[guest post] How I Get Sh*t Done!
As you may know my New Years resolution of sorts is to get off my lazy bum and Get Sh*t Done! And today one of my favorite blogger's, Marissa, is sharing how she balances her post-grad life as a part-time blogger and full-time employee:
When I first started blogging, it was because I had nothing else to do with my time. I needed a productive distraction from the stress of trying to find a job. Other than that, I really didn't have a lot going on in my life. I was unemployed and blogging for only about 9 weeks. Now, I'm working 40+ hour work weeks and blogging, which I've been doing for 7 weeks at this point. (Yikes, it doesn't seem like that long ago that I started my job!)
That said, working full-time has forced me to drastically change the way I manage my blog. Gone are the days when I feel super inspired and can whip up 10 posts in a single day or when I can just write my posts the day before or the day-of. Now, well, let's just say that things are very different.
Today, I'm going to share a behind-the-scenes look at how I get sh*t done. If you're working or going to school full time and have a side hustle, I hope that this post inspires you to keep on keepin' on, even when things get rough.
+ I keep a detailed editorial calendar.
I wrote a whole post on this a few weeks ago, but an editorial calendar is something I swear by. If I didn't take the time to plan my posts out in advance, I don't know where I would be! A blog is like anything else in life, right? You have to stay organized and put in the work to keep yourself on top of everything you have to do.
+ I keep a running list of blog-related ideas on my iPhone.
Whenever I think of anything, whether it's a new post, something I want to take a picture of, an idea, etc., I write it down. I think a huge part of blogging consistently is making sure you don't get burnt out. By writing down everything as it comes to me, I never feel as if I'm reaching for content or lacking in inspiration. Whenever I need a new post, I can just refer to my list and, this way, I can make sure I'm always writing about topics I'm actually and genuinely interested in.
+ I write out all of my posts at least a week in advance.
With the majority of my weekdays consumed, I have to spend a lot more time intentionally planning out my blogging so that I don't get behind. Sometimes inspiration will hit on a weekday when I'm not completely wiped out from work, but I usually sit down on Saturday and Sunday and write out almost all of my posts at once. Pro tip: I always keep 1-3 posts saved as drafts so that, if I absolutely cannot complete a post for a certain day because something comes up, I can do a last-minute publish of one of my saved posts. :)
+ I schedule the majority of my social media in advance.
You can definitely tell which of my Tweets are pre-scheduled and which aren't (they're pretty formulaic) and I'm trying to get better about that! But for now, it's what works for me. Let me tell you: Hootesuite is a lifesaver. I also an app called TakeOff for Instagram, which allows me to pre-schedule Instagram posts. That way, whenever I'm ready, I can just publish through the app instead of posting multiple pictures at once or going days between posts.
+ I take all of my editorial photos at one time.
I don't do a ton of editorial photos (this is something I want to change!), but when I do, I try to get them all done at once. It so. much. easier. to only have take care of all the details once. It may not seem like it, but it's hard work to have my hair and makeup picture-worthy, find good lighting, find a great setting, and schedule someone to take the pictures, all at the same time. It doesn't make things easier that I get out of work after the sun has already set and I live alone, so it's not like I have someone to just take pictures of me whenever I please. So, Saturday mornings it is!
+ I work on-the-go.
I take the bus to work every morning, which takes me about 30 minutes. Sometimes I read but, if I'm feeling particularly inspired that morning, I start writing rough drafts of posts on my phone and then email them to myself. This makes it really easy for me to at least get things started so that I can drag and drop different chunks of my writing together as I build my posts for the week.
+ I work when I'm inspired.
When you're really "in the groove," I think it's so important to ride that out for as long as you possibly can. Even if you're tired, even if your dishes need to be done, and even if there's a new Gilmore Girls episode to watch, going with the flow of your waves of inspiration makes working on your side hustle so. much. easier.
+ I do what I can to stay inspired.
Whatever that means to you: scrolling through Instagram, reading other blogs, perusing Pinterest, or going on a weekend getaway. Trust me, I do it all. It's so easy to get trapped in that little bubble of stress, freaking out about all of the work that you have to do. Sometimes, it's important to remember that you need to step away for a minute to realize what's going on right in front of you. Besides, you can't blog about your life if you aren't living your life, right?
+ I've created a community for myself.
Being a blogger is all about being part of a community: you share something valuable, you share your passions, and people will want to read about it. They'll want to talk to you about it and they'll want to talk to others about it. Really, when you think about it, this is all just one giant open dialogue between you and the Internet. It's all about interacting with people, and it doesn't matter if those people are your readers, brands, or other bloggers, as long as you're giving back to the community in some way. My blogging community -- the girls I keep in contact with on an almost-daily basis -- is what keeps it fun and engaging for me. It's the comments from readers and the interaction on social media, not the page views, that inspire me to keep going. Yes, blogging is fun, but it's also hard work, so what's what point of doing it if it doesn't make you happy?
+ I ask for help when I'm overwhelmed.
If I'm having a rough week and just know I'm not going to be able to get 5 posts up, I reach out to my fabulous community of blogger friends and ask for a guest poster. Of course, I always try to repay their generous favor and offer a guest post for them in the future, as well. Alex actually had a great post on my blog last month! :)
And that's it: all the tips and tricks I use to organize my time between working and blogging! I do have to say though, I know that blogging and working is so much different from blogging and going to school. I'm fortunate that, once it hits 5:30PM, I can forget about work for the day and focus on my blog and I realize that you don't have the same luxury when you're in school. Although the details might be a little different, I think both combinations come down to being extremely organized and efficient with your time. No matter what your "day job" is, I really do believe that the growth of your side hustle all comes down to a ton of passion and endless elbow grease. :)
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and thank you, Alex, for featuring me on your blog!
Now, we're all dying to know: how do you get sh*t done?