I can be a bit of a procrastinator at times – I’m currently watching Brooklyn 99 whilst trying to get this typed out because Season 4 is out on Netflix and I’m hyped – and can get sidetracked from even making toast in the morning, but I’ve been trying to plan better and more importantly organise how I complete work and blog content and still have time to myself.
I got into a bad habit of writing posts the day before going live so that’s the first thing I’m trying to fix, but other than that I’ve come up with 5 foolproof ways to plan a more effective work and blog routine that allows me to cook dinner and read a book in the evening, take photos on the weekends, and actual achieve what is actually possible in 24 hours.
To-Do Lists become Must Lists
I love a list, I could write lists all day every day and continually add tasks until I end up starting new lists, forget what I’m meant to be doing, and get a bit stressed up there. Writing everything down clears my head, but taking it one step further really makes lists manageable and easy to tick off.
It’s all thanks to Sarah Knight’s Must List which I read about in Get Your Sh*t Together, where she aims to mentally declutter and get your life sorted once and for all. Must Lists are for what you must get done asap, that day, in that urgent moment. If your list is ‘buy groceries, write a blog post, book table for birthday, finish presentation, shave legs’ well then you need to strategise what is actually urgent and needs completing immediately, and then share the other tasks over the next few days. Sure things crop up, but if your shopping is done and you’ve finished your presentation, you can finish your post in bed and skip the leg shave to compensate for a last-minute family gathering. With the main tasks covered and completed when they absolutely need to be, you don’t feel bogged down with a long list and actually achieve that which is possible in the day and also urgent. Win-win!
My current Must List: finish blog post • finish tax return • reply emails • have a bath/read book
Monthly Blog Meetings
Basically I coerced my pal Jaye into a monthly Skype meeting where we talk content ideas, photo tips, how to get better opportunities, or even word emails and approach brands etc – basically anything to do with blogging and creative support. It’s fab, because the outside input from someone who gets the industry is actually constructive, especially if they get what you do. Some of the questions we use to get each other thinking are simple, but they’re effective and help us reignite the flame and keep ourselves on track analytics and content wise. Keep track of your traffic and engagement, and get conquering together!
Questions to ask: What am I enjoying right now? How can I spin an angle on what’s already been done? Is what’s seasonally appropriate relevant to my blog? What does this button on Analytics do?
Have set photo/work/writing days
My work days can vary from Tuesday to Friday which may seem a bit uncertain when planning but going off that actually makes setting tasks easy – if I can get photos taken on a Sunday (my usual day off) and work is Tuesday and Friday that week, I know I have Monday to edit my photos and write the outline to one post, Tuesday evening to start an edit, Wednesday to wrap up and finish one post, Thursday to do the rest, and then Friday at work with Saturday afternoon editing away, I can slot in tasks easily and plan accordingly, especially since I switched my schedule to posting every third day which means I have more room to breathe and get everything done on my Must List!
Going paper free where I can
Journals and planners are my shiz, I love a new diary at the start of a year but I never seemed to actually get full use from it / forgot to write things in, so I’m sticking to iCal for everything from shoot days, to Instagrams and spon work that needs to go live, and also my scheduled blog meetings. It keeps everything in one place work wise, and my messy lists on paper I already own (basically, not buying more stationery I don’t need) It’s clean, easy, and and allows the scribbles to stay off my nice Rifle Paper Co journal.
Finishing off by 6pm
It’s currently 5:46pm as I write this so I’m cutting it fine (and might do some emails later I’ve been putting off which is a one time thing, promise) but switching your desktop off by a certain time each evening keeps structure and allows you not only to plan how you use your daylight hours, but also keeps evenings free for finishing that book, cooking a yummy dinner, having a bath, maybe even an early night (omg dream). It’s good to keep balance, to not get stuck working past your mental capacity for the day – you know when you keep trying to force yourself to write or edit and it’s just not coming? Just close the page and start again tomorrow. Go bake some cookies, you deserve it.
And if you don’t do something on your Must List? It’s not the end of the world, just get it finished first the next day and compensate on something else (you’ve got until March at least on the shaved legs front, it’s still rather chill and it’s an extra layer #sorrynotsorry #singlelife)
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