Friday 12 August 2016

How To Balance Life And Blogging

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It can be easy to let your blog get on top of you if you struggle with organisation. Equally, life can get in the way and stop you enjoying blogging. However, both of these can be combated by having strategies in place and certain items utilised to help you manage your time more efficiently. A lot of you very kindly say that I'm very organised, and I seem to be able to manage everything very well. Yep, that's true! I've got to be! Otherwise, the five websites/ magazines that I write for including my own would never get any new posts and articles.

There are so many ways you can manage and organise your life. Many people are divided between paper and electronic methods. Personally, I like a bit of both. I'm going to show you how I manage my college work using both digital ways and paper. As well as how I handle the day to day chores and my blog. 

The key to time management is finding a method or strategy that works for you and sticking to it. I use lots of different methods to manage college, life and blogging. I know I am not the only one! Lots of other bloggers use different methods to me, which is why today Kizzi from Beauty and Brownies and I have teamed up to show you how we balance life and blogging using different organisational methods. Don't forget to check out Kizzi's post to get lots more ideas on how to organise your time and hopefully you will find something that works well for you. 

Firstly, I'm going to start by showing you how I organise my college work because I haven't shown you this before. I study three A levels and one AS. For each subject, it has its own A4 folder, binder and notebook. I take the folder and notebook for each subject to college each day obviously depending on what lessons I have. The notebook is used to take notes during class, and the A4 folder is used to put all the worksheets, homework or workbooks I have in them so I don't loose any while I commute from college to home.

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The binders stay at home and in them I have my specifications for the subjects I have studying, old worksheets that I don't need on me, past papers and revision notes so I don't lose anything. I also take an academic diary with me to college. In there I jot down any exam dates, reminders and homework I have because although I might look at my phone, it's highly unlikely I will so it's better that it's on paper. 

Not only do I use paper methods to organise my college work, but I also use electronic methods. I take a memory stick every day to college with me. On there I have a folder for each subject I study and within those folders, there are further folders labelled for my homework and all the different modules I study. Not only this but I also use a spreadsheet. (Surprise surprise, you know me and my love for spreadsheets) In my spreadsheet for college. I have tabs for my timetable, my revision schedule and exam timetable. At the moment it's all blank and ready to be filled in for when I start in September.

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For day to day chores, I use two methods my bullet journal and my memos on my iPod. Initially, Kizzi and I were going to do posts on our bullet journals but as I went on holiday and had a very busy few weeks afterwards preparing things for the blog, I kind of neglected my bullet journal a bit. I love bullet journaling as it is a very creative and artistic way of managing to do lists, ideas, goals and social media stats, etc. I mainly use mine for tracking what food I eat, what books I have read and my monthly goals. The only problem with bullet journaling is that I want mine to look really cute and creative. This, unfortunately, takes time, time which I don't have which is why I don't tend to keep a track of my to-do lists in here anymore.

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For that, I use my memos on my iPod. I managed to find a correlation between my mood and productivity levels. When I am down, upset or sad most of the time it's because I am bored, unproductive or don't know what to do. However, when I have a list of things I need to get done that day, I keep busy and tend to stay happier. So every night before I go to sleep I write a to-do list of things I need to do the next day that way when I wake up in the morning I can be productive straight away which helps the day start the right way. As I do something on the list, I remove it, simple as that really. 

I am not going to go into too much detail with how I organise my blog as I have shown you before. I use Google Calendar and Spreadsheets. You can read how I use Google calendar HERE and how I use spreadsheets HERE. My blog post planning process goes something like this; at the start of or during the month before the month, I am planning posts for I will refer to my ideas tab in my spreadsheet where I have lists of all post ideas I want to do on my blog in their relevant categories. I then plan them on my schedule tab on my spreadsheet, trying not to have too many posts from the same category in a row.

Once these have been decided, I start writing the posts where I can, not always on my laptop by the way. I love writing posts on my phone and sending them over by email to my laptop. Anyway, once I know what posts I want to cover I copy the titles into my Google Calendar app and colour code them so they correspond With the colour of category used in my spreadsheet! You can't beat colour coding! I then I always know what posts are going up via only looking at my phone. In the notes section of each blog post, I use the space to plan my photography shot, i.e.,. What props I will be using etc. Which makes taking months worth of photos in one go, a lot easier.

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And I think that's it! I think I have mentioned all the different methods I use to organise my life, college work and blog. I know it may seem a lot and even a bit excessive to some people, but it really helps me get my shit together and meet any deadlines. 

I would love to know how you organise your blog, school work and life in general in the comments below! Don't forget to check out Kizzi's Post HERE; I am sure you will love it!

Thank you reading, as always X

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