Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blogging Consistently with a Full Time Job

Blogging consistently can be a struggle. I've found it to be much more difficult to blog consistently with a full time job than I found it to be in college. I didn't publish any new posts last month and over the past year I've found a few weeks where I'm consistent, then I'll be gone for a few weeks, then come back to blogging.

It's so frustrating because when you blog inconsistently it makes it a LOT more difficult to feel connected to other bloggers and the blogging community, to grow your own blog, and to feel like your blog is improving.

In an attempt to myself, and hopefully a few other bloggers out there, here are some ways to blog more consistently.

Tips for Blogging Consistently with a Full Time Job

Set aside time for blogging

I used to always set aside the evenings as a time to watch TV and blog and it worked well, so I am going to try to go back to this. I know a lot of people set aside time on the weekends to catch up on blogging. Find a system that works for you so that you can have time to write, take and edit photos, schedule promos, and all the other admin tasks that come with blogging.

Create a posting schedule

It's easier to blog consistently when you have a posting schedule. I've had several posting schedules in the past and have cut it down to once a week, since that's what's most manageable for me right now. My goal is to have a new post up each Tuesday at 9 am. Having that goal (or posting schedule) in my mind helps me stay motivated to create a new blog post every week and the deadline keeps me from procrastinating...most of the time 😉

Blog about what interests you

After working all day, if you come home to blog and the post in your drafts doesn't interest you, it's really difficult to find the inspiration to finish that post. Don't feel like you have to finish every post you start working on or like you have to blog about a certain topic just because it's in your niche, its popular, or whatever. Blog about what you're interested in and what inspires you to write. It will show in the post and make blogging much more enjoyable for you!

Disconnect from work

If, like me, you can turn into a workaholic, make it a point to disconnect from work. Turn work email notifications off your phone, don't bring extra papers home from work, and set some boundaries. Work hard when you're in the office, but when you leave switch modes so you can take care of you and the other aspects of who your life. No one will die if they don't receive a response over the weekend or if you're presentation isn't perfect.

Support other bloggers

This is what I miss the most when I'm blogging inconsistently, because if I'm not blogging myself, I tend to not be reading and supporting other bloggers. This just creates a bigger spiral though of not blogging, being uninspired and not knowing what to blog about, and feeling disconnected from the blogging community. Even if you're blogging super inconsistently, make it a point to continue to support other bloggers by reading their posts, sharing their blogs, liking their social media posts, and talking with them.

I hope this post was helpful! Let me know in the comments how you blog consistently with a full time job and if you have any tips!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How To Be Productive When Working From Home

Working from home is the dream for many people. But it doesn't come without it's challenges! I have a full time job for most of the year, but I'm taking the summer off to work at home on creating a curriculum for my middle school Spanish program (yay!) and updating this blog and hopefully making it better. I thought I'd share a few tips I've learned to help you be more productive when working from home.

Tips for being productive from home

Find Your Spot

Find where you work best. For some people it's a coffee shop (this doesn't work for me at all) and for some people (like me) it's the living room couch and other people have a proper office area set up with a cute desk and chair. You might have to experiment a bit, but find where you focus best and get more work done. 

Use the Pomodoro Technique

This technique is so helpful for me, especially when I'm struggling to focus. It's easy(ish) to convince myself to focus on a task for just 25 minutes instead of feeling like it's some huge job that I have to spend hours doing. Once I get started working on the project, those 25 minutes go by so fast and I get a lot done since I know I only have 25 minutes to do it (obviously, you can work on the project for another "pomodoro"). 

Then once my timer goes off on my phone, I take a little 5-10 minute break to read a blog post, water plants, or play with the cat. Having that built in break really helps to keep the day from feeling like it's dragging on and to keep my energy up. If you want to learn more about what the pomodoro technique is and how to use it, check out this page.

Create (and stick to) a Routine

My ideal routine that I'm always going for is to wake up, make my bed, do 30 minutes of yoga, shower, eat breakfast and read for 10 minutes before getting started on work. Doesn't that just sound like the perfect morning? I always feel great mentally and physically when I do this.

For me, creating the routine is the easy part. What I'm awful at sticking to a routine. I'm always trying to get into the habit of following the routine above and usually manage to follow through with it a couple times a week. And trust me I feel much better when I follow this routine than those days when I wake up, think about getting up and doing the routine, then roll over and go back to sleep. 

Plan Your Day

Find a way to plan your day whether that be a to do list, a daily focus, or an hour by hour schedule. For me, a to do list works well. I tend to make a giant list of things to do each week and then prioritize those tasks each day to create my daily to do list. 

I put the 3 most important tasks down on my daily list first. If I accomplish those tasks and still have time, I'll add to my to do list. If not, I know I got done what I needed to do that day and can feel good about it. 3 things might sound sparse, but I've read that you should plan 3 main tasks to do each day because little things always come up that take your time away from those tasks.

Find Your Inspiration

Working from home can be really isolating both relationship wise and inspiration wise. While I don't have the relationship part figured out (leave a comment if you do), but I have found some ways to stay inspired in your work. What I do to get inspired depends on what I need that day, but my go-tos are reading blogs about what you do, listening to podcasts, and getting outside for a walk. 

Reading blogs helps me get tons of ideas for what I want to do and how I could improve what I already have. Listening to podcasts like GirlBoss Radio is inspiring as you listen to stories of success and how they started and grew their businesses. Getting outside for a walk is good because 1) you leave your house for a bit and 2) you can let your mind wander and rest a bit so you're rejuvenated when you come back to work.

What do you do to be more productive? Are you going to try any of these ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

August Favorites No. 2

This past year of blogging has been so on-again, off-again. I'll start blogging and feel great about it, then stop when life gets too crazy and then wonder if I should keep up with this. But I really enjoy writing and sharing it here! So I keep coming back to this place once things seem to calm down again and I feel a bit inspired.

I haven't blogged in over a month, when I started getting ready for school. I procrastinated getting ready for school until the very end of July. And from there it was meetings and the first few weeks of school. Starting school up felt good and I'm very happy with where I'm at. Hopefully it stays that way!

A few favorites from August 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

8 Ways to be Happier

Being happier is a goal most of us are striving for. I think this is great thing to strive for, no matter how elusive it may be. It pushes us to become better versions of ourselves and evaluate what we're doing and why.

When I think of living a happy life, I don't think it means being happy 100% of the time, or even 90%. I think living a happy life means that you choose a positive outlook and attitude, you incorporate activities and routines into your life that make you enjoy, and in the end the happy moments outweigh the bad ones. Today I'm sharing a few ways you can add more happy moments to your life.

8 Ways to be Happier