One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
placemats to make, a pediatrician appointment, a guest post to write, and on and on. How will I get it all done? Well, good question.
I receive many emails asking for advice on blogging - everything from how to start a blog, time management, how to grow your blog, and to get advertisers. Please know that I am not claiming to be an expert, but I am happy to share my thoughts with you in hopes that it helps you in some way.
1. Follow Up - To backtrack a bit, my blog started at the suggestion of my husband. He knew how much I enjoy decorating, gardening, & creating in general and he thought that I should share it with others. He has been nothing but supportive about my blog from the beginning. Love you honey ;). In the beginning, I would respond to every comment that was left and try to visit the person's blog who left the comment. My parents raised me to write thank you notes when people did nice things for me so I tried very hard to thank people for visiting. As my blog grew it became harder and harder to do this. I still try to respond to comments, but sometimes don't get around to everybody. This makes me feel very guilty, by the way, but we cannot do everything. Sometimes we have to let go. Please know that I love your comments, love hearing from each and every one of you, and really appreciate you visiting! I do however respond to the numerous questions/emails that I receive each day and always respond to clients and etsy inquiries.
2. Meal Planning - Raise your hand if you order takeout or eat cereal for dinner because you are in the middle of a project. I do it. I don't like doing it, but I admit that it happens every once in a while. One thing that helps me SO MUCH is planning meals for the week on Sunday night and purchasing the groceries for the week on Monday. Our meals are easy, but they are home cooked and healthy. Our boys are both year round swimmers who consume a load of calories each day. They need healthy food to eat and I owe it to them to give them that. We sit down at 8:00 at night because that is when we are all finally home and we talk about our day and eat and linger. Do I plan our meals every week? No. Some weeks are just off for many reasons, but when I take the time to get organized everything is better. Knowing that I will be tied up at market the next few days, I planned our meals and have purchased all of the groceries. My fingers are crossed that it helps.
3. Projects - Writing blogs with original content is time consuming. Period. Between doing the actual project, taking pictures, writing a post or tutorial you are talking about hours and days. All for what? No one is getting rich from doing this, but if it is taking you away from your family you might want to consider ways to earn income on your blog. My goal is to share things with you that 1. can easily be done by anyone 2. are relatively inexpensive 3. are inspiring. There are times when our house looks like a disaster zone. Often projects take longer than planned and I simply have to walk away and leave the mess for another day. What I do doesn't really change to world. This is OK. This.is.OK. If you put pressure on yourself regarding your blog it might take away from the fun of it. And, trying to keep up with everyone else will only make you feel inferior. This blog has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined and I wish the same for you.
4. Family Time - My time spent on the computer is very scattered. When I first started blogging, I spent way too much time in front of the computer. As I continued to write I began to schedule my time. I try to do most of my writing early in the morning, but sometimes things come up and and posts are delayed. Most posts go up around 6:30-7:30AM. I feel that I owe it to my readers to be consistent. If I happen to miss a day Mom will call me to make sure I'm OK. I love you all, but Mom is my sweetest follower, but the way. Follow up and emails are handled throughout the day. If I have any extra time, I will write posts for the future just to have in case I get into a crunch. My creative process doesn't fit the 9to5 schedule. I think of client projects all day and night which makes working from home a good thing. That said, the computer pulls at me often. After 4:00PM I am lucky to have any computer time at all other than responding to emails. The kids come home from school and need rides. Then my husband comes home and this is our time. Next comes cooking dinner, picking the boys up from swim practice, and preparing for the next day. I try very hard not to let blogging/working take away from family time. One day I will look back at how I lived my life and I want to feel good about choices I made. I know I say this a lot, but our boys have grown up so fast and I am thankful for every moment I have had with them. This is not meant to make anyone feel guilty, just being open.
Those are my thoughts. I would love hear what you think. Do you have any suggestions on how to manage time? I would love the hear them.