Sometimes we just get swallowed by school, or Uni or just education in general. It’s rude, it happens and then our blogs are just crying at us. Screaming for attention, love that we just can’t give. Since you know education swallowed us whole. In an attempt to help you all not get swallowed by education, today Jayati @ It’s Just Another Coffee Addicted Bibliophile and I will be sharing how we manage both “school” and blogging!
Eeeeek I’m so excited to finally share with you all this awesome collab post, there’ll be another collab between Jayati and I, going up on her blog and I’ll leave a link at the end when it’s up!
Anything in bold and italics is Jayati; anything normal will be me!
Scheduling Our Time
It’s no secret that we’re all busy people, whether we’re in school or not, we have lives to live. Yet somehow we’re supposed to juggle blogging with in Jayati and I’s case, school. More specifically, I had to juggle my blog with my college course (not uni, they’re different things here in the UK) I started my blogging journey a month or so before I started a new chapter in my own life. Was I crazy? Yes, I still am but learning how to juggle both things was made a lot easier with scheduling.
I’ve made a post previously on my blog, all about Why I Schedule Like It’s Going Outta Fashion so I know it’s not for everyone. HOWEVER if you’re in school I can’t stress enough that you should utilise scheduling. Even if you schedule it 10 minutes ahead of time, it’s still an extra 10 minutes you’ve gained not having to sit around to hit publish. Scheduling doesn’t just have to be limited to blog posts though…oh no you can schedule your time too.
Using time wisely can be extremely hard to do especially when you find yourself surrounded by a multitude of distractions present in every form ready to help you waste your time. One thing that really helps me to utilize my time efficiently is to divide it into blocks for separate things to do.
For example, I devote one big chunk of time to a particular aspect of my life such as blogging in which I make smaller goals such as writing posts, replying to comments and blog hopping while I devote another chunk of time to studying where I do my homework, revise and prepare for the next day.
Doing this helps me stay in a particular mindset and work to the fullest of my abilities since I am just concentrating at one thing at a time. The time blocks also help me have clear boundaries since I know how much time I can devote to each activity and have alarms set, I work harder knowing that if I don’t do it in that amount of time, I will probably not be able to get back to it and finish it soon.
As Jayati talked about above, you can totally divide your time into blocks, there’s various posts and YouTube tutorials on using Google calendar to do this. If you’re like me though, then having a rigid schedule will make you nervous. So instead of dividing my time into blocks, I use my day view diary to keep a running task list for the day. I can easily see what I wanted to get done, what I got done, anything that ended up being moved etc. Basically folks, scheduling your time is important. If not MORE important than scheduling those posts, if you can schedule your time, you may not need to schedule your posts if you don’t want to.
Another thing about scheduling that soothes me is the filled in spreadsheets. I mostly just use make a digital calendar and fill it up as and when I am done with things coming up in the future and seeing the calendar fill up is the most satisfying thing ever. Using spreadsheets and charts also helps me focus since I know how I;ve been doing and what I need to do to get better and more efficient. They are quite comprehensive and taking an overall view at your progress always helps you get to know your current standing better and what needs to be changed about how you are doing things currently.
Prioritise, Productive & Positive!
When we’ve got school work to complete alongside the blog things, it can get overwhelming really fast. We want to be working on our blog but hey school has to take priority. You also should be prioritising things each day or each week for the important things to get done. Here’s the thing, if you’re having to commute to school and you’re able to do something, take the time to be productive. Use that travel time to maybe do your outstanding homework or reply to blog comments/blog hop. Our time is precious, so if you’re able to utilise it then do so!
Whilst I do commute to college and my journey there and back totals 2 hours+ travel time, I actually suffer with motion sickness. This means that I may not always be able to reply to comments from my phone due to looking down for too long. Sometimes I just enjoy the journey listen to music, and relax because as much as we strive to be productive. It’s equally important to have down time with ourselves, and not constantly be “working”.
For me, the ride to and back from school takes about 1 and a half hours and usually, I use that time by listening to an audiobook or talking to my friends on the bus. Now, socialising might seem like a waste of time to a lot of people but well, making friends and talking to others is extremely important and sometimes, it’s just good to be around people.
It is also that with me, I can not be productive for too long at a time. I take too many breaks and they are very long too but that works for me since when I’m refreshed I work really fast. What I’m trying to say is that we should all recognise the importance of just stepping back and relaxing for a little while.
Working all the time and stressing about how much you have got to do will not help so sometimes we just need to let loose and take a breather and that is very important to be productive.
Be productive, be positive even when you just want to throw things out the window. Remember to prioritise! My task lists daily can run to like 9 things, I have in my own mind a top 3 which I need to get done. Sometimes I don’t get them done, but get other things done. It’s ok to not always meet your outlined goals, we’ve got exams breathing down our necks and parents and we just wanna read ok!
Back Up Posts = Less Stress For Exam Week
Managing blogging during exams is definitely hard for me. Usually my exams last for two weeks and my mom locks away my laptop for the most part of it so I do not waste my time and hence, am unable to write any new posts during that time period. This calls for a need to pre-schedule posts. Like I said before, scheduling is extremely important and exams make it even more important for me. I try to have the posts ready for exam week at least a week before my exams actually arrive so that I can study and focus on my exams when they are approaching.
Sometimes, I am unable to manage my time as I had planned and wanted and that is when the back -up posts come in handy. When I have exams coming up and I don’t have enough posts, I fill up the empty slots with the back up posts I already have ready and once my exams are over, I make some more back up posts in case I need them next time.
Another trick I use to keep posting during exam week is hoarding tags and posting them during exam week. Personally, I find that tags are easier to write, faster and I use them to help in any free spaces that I need to. I can easily answer a few questions even from my phone while I’m commuting or just waiting for something and voila! After putting in just a few minutes at different points at time during my day, I have another post ready!
Trial & Error
For all we may all be in school…or some form of education (we’re pretending we are for this post) we’re all in different situations. How I manage my assignments alongside my blog, is different to Jayati managing school and blogging. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stuck or just bleh about things. Breathe. At the end of of the day, it’s a case of trial and error. Try things people like Jayati and I recommend, if they don’t work hey, no worries. Find something else to try and keep trying, experimenting until you find a way that works for you. No one said managing your blog was easy…managing your blog and school is like setting yourself on fire and constantly trying to avoid the air attempting to snuff you out.
I hope you enjoyed this collab post, if you want to see more blog posts from Jayati, check out her links below. What’s a way you manage blogging and your other commitment? Whether it’s a job or school. Let me know in the comments! (also this post was written back when I was in college, it’s being posts a few months after I’ve finished though!)