How to Have Time to Blog and Do It All

By: | August 5, 2016 | Tags: ,

#Bloggers can blog and have time for a quality life

 

Do you ever read the comments that follow my blog posts?

Often, people read my tips and think, “Oh no. We are so busy, and now Janice is asking us to do one more thing.”

Consider this comment from a reader upon reading my post explaining how to get 3,000 blog followers:

It can be challenging to find the time to do it all….

Today’s post is written by a blogger who does it all. Jen blogs, homeschools her two children, has a husband and works outside the home. She is here to explain how you too can find time to do it all.

According to blogger Jeff Bullas, “I’m far too busy to blog” is one of the top excuses bloggers make.

Today’s guest is here to take that excuse away from you. If people as busy as Jen can find time to blog, anyone can.

Jen, take it away:

Ever meet someone new and as they are sharing about their day you think, “How on earth do they do all that?” So you ask, and the person shrugs like it’s no big deal.

To them, it isn’t. It’s a way of life, born out of need, necessity, circumstance or choice.

So if your life is throwing you a dozen balls to juggle at once, what can you do about it?

Set Priorities

For me, it is about working out what is important to me, setting a flexible schedule and sticking to it, and letting the less important things go. It is also about identifying the big things in life.

Seeing which balls you need to keep in the air and which ones you can let go.

Let me share a peek into my life to explain what I mean and how it currently is working for me.

So what do I do? I currently work “part-time” on a flexible schedule. Anyone who works in retail or as a cashier, waitress, or that type of thing, knows exactly what I mean. It means my 9-5 is not really 9-5. It can be anything from 4-hour shifts-7.5 hour shifts any day of the week. That schedule changes every week sometimes during the week. I call this a flexible work schedule.

As a person who loves to have their life scheduled and not change, this presents a challenge. I am learning to be more flexible and work with my working outside the home schedule as “work” is under non-negotiable at this time. A necessity.

Homeschooling falls under both a choice and necessity. It should have been a choice, but a teacher actually informed me I should homeschool. We decided to take her advice, and it is working great; we continue to choose to homeschool each year.

Educating my children is very important to me, and thus the time spent teaching, planning, reading, researching, and all that goes with it is a necessity

Other things that fall under need or necessity is spending time with my husband, eating, sleeping, paying bills and things I like to label “life”.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I also homeschool two children aged 12 and 14 respectively. They know everything (don’t all teens?? *wink) though so I don’t worry about it too much. We have a schedule that works. You can read about my homeschooling “day” in all its glory if you like.

Make it Your Choice to Blog

I also volunteer each week, and lastly I do this hobby thing called blogging.

Blogging is not a need but it is a choice. For me, blogging is my “creative” outlet, my mommy me time, and more. I talk about blogging and why I do it here, as you can see one of my favorite aspects of blogging is connecting with others. It is the friendship that is created that is so important.

As you know, all of these take time. In addition, I need to work out each day. What can wait is really vital in getting all the pieces to work together.

Work Your Blog into Your Daily Schedule

I am also big on timers and using them. Timers allow me to focus on what is important and not get sucked into the time warp called the internet. I don’t worry about checking the time; I know when the timer goes off then the time is up.

My typical day starts at 6 AM. I grab a cup of coffee and my tablet and sit on the couch. I have just started this as it allows me to gather my thoughts before life gets busy. I connect with my husband and then start with my favorite social media account, Instagram.

Instagram for me is a choice, I could totally let it go as it brings next to zero blogging traffic for me. However, blogging for me is something I enjoy and I love Instagram. What I love about it is I get to peek into my readers’ and other bloggers’ daily lives.

So I start with my favorite people and then reply to any comments that were left for me.

After a quick bite to eat, also known as first breakfast, I settle back on the couch with my trusty old laptop to check email. I set a timer for 30 minutes. Then, I reply to any that need to be done, link up that week’s post, and sort my email into “read later” or “read now”. Then, I read and work through the ones that can not be saved until later.

I move on to checking the blog for any comments that have been left for me. As you can tell, my readers are very important to me, and I aim to reply to every single comment made.

Depending on the time, I will move on to Facebook and check my groups and then Pinterest. You might be wondering where the rest are, again, I am choosing which ones work the best for me. Twitter is new to me and it is the only social media account I have on my phone. I pop in and out of Twitter throughout the day as it only takes a minute or two.

During school days we (the kids and I) aim to meet at the table around 8 am, for non-school days, the kids sleep in and we meet when they wake up, or I wake them up if I am working.

We then discuss the plan for the day. Insert more coffee and second breakfast. The plan is influenced by whether I work or not.

On working days, my blog time is basically done by 8 am. By 8:00, I like to have the blog checked, email sorted, and a few social media accounts done. This is my “daily must do” list.

For the rest, this is where schedulers come in handy. My favorite way to share is as I discover the content I know will help my readers. This way I know they will still find value while I am not able to be online. I do not have a specific time set aside to find great content to share, I share as I go. (Admin blogger’s note: Buffer and Hootsuite offer free post schedulers.)

On days I do not work and we are not doing school, I set aside time to work on posts, finding photos, editing, proofreading, creating products, writing newsletters and more. I try for a 45 minutes working period followed by 15 minutes of movement. This allows me to take a brain break, get some housework done, etc. This time is very important to me as a blogger as it is where I get the bulk of my work done for the week. Some weeks I get two days a week off other weeks only one. Using this time wisely is really vital.

Keeping a running list of what needs to be handled this week and what can wait is really important. Also, saying no to things that just won’t fit is important. Again, it is about choices and knowing what is a need and what isn’t.

On non-working school days, I try very hard not to do blog stuff or anything I can not walk away from. That way should I be needed by the children I can be available for discussions, working out problems, building, exploring and reading. We also schedule in library days, park days, group lessons as well as any appointments that need to be taken care of.

Spend Time with Your Family

Spending time with my children and husband is also vital. So I try really hard not to do any blog-related activities in the evenings if possible. This is a new change for me and I am still working out the bugs. I do post to Instagram each evening and check Facebook for anything that is vital around supper.

This way my evenings are open for playing games, nature hikes, beach days, baking and cleaning if needed. Writing lists of what needs to be done along with what I would like to do really helps me stay on track along with using my planning calendar.

Let Your Family Members Help

Weekends are not a time of rest for us, I am often working, and this is when we do many of our errands. We also do meal prepping on the weekends together, which is a huge time saver and allows us to talk and spend time together.

Knowing my personal limits, goals and rassessing what is working and what doesn’t often is a huge help in making sure I get the needed things done in my life.

There are many things I didn’t mention such as eating, sleeping, cooking and getting groceries. My husband and I work out a system for these things that works for us. Namely, he gets groceries and does the bills etc. We share everything else. If he is home and I am not, he cooks and cleans. If I am home, then I do it. The kids chip in too– they have daily chores and help out where they can.

Conclusion

Life can get very crazy if we don’t choose our priorities wisely. The tips I use above help me stay focused on what is important and still have and enjoy my life. How do you “get it all done”? I would love to know!

Author bio: I’m Jen. I’m a 30+ crazy married momma of two, homeschooling high school, working and living life! Between homeschooling and working outside the home, you can find me curled up with a good book or cooking in the kitchen.

Admin Blogger’s Commentary: 

Readers, please share, so other busy bloggers know how to find time to blog and still live a quality life.

Jen exercises, homeschools her children, works outside of the home, and blogs. If anyone can explain how to blog and have time to still enjoy doing other activities, it’s Jen. In addition to everything else she does in her day, Jen made time to guest post for us. Let’s show our appreciation and visit her blog practicalbydefault.com.

Before you go, one of the biggest concerns bloggers have is not having enough time in the day. Do you have any productivity tips you can share for having time to blog and getting other tasks accomplished during the rest of your day? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

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How to Blog and Still Have Time to Sleep

How to Blog and Still Have Time to Sleep Part II

How to Blog and Still Live a Quality Life

19 Strange Ideas that will Amplify Your Productivity

17 Time-Saving Tips for People That are Rushed

Photo Source:

Practical By Default Homeschooling Community

  1. Kara

    Helpful article — thank you for sharing. I am humbled by Jen’s efficiency. I need to be more deliberate about engaging my blog with social media. I like the way she makes it a priority and part of her “workflow” rather than an “afterthought” (like me). Great tips. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kara,
      Thanks for the visit today and for writing us. I agree with your comments. I, too, am in awe of Jen’s time-management, an area where I could stand to improve. Hopefully, her blogging schedule and ability to focus will inspire others to be more productive.
      Janice

    • Jen

      Hi Kara,

      Thanks, I do it that way or I will forget. 🙂 I also really like engaging with my readers. Thank you so much for reading and leaving me a comment!

  2. John Doe

    Jen you are one disciplined woman. My hat is off to you. Great time management.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi John,
      I agree. She sounds amazing. That’s why I invited her to write for us.
      Janice

    • Jen

      Hi John Doe,
      Well-l thank you! I’m that way by nature, I like plans and schedules. However, I must admit timers are truly my friend. I also set them far away from me so I have to leave what I am doing to turn them off. 😉 Knowing your own weaknesses is also important in my opinion! Thank you for reading and leaving me a comment!

  3. Gary Jefferies

    Oh dear, last time I commented you were still on a boat and now time has flown passed and….oh yes, time and scheduling…still not cracked it myself, but mighty fine example of time management. Well, I have identified loads of time slots that are entirely mismanaged…so that’s a starting point!

    How’s it feel to be home again ?

    • Janice Wald

      Hey Gary,
      Great to see you! How is your book coming? It feels great to be home and back in my routine of doing things.
      I agree Jen is a paragon of time-management. It sounds like she is up early starting her routine. I am a night owl, but I always plan on getting up earlier.
      I hope you’re ready to party with me tomorrow. It’s time for another Meet and Greet!
      Janice

    • Jen

      Hi Gary,
      Thank you for commenting, It is good to have a starting point and knowing your weaknesses is a great place to start. As Janice mentioned I am not a night owl, as the kids stay up then. I like the quiet mornings to work.
      Take care!

  4. Laurie Stone

    Great tips. My husband edits all my posts. I couldn’t do it without him. I agree with getting family members involved!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Laurie,
      Is “nice to meet you” in order? If so, nice to meet you!
      When I first started blogging, I had my husband read and edit all my posts. I could tell that was going to get old for him real fast. Now, he reads them within hours of publication. If there’s anything wrong, he tells me, and I rush to a computer to fix the problem.
      Thanks for writing.
      Janice

    • Jen

      OH How lucky for you Laurie! (and Janice!!)
      My husband is not involved in the blog in any way. He does attempt to not be too bored to death when I talk about it, however, the kids are very involved.
      I took the photo in this blog post but my daughter, who is 12, takes most of my Instagram photos, and my son helps with designing the printables I sell on my blog. It is great to have honest feedback.
      Thankfully I do have blogger friends who will message me and tell me if I make a spelling mistake or am missing a word. It is good to have friends.
      Thak you so much for leaving me a comment!

  5. Jennifer Kelly

    You always have such great advice Janice! Jen made some awesome points!

    • Jen

      Hi Jennifer, (great name btw!)
      Janice does always have amazing advice, I love her posts! Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment!

  6. Lucie

    Excellent post! It is so hard to find time to “do it all.” I agree that organization and choosing what to let go of are so important. And having the family pitch in to help is always a good thing! Thanks for sharing this. There are some things in the post that I had not thought of!

    • Jen

      Lucie, hello!
      Thank you, fitting it all in is always a chore and there are some days where all the planning in the world things just don’t click. I am so glad you found some new things to try, thanks for leaving me a comment! Have a great weekend!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Lucie,
      Thank you so much for the visit and the comments. I am glad the post offered new possibilities for increased time management.
      Janice

  7. Dr.Amrita Basu

    It’s always great to hear how people manage their days.One thing I liked that inspite of her busy days she makes family time a priority.Thanks for sharing.

    • Jen

      Hello,
      Thank you for coming over to visit me on the blog! Much appreciated. Yes family is very important and I really wanted blogging to not take away from them, yes it is my “me time” but “family time” comes first.
      Thanks for reading!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Amrita,
      I think bloggers generally struggle to compartmentalize and fit everything in. I thought her post thoroughly explained how she does that. Jen has such impressive time management!
      Janice

  8. jill conyers

    I recently added teaching yoga to my to-do list so I’m in the process of trying to figure out how to make it all work. With it including blogging. Great tips.

    • Jen

      Hi Jill, I am sure you will find a way.
      Yoga is amazing for flexibility and strength. I always feel like a brick when I start not flexible at all. However it is just a great workout I am sure you will enjoy it. When things matter you find a way to work it in!
      Thanks for stopping in!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jill,
      Great to see you! I saw Jen wrote you back. It sounds like you and she have yoga in common. This is the first time people have discussed yoga on my blogging tips site, LOL. I feel like my blog must be so versatile! So glad!
      Great to see you. Thanks for visiting us.
      Janice

    • Jen

      Aw thank you Shelly. This from you means a lot! Love that post btw, thanks for linking it.

  9. amommasview

    Love this post and I couldn’t agree more. There’s always a way to make it work (some days it’s easier than on others). I guess if you love everything you do, you make it all work. Great post, Jen, from one homeschooling mom to another 🙂

    • Jen

      Aw thank you. It is true if we really need or want to we will find a way. Some days are easier than others! Today is a crazy day but hey, it makes life interesting. Off to check out your site 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi A Mommas View,
      I didn’t know you homeschooled your children! Did you know I am a teacher? I teach seventh graders.
      Janice

  10. Janice Wald

    Jen did a wonderful job for us last week! She wrote a post that helped readers think of ways to improve their time management, and she found time to respond to our comments.
    Thanks, Jen!
    Janice

    • Jen

      You are welcome. Readers are the reason we blog. I really enjoyed connecting with your readers, thank you for having me.

  11. Kimsea Sok

    Hey, Jen. A nice article, anyway.

    The went out of no worth unless we know how to spent our time. I’m not a great timer as you are, but we have something similar. We love blogging.

    You know? the last time, I remember about the day is 25th on Monday in July, but when got on people said Happy weekend of August. I feel bullshit. I don’t even know the name of the day. It sounds silly right. Yeah. it is.

    Last Sunday, I planned a new post but lacked of schedule as I cannot hit it up. I don’t know but maybe I have to many plan or my plan is too flexible. Last week, two of my friends got problem with WordPress thus I spent around 10 hours to help them.

    The relationship worth a lot to me why I love blogging. It gave us many friend.

    I’m not always doing the business. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing, I will do my business to follow your timing.

    • Jen

      Hi Kimsea,
      Thank you so much for stopping by to read and leave me a comment.
      If you are doing something you love time certainly does fly. That is wonderful you were able to help your friends when they had trouble. Relationships are amazing, and I certainly appreciate the ones I have made so far in my adventure.
      Thank you for reading and have a great week!

  12. Laura

    This was a great read! I love seeing how others balance everything, I’m juggling most of the same things as Jen so getting her perspective is really helpful. I need to work more at defining my work hours, since I enjoy blogging so much its easy for it to take over time from more important things in life. 🙂 thanks for the great reminders Jen!

  13. Paul

    Hi Janice! how are you? great article! Having time with our blog is a choice that we need to decide and I always do it everyday, because if I do not have time on day time I do it on night time if neither kf the two I do it early before it hit 6 am.

    Thanks for sharing love reading your posts.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Paul,
      Thanks for the nice comments about my posts. I’m glad you enjoy! Thanks for writing to tell me.
      Regarding productivity: I found your comments insightful. I agree with you. Making time to blog is a conscious choice. I tried getting up at 5:00 am but I got sick, so I stopped, but I was extremely productive when I did.
      Janice

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