I do read fast. But when I sat down to really think about it, I discovered it really is more than that. I couldn’t get everything done that I get done without my tools and process, and lots and lots of tips that I have picked up in various areas of my life.
So I want to share some of the things that have worked for me. I realize that these tips, and tools might not work for everyone, but I hope this helps some of you. And for those of you that hate all things scheduling and process oriented, I hope you find some tips too! I tried to incorporate lots of different resources.
What is this event all about?
If you are a blogger, you know that it takes a lot of time.
If you are a book blogger, you have to read books, write the review, format the post, share the post. And that is just to keep your blog functional. You also have to be engaged in the community, which means staying on top of new releases and other bookish news, commenting on other blogs, being active on social media, etc.
BUT this is also a hobby for most of us.
So in addition to everything I just described for your blog, you probably have a full time job, (or are a full time student) have a boyfriend/girlfriend, kids to take care of, and friends and family that you want to see on occasion. And then there are trips you want to go on, things you want to do, and other life obligations. The list goes on and on.
I started my blog when I was a 1L in law school. And when people found out that I had a book review blog “on the side” of my classes, they would say, “I have no idea how you have time to go to law school and read books.” And then I was studying for the bar exam. And I got, “I have no idea how you are able to study for the bar exam, and keep posting on your blog?” And then I became a first year associate attorney. And the question I got all the time was, “Oh I have a legal question for you…” haha But also, “How do you have time to work so much and keep up a book blog?”
Yes, I am busy. But here is the reality. It’s not just me. EVERYONE IS BUSY. You make time for the things you want to make time for. My blog is important to me, so I make time for it. I love reading books, and sharing my thoughts with you, so I find a way to fit it into my schedule.
That being said, I love to save time. I don’t like to sacrifice any one area of my life (Work, Family, Friends, and blogging) if I can help it. So I am all about using apps, tools and processes that will help me automate functions of my blog and give me shortcuts. When I first started blogging, getting a review post up could take me 1-2 hours. (or more!) I am not joking. Now, with my little blogging toolbox, I can get a review post up and published (and shared) in under 30 minutes. (Most of the time.) That means that I can get a post up before work, and then I know that anything I get done after work that day, is gravy for my blog.
Blogging on a Time Crunch is about the tools that I use to maximize the amount of blogging time I have, so that I can get a lot done in whatever spaces my schedule allows me too. I will also share some insight from other bloggers, and tips/resources and advice that I have found helpful along my blogging journey.
EVERYONE IS BUSY. You make time for the things you want to make time for. #BloggingOnATimeCrunch Click To Tweet
My Daily Schedule:
You can view and get a copy of my schedule (to modify for your own) HERE:
I should start out by saying that this schedule is only for Monday-Friday and is aspirational. This is what my days look like (roughly) when everything is going great. I don’t stick to this schedule every single day, but normal Monday-Fridays I try to. When I don’t have last minute things crop up that throw everything into whack, and when I don’t sleep in because I am too tired, etc. (Because those days happen too. The days where I sleep in, get up and throw on my first clean work outfit and rush right to work. And that is ok. You just roll with it.)I find that I get more done when I know that I have more stuff to do after. I don’t have as much time to dawdle if I know that I also want to get X,Y and Z done after work. And I also try to make it easier on myself by adding tv breaks and things that I love doing after things that I don’t like doing as much. So after workouts and after work, I do something relaxing for an hour or two. It energizes me.
I don’t have a schedule like this for my weekends because I am either: 1) traveling for work or for the leadership academy, 2) traveling to visit with family/friends, or hanging out with my boyfriend. I also use weekends to read a few books and just to enjoy life, whether that is relaxing or adventuring or shopping/running errands, or just plain doing nothing. My point is, I like my weekends to be free to be whatever I want them to be that week.
And I also should say, I am so not a morning person. I know it may seem like I am, but I would love to just sleep in (and I do on most weekends) but when I started working full time, I didn’t like that I would sleep right until I had to get up for work and then everything else in my life was left until 7 or 8 pm at night. There was no way I would have time for everything and get a decent amount of sleep. So I made the choice to start getting up earlier. It is amazing how much I can get done in the morning. I make my cup of coffee and go to town. I can normally knock almost all of my daily blogging tasks out of the way before 7 am.
I will talk more about the time entries called “Daily” and “weekly blogging tasks” more in the post tomorrow on Time Management. Those are how I stay on top of all the things I like to do to keep engaged in the blogging community.
*Note: I should point out with my schedule. This is a mental schedule of mine. I sat down when I first started my job, thought about what I wanted my days to look like and started dividing them into A or B days. I don’t have a calendar that marks them down, and I don’t have this schedule printed out where I check items off or anything like that. I like to give myself more flexibility to change things up. That being said, most days, I end up sticking pretty closely to this schedule. What can I say, I am a creature of habit.
The Event Schedule:
So what is the Blogging On A Time Crunch event going to look like?
Day 1: Intro
^^^This is today. I wanted to share my daily schedule so you get an idea of when things are happening in my day, when I talk about the tools that I use for my blog. This will be the wordiest of the posts. I think. Thanks for sticking with it.
Day 2: Time Management (printables)
I will share my daily, weekly and monthly blogging task schedule to stay engaged in the blogging community. (and there may be a printable for you to use. wink wink) And talk about general time management tips and tricks for getting more done in less time.
Day 3: Essential Tools
I will be sharing all the tools that I just could not blog without. I talk about how I use them and where you can get them.
Day 4: Ask a Blogger (spreadsheet secrets)
I will be featuring other bloggers, and asking them to share their trade secrets (and spreadsheets!) for how they organize their blog, track their books, and what they use to make blogging work in their schedule. *There is still time to participate– email/tweet me if you would like to be a part of the event!
Day 5: The One with all the Resources
Want a list of everything I have mentioned in this week long event? Want a list of blog tutorials, tips, tricks, and lots of awesome advice that I have found while blogging. I am sharing all the best apps, plugins, blogging tutotirals from your favorite bloggers, spreadsheets, and so much more. You don’t want to miss this one.
I want to know how you do it all. So I challenge each and every one of you bloggers to grab the button below, and show us your tips/tricks and best practices for how you make blogging work with your life. (you can even say what things don’t quite work the way you want to.) What are the things you want to improve? What are the tools and plugins you can’t live without. Do you have a spreadsheet or method for keeping track of books? Share that too!
And then come back here and share the link to your post with me. I would love to see it!
Also be sure to use the hashtag #BloggingOnATimeCrunchFind out tips and tricks for making blogging work with your busy life #BloggingOnATimeCrunch Click To Tweet
If you would like to be featured on the ask a blogger day, or if you have a blogging tips.tricks post or feature, or a tutorial and would like me to include it in the resource list (linking to your blog of course) send me an email. I would love to showcase you and a your blog!
What do you want to see in this series or the next one?
Aj @ Read All The Things!
Interesting post. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to read, blog, and get all my school stuff done. I feel like my blog has been suffering lately because I don’t have enough time for it.
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Aj you are not alone. I think that is the number one concern when it comes to blogging. Hopefully over the next few days I will share some new tools and techniques to help you 🙂
Thanks for stopping by, and if there is anything in particular you want me to talk about, just let me know in the questions and suggestions box above.
Kate @ Ex Libris
People ask me all the time, after 4 years of blogging, how I do it. I always feel like you make time for the things you love, you know? Our evening schedules look similar, just adding kid stuff to mine. 🙂
Great idea for a feature!
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Thanks Kate. And I completely agree. You find a way to make it work. I intentionally add it into my schedule. The things that I don’t intentionally add in normally get pushed to the way side, and I am ok with that.
I love this and it is so true for many of us that this is a hobby, a time consuming one but a hobby all the same.
Can’t wait to see more from this event!
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Yep, the most time consuming hobby I have ever had in fact. But I love it, and honestly blogging has made me more organized.
Allie @ Little Birdie
This is amazing, Michelle. YOU’RE SO FRIGGIN ORGANISED I CAN’T EVEN. Blogging aside: I’m also envious that you get up at 5:30 to work out. GAH. How do you to it????
Michelle @ Book Briefs
haha Thanks Allie,
If only I were able to get up at 5:30 every day. It was really hard when I first started, but I just kept forcing myself to do it. I knew that I wouldn’t find the energy to work out after a long day at work, so I had to get it in before hand if I wanted to do it at all. and I get so much more done if I just get up a little earlier. But I def still have days where I sleep in. What can I say, I like sleep and comfy beds haha
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Hey Allie, I just tried to visit your site and it said “problem loading” 🙁 Just wanted to let you know. I’ll check back in again later.
I think I accidentally posted in the wrong spot..lol. I think this is a cool idea and I have no organizational skills at all..lol. I probably waste more time then accomplish anything. 🙂
Michelle @ Book Briefs
Thanks Stormi! I hope you enjoy and I hope it helps you in some way
Wow. Great post Michelle! I’m fairly new and with all the time that went into learning blogging was taking over my life! So a few weeks into it I felt I had set up limits 🙂 Supposedly it is only five hours a week (which doesn’t include the reading since I was doing before I started blogging anyways). Hummmm… I don’t think I’m staying within the five hours LOL. Off to read the rest of this event posts! so interesting!
I love this!
Your schedule for blogging is about the same as mine however I try to do it between the times of 8 and 10:30 and read from 10:30 until I fall asleep. During school I am home, ALONE, on Friday so I try to do everything I can that day.
I can’t wait for all the posts, I LOVE a good spreadsheet for organizing 🙂
Kristin @ My ParaHangover
Awesome idea!! We should all share how we organize our blogs into our lives. I may not be able to copy your schedule but I sure can integrate some of your great ideas into my life! Thanks for doing this!
Blogging is a lot more time consuming than I realised… It’s taken a couple weeks alone to figure out some basic HTML and design ideas.
Great series Michelle. I’m having trouble finding time to blog at the moment as well as we’re just so busy. I will have to give some of your tips a try.