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FBFF: Finding Balance

Woo woo! It's finally Friday!  And to celebrate, I'm doing a blogging two-fer!  Two blog posts in one day!  Holy smokes!  Finding balance is the topic over at Fashion & Beauty Friend Friday.  I thought answering these questions would be a nice, round about way to answer some e-mails I get concerning by blogging habits.

1. When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?

Blogging is definitely not a top priority on my life's daily to-do list.  I blog for fun, because I enjoy it, and because I want to, not because I have to.  If I don't want to do it, I won't (hence the six month break I took last year).  Because I look at blogging as a fun activity instead of a priority, work, or something I "have to" do, I find that it has gotten a lot easier for me to blog during my free time.  I would say my blogging priority falls somewhere between cleaning toilets and getting a tan.  (See, not very high at all).

2. We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?

I am one of those people that thrived in High School, and then really had trouble when I started college.  Why?  Structure.  In high school, from 4:30 am to 10:00 pm  of every single day was planned out for me.  In college, I was on my own, free to come and go as I pleased; and I had a hard time adjusting.

I used to ask myself, "where did the day go?" and "I didn't get anything done today, I need more hours."  About three months ago, I decided to  change this and created a very tight schedule for myself.   Now, I get through as much as I can because I have structure (want to see it?  Click here).  I posted copies of this sheet in my bedroom, in my planner and at work.  I have every minute of my day planned out, and I have to say, I have never felt more productive.  Every single day, I get done all that I need to, and if I have some free time, I blog.

3. Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?

Take full advantage of down time.  For example, lately I have been taking a fifteen minute break every morning and afternoon at work.  We are entitled to them, but no one uses them.  I think "hey, that's fifteen minutes where I could do something, anything, on my to-do list."  For about five minutes during my morning break, my co-worker helps me take pictures for my blog.  I have usually written the post the weekend or day before, so during the other ten minutes of my morning break, I upload the photos, and post the blog.

Also, with the advent of smart phones, blogging is possible just about anywhere- photos included!  I registered my iPhone and can take a photo, write a post, and either publish it or save it in my draft queue.

4. Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?

I don't have a calender, but I do have a draft queue.  When I find the time to blog, I don't just write a blog for that day and post it.  I will reflect on my entire week, and I'll usually write three to five blog posts and save them to be published later in the week.  I currently have over 100 posts saved as drafts.  Some of them are completely finished and ready to be published.  For these, I'll schedule them for publication.  (If you don't take advantage of the schedule tool, DO IT!  It is so easy to get a week's worth of blogging done in just a short amount of time.)

Sometimes, I just have an idea in the middle of the night, in traffic or at a red light.  For these, I'll usually type my thought into blogger from my iPhone and save it as a draft.  I'll then go back to it at a later date (when I have more time) and work on developing the idea and adding photos.  Again, I always carry a camera with me, so my photos may or may not correspond exactly with the blog topic.  If they do, it is usually because I have constructed the content, and then taken pictures at a later time.  I do keep a list of "photos to take," and I try to do some of those on my days off.  

Like I said, I only blog about one to one and half hours every week; this includes writing and taking photos.  I schedule all of them to be published usually on my days off, and then I don't blog until the next week, unless I'm responding to e-mails or comments.

5. If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

I don't spend a ton of time blogging.  I would maybe like to get better at doing "day designations," or series.  Many blogs I follow do things like "Thankful Thursdays" or "Makeup Mondays."  I'm still not that organized, but maybe it's something I'll think about starting.

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