Life is always a balancing act. Between various commitments we have it can be hard to do all the things we want to do. For me I have to split my time between Merijn (who is awake more and more), my husband, household, blog, bookstagram, maintaining a social media presence and reading. That can be a lot of things to juggle. I’ve had people comment that they don’t understand how I still read and blog while taking care of Merijn.
One answer is of course that I don’t work next to taking care of Merijn. It helps a lot. (Of course taking care of a child is a day task that people who work have given to others during the moments they work.) Regardless I still have to balance out a lot. I don’t just get a free moment whenever I want it and I’m very tired in the evenings so I rarely do anything then. Some days I feel like I am just running around all day.
So how do I remain productive with my blog, still consistently post photos on my bookstagram and read more than 5 books a month while also dealing with my post partum depression? Below I share a few things that have worked for me over the course of the last few months.
Blog Schedule and Scheduling in Blog Posts
This is something I already did during my pregnancy but I have become a bit more strict in it. I have a special notebook for my blog and reading challenges and statistics. I plan out what I want to blog about and what will come online on what day. I have a seperate schedule for reviews as that depends on how quickly I read and I get to write the review. It helps to have standard posting days.
When it comes to posts I try and schedule posts in and try to have a buffer of about a month. Which means this was written almost a month before it actually posted. I can’t do this with all posts obviously. But I make a draft for those and just fill it in when I can like with my Dancing out of monthly wrap up posts. I like to have a buffer of about a month because if something happens or Merijn has a bad period or I don’t feel like blogging because of my depression I can easily take it.
That way I don’t really have to take a break. Not one you all can see. I like that feeling. It is nice to see comments still roll in while I’m mentally curled up in a ball.
Visualizing Posts Before Writing
Staring at a blank page never did help anyone. Making a note on my blog schedule as to what topic I want to do on what day is one thing, but I also have to write it. This is why I visualize posts before sitting behind the computer to write them. I can do this while I take care of Merijn and write things down on a note while I play with him. When I do sit behind the computer I can work it out and I am not staring at a blank page for so long. It prevents writers block in my case. This is a recent thing I started doing
To Do List
I make a daily to do list in my planner. This to do list has everything. The dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, tidying up cabinets, big cleaning and so on. But I also put finishing specific things for the blog like my monthly wrap up post. As Merijn is awake more often I do some things as he is awake (for as much as he will allow it) and other things during his naps or when he has gone to bed for the night.
I also make a to do list for the blog if I have a lot of things to do.
To do lists help me be productive without overdoing things. It helps organize everything that I have in my head and not forget anything.
Plan in Reading Time
This may sound stupid but this really helps when you put reading as a task to do on a to do list. Because that way you don’t just skip over it but make time for it. I also plan Friday free from housework (free is relative as I still take care of Merijn, dishes, laundry, cooking etc) to read during Merijn’s nap times.
Do Certain Things on the Same Day and Time Every Week
It helps to do certain tasks on the same day. You create a routine which can make you work faster. I had some trouble with commenting on blogs and so on. But I have some specific moments throughout the week where I sit down to comment. Sometimes I also have extra moments where I go and comment or if I don’t have a lot of comments to do I might skip and do bulk commenting the next moment. But this way I don’t skip over it or act like I don’t have the time. Because I created time for it. Every week.
Give Yourself a Break
Not everything has to be perfect. It is okay to make reading or relaxing time for yourself even if you feel the house is messy. This is something I have to work on myself. Luckily I don’t need a tight living space. I can live with some clutter.
This might seem like I have a very strict schedule, but this actually helps me to be able to be flexible whenever something comes up. I have something I can grab back at the next time to ground me. And I have a daily routine with Merijn of course so a lot of things are fairly stuck in my schedule as is
This above is all how it works for me, and it will work differently for each one of you. And in the future this all above might change again depending on what stage of my life I am. I do hope maybe you can find something in what I have written above that will help you out.