You might have noticed that recently I’ve been trying to write more.
I shared my short story, For All Time, and on my Instagram (@fairytaleprettypicture) I’ve mentioned my writing progress more than once. As a part time blogger who is employed full time by the biggest retailer in the UK, my life can get busy. In fact I have to be very strategic with my spare time in order to fit my 3 year old hobby of online journalism, family and friends as well as my two needy boys – puppy & hubby haha (*don’t tell them I said that*).
In order not to stress, I organise myself well in advance; something that recently has become second nature. So, I’ve put together this post that’s all about how to save time to do the things we want to rather than need to.
Find time management tips for bloggers and aspiring writers who also want to have a life…
1. Write a To Do List
It’s really easy and it’s the best advice too. Simply take a pen and paper or type it into your notes in your phone and jot down a bullet point list of all the things you’d like to do. Make it everything and don’t leave anything small or trivial out to make your list smaller. The reason for that is because those little tasks that you complete will help you with motivation as the more things you tick off your list, the more satisfaction you will have from completing it – rather than feeling down because you weren’t able to finish anything.
Tip: split your tasks out to make them as easy as possible. Take one of my blog posts for example. I will need to have multiple bullet points, such as ‘put together and style my content’; ‘photograph what I’ve styled’; ‘Edit and upload my photography’; ‘write my blog post and schedule’. This means that if I can’t do everything in one go I’ve still accomplished some of my tasks that I set myself!
Once you make your list it’s time to put your tasks into priority order. What do you need to or want to finish first? Can it be completed in one go or is it an on-going project and take your daily life into account. Work around your working hours too and make sure that the priorities are realistic.
Tip: It’s OK to change the list around. If your priorities change so should your list.
3. Allocate Time Slots
I personally like to split my time into morning, afternoon and evening. I find that it works for me that on a specific day I’m able to choose what to do. If you’d like it to be more granular – perhaps working by hours rather than above then so be it. Do what works for you. An example to what I do is if we take one of my typical weekdays; in the morning and afternoon I have work but I know that in the evenings I have time to cook and write or go to the gym (dependent on the day). On the weekends however, I can split my time out for photoshoots in the morning, meeting family or friends in the afternoon and then editing and writing in the evening.
Tip: I created a Monday to Friday spreadsheet that is broken down into morning, afternoon and evening and like to fill this out once a week prior to it starting so that I am organised and know exactly what I’d like to accomplish. The evenings can get very busy with other things so this is really useful for me, such as going to the gym or having a meal with an old friend or occasionally even seeing a show.
4. Kill Two Birds with 1 Stone
I love to do this and I’m sure you’re guilty of this too. If you’re a blogger and you go to a restaurant why not document your meal and then blog about it later? My classic multi-tasking idea is Instagramming whilst I’m walking the dog or even thinking (of work) or of my next short story when I’m walking around the country parks.
Tip: I find that time to think is just as important as the ‘doing’ part. Socialising for some can also work in the exact same way. It doesn’t only steer us on but refreshes our mind, which is so important for blogging and writing.
5. Make it a Habit
This one is a tough one but so worth it. If you’re an aspiring writer, try and write every day and if you’re a blogger then be consistent when you post. Human nature demands a cycle and we thrive in a routine so make your writing exactly that – a habit. By doing something regularly you forget that it’s something that you once ‘wanted’ to do and it just gets done.
Tip: even one break can throw you off. I always think of it as physically stretching (like stretching the mind!) you have to do it every single day and then eventually you’ll be able to do the splits. For aspiring writers… a year or two later, you have yourself a book!
6. Make Time for You
Sometimes we need to do nothing… or do something but that something must be for us. Be it taking a long soak in a bubble bath, finishing your forgotten adult colouring picture or even catching up with the last episodes of A Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it’s super important to take a break.
Tip: I add free time into the calendar that I’ve mentioned above, so that me-time never gets forgotten. This keeps me sane 😉
So, these are my tips and I hope they help you as much as they help me. Stick to your tasks and goals and enjoy ticking them off your list as you go through it. Motivate yourself with food, purchases or extra free time and you’ll never find yourself stuck in the daily grind wishing you wrote a book 5 years ago or started a blog.
What do you do to save time?