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?
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.
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.