styling you desk

How’s your blogging time management?

Nikki ParkinsonLife 54 Comments

I made a bit of a deal with myself at the start of the year that 2012 would be the year that I would get to bed at a reasonable hour. That I would get a bit of balance back in my bloggie life.

Mmmmmm.

The first quarter of the year is almost over.

One minute I was all salt-encrusted after a summer mini break and the next, it’s almost time for the Easter Bunny to bring me a dark chocolate Lindt Bunny (yes, he will 😉 ).

If I were to issue myself a report card it was probably be one I’d be happy to show my parents.

On paper, things are GREAT.

  • This week I unveiled Styling You’s makeover, something I’ve been planning since late last year.
  • The number of people visiting Styling You continues to grow; as does the amount of time they stick around once they get here.
  • I’ve been really fortunate to work with Big W and the autumn-winter launch of its Emerson label.
  • It’s confirmed I’m going to be blogging for Maybelline at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week in May (just sneaking that little announcement in!).
  • And I’ve had an exciting, regular paid blogging gig over at Justb. Australia.

I look like the bloggie class goody two shoes, don’t I?  The reality is my time management and productivity suck.

But I’m working on it. I really am.

styling you desk

My desk last night: looking a bit juggled like my lack of time management

I’ve re-jigged my business to reflect the reality that I’m a full-time blogger.

Freaky but true.

  • I no longer see styling clients one-on-one – just through my online membership.
  • I’ve almost got my bookwork sorted and ready to outsource on a monthly basis (numbers are not my thing – this is a huge relief).
  • I’ve appointed a writer compiling Styling You’s online shopping finds – hello Jo-Anne Hui.
  • I’ve appointed an admin assistant to help out with Styling You’s monthly competitions – hello Kristen Clark.

BUT. And it’s a big but.

I know I can’t continue on this crazy stay up late; then get up and do the school run blogging schedule.

So the next quarter of 2012 for me will be very much about working better on my time management.

I’ve actually been really inspired on this front by a number of the people interviewed in Problogger’s Blogwise ebook (Click here to view more details). We’re talking big, bloggers, HUGE. It was actually quite comforting reading their interviews and seeing that they too don’t have the magic formula for making it all work.

Here are the key ah-ha moments that I took from Blogwise:

Heather Armstrong (Dooce): “We block out a specific amount of time for writing and no one is allowed to talk to me during those blocks of time, so that I can be productive.”

Jeff Goins (goinswriter.com):  “… I create an enjoyable context … (if I) have to do something I don’t want to do, I’m going to create the most enjoyable context possible. I’m going to listen to music, I’m gonna drink coffee, and I’m gonna sit down and I’m gonna do it, and I’m gonna set aside this much time to do it.”

Gretchen Rubin (Happiness-project.com):  “To think about moving in the right direction is more helpful than thinking about hitting some goal.”

Leo Babauta (zenhabits.net):  (to know that what I’m doing is productive) I go basically by feeling. Does this feel right to me? Do I feel this is in line with the principles of my life …”

Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site):  “Productivity is getting all my writing done. (On) a good day, I’d be able to get all my writing done.”

Abby Larson (StyleMePretty.com):  “We have family time – strict family time – from five until the kids go to bed.”

Brian Clark (Copyblogger.com):  “… you really have to learn how to say no, and how to ignore things that aren’t critical in order to get done what needs to be done.”

Amy Porterfield (amyporterfield.com): “If you’re not meeting deadlines, if you’re not actually producing great work that’s getting great results, you have to look at that and think something is broken in your process here.”

Darren Rowse (problogger.net):  “… if something is giving me energy, I’ll do it more. If something’s taking energy I question, ‘Is this worthwhile?’ “

Do any of these resonate with you? Do you have a good balance between your blog and your life? What tips have you learned along the way that help you to keep that balance and still be productive?

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Comments 54

  1. My daughter has been sick – really sick – so blogging, exercise, socialising all had to put aside. Things are slowly getting back to normal. I did a freelance gig yesterday to pay for my blog redesign and worked until 10.00 pm on Sunday. Felt like a blogging Sunday again! Looking forward to resuming the mad schedule because it means she no longer needs such intense care.

  2. This is a tough one as I never feel I get enough done. I’m actually always really impressed by how you do it all. Multiple blog posts on one day, lots of engagement on Twitter and Facebook, instagram etc. You should be proud of yourself! The solution for mewould be to be more effective and productive. I simply take too long for each each task. Working on it….

  3.  This hits close to home, my blog has really suffered for the past couple
    of months because of my poor time management when it comes to my busy
    WAHM lifestyle. Didn’t help that my car was broken down for the past 4+
    weeks so had to rely on the old foot falcon to get from A to B, taking
    kids to school, going shopping etc, which ended up chewing a big wedge
    of time out of each day.  Great tips here, I’m off to check out the link
    for some more useful info. Thanks for sharing xxx ooo

  4. First of all – CONGRATS!! That’s so exciting that you will be blogging for Maybelline at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week in May!!

    I’m on a steep learning curve when it comes to blogging and time management. I work full time, we’re renovating our house (and about to commence an extension), we’re planning our wedding for next year and of course have a social life somewhere in amongst all of that too.

    I’ve written myself a weekly schedule where I’ve recorded everything – and I mean everything – work, exercise, helping my fiance with the renovation, blogging…the works.

    It’s the only way my Virgo brain can make sense of everything I have to do and actually get it all done.

    Having said all of that, writing is my passion and blogging has reignited that passion in a big way. xx

    1. Thanks so much gorgeous – it will be SO exciting. Cannot wait. I love that your Virgo ways help you get things scheduled. I have a little Virgo in me I think but the Gemini is easily distracted. Take care of yourself – that’s a big load you’ve got on – but I know what you mean about blogging and writing and passion! x

  5. Time management. It’s hard. I’m not sure if anyone truly gets it right. But an early night really has to help!

    I’m now off to bed (it’s 9:45pm)!

    xx

  6. popped over to add my link and can’t get it to work…phaps you could delete? 

    BIG CONGRATS on all you do…and what you have helped me with. 

    I think there are probably not many people worldwide who know what goes on behind the scenes of a blogger like you…and you should be giving yourself a big old pat on the back…not just in terms of the quality content, writing and the site but the fact that you have managed to turn it into a career…that my friend is the real beauty of it…but as ever in blogging it’s because you followed the golden rule…blogging in your own voice about something that you love…
    x

    1. I put it up! And thank-you Sarah. That golden rule is so, so true. We can overwhelmed by everything else but that’s what we need to remember whether we’ve been blogging 2 months or 2 years!

  7. I get up at 5am to blog. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. I have clarity at that time of the morning. There are no noses to wipe, arguments to referee and Lego creations to judge at that hour. It’s important that schedules are flexible too. I have only blogged once this week – so behind on other work after 4yos hospital stay, I had to reprioritise for a few days.

    1. Oh Penny – I’m amazed at your schedule and structure – my quiet time is at night but I’m realising that’s not so good for my sleep – or lack of it! Hope your boy is doing better this week x

  8. Hi Nikki,

    Just found you tonight on the net! Love your site and your blog. I just started blogging in February along with launching my own business “Consider it Sorted” as a Virtual Assistant. I am loving them both and enjoying the variety of what one can blog about. I’m based in Sydney and also a Mum  to an 11mth old little boy who certainly is keeping me busy 😉 Will definitely be following you and your blogs.. have a great weekend.

    Michelle Key
    http://www.consideritsorted.com.au

  9. Please tell me a quarter of the year is not almost over already?? Am so inspired by what you continue to create here Nicky, well done you. You must so proud of yourself! Hope you’re having a restful weekend!

    1. Thanks Kell … I am aiming for rest but am taxi driver for everyone today! All good though because I get to go to Melbourne next weekend for 3 nights by myself for the Digital Parents Conference!

  10. Great article Nikki – on a number of fronts: I love that you admit you are still working on the productivity side of things because from the outside it looks like you have it sorted and going on!  
    This is very timely for me as I just started looking at my productivity more so that I can blog more regularly.  Funnily enough it is Amy Porterfield who has encouraged me (via her mentoring program) to implement a lot of changes including outsourcing (I have done that with finances and some admin tasks now), as well as planning your day the night before and goalsetting.  She openly admits she went through overwhelm and changed her way of working – and her business skyrocketed after that.  I will have to read this book! I agree with all of the quotes especially those about strict family time and the need to say no.   And thank you for encouraging me to get into Google Reader and the Feeddler Pro App which enabled me to keep up with some of these bloggers above including you. As requested, I will post the link to my article today about that and a couple of other “lists” that have helped me immensely.  Oh and Feeddler Pro also meant I could show the girls at Seed on my mobile what all the fuss was about their condom dress when I bought one in Adelaide last week!  Actually, 2, but don’t tell anyone.  

  11. I started out this year with the january blogging challenge of 31 posts for the month, i met that challenge and now have embarked on 366 blog posts for 2012. This means blogging daily. That was all well and good while i was only working 3 nights a week however that wasn’t meeting my financial requirements so i have now gone and got a day job and have to be more super efficient with my time to still meet my blogging.
    At no stage have i considered not continuing with my blogs, i have been compassionate towards myself and been honest saying oops I’m running late with the post however it still is coming.. Just like todays post… 
    Looking forward to more evolving from my writing and taking it further. Love reading your posts for Styling and also blogging research.. keep up the great work. Plus we all know that a school report really bears no resemblance to what happens in the real world. I got told my hand writing was so bad that i shouldn’t write … I failed typing with gusto in high school and yet here i am typing and writing stories and loving it. 

  12. Nikki you are going from strength to strength and some amazing things are going on 🙂  Can’t wait to read your take on fashion week and how it relates to us real girls.  I love reading blogs but yesterday I actually created a new one and look forward to seeing how the blogging journey may unfold for better or worse yikes its a little scary.  

    1. Thanks so much Caz! I really love what I do and feel incredibly privileged to have been able to turn it into a paying gig. And, yes, my Fashion Week blogging will be very much about “translating” catwalk to real-girl. Can’t wait! Send me a link to your blog!

  13. Much congratulations to all your successes in this career of your’s, it’s fantastic!

    My career is not in the blogging world, but there are so many ways of managing time and getting things done that are relevant to everything. I like to call it focus. I know at work I have to sometimes close myself in my own little office and focus to get the important admin things done. I have 2 desks to spread my crap and mess all over!! (I have another desk and computer in another open workroom with others too that I spend most of my time at, but don’t really get management things done there as it is too ‘busy’) 

    Writing a blog post is very much the same- it’s the not so much fun admin, you do all the other fun stuff leading up to it-taking photos, having ‘experiences’, shopping etc, then sit at the computer to describe and document, it requires your 100% attention too! But it’s the key element in blogging, without it you’re not doing your job and noone knows what’s going on!

    1. Very, very wise Mummaducka. Focus. My report cards at school said “easily distracted” and that was BEFORE social media! I’m training myself to switch that off when I’ve got to write. That is what I’m focussing on in the next quarter to be more productive with my time.

  14. I am a procrastinator. Blogging often becomes before other things – like paid writing or assignments for uni. And don’t even start making me feel guilty on the amount of time I stuff around on Facebook and Twitter! Too much!

    This semester I am focusing on my thesis. It’s about blogging. I just got to do it.

    I don’t have a blogging schedule. I have now come to post when I feel like it. I jot down things in my iPhone that I may blog later. I’ve filled blog posts with photos not words eye I’m super lazy/pushed for time. And I make lists – really effective. I am surprised at how much I can achieve when there is a post it list.

    I thunk I should set up a desk and proper work space for blogging when I get back from USA – to show (me especially) I mean business.

    I work full time in a day job and honestly would love more time to devote to writing and blogging.

    I think you use social media really well – your Facebook tweets and updates always have a purpose. 🙂

    Ps I linked below – had a great lot of social media wins this week.

    1. Thanks for linking up, Carly … just read it. I have had little time to give my Google Reader any love this week, so had missed it! The juggling blogging with a full-time job is a whole other thing – see Debbish below as well.

  15. Congrats on the continual reshaping and growing. I think that’s important. I’m not a full time blogger, but am about to take more time for ‘me’ and my writing (such as it is) by cutting back my working hours to do a 4day week. The less-money bit scares me (being a single gal and sans back-up) but I’m excited at the message I’m sending – myself as much as anyone… that it’s okay to allocate time to things I love doing. I’m also hoping I have less late nights as I try to finish blog posts and get my blog reading done!
    Deb

    1. Thanks Deb. Yes, I think it’s been a great thing to evolve as my writing has too. That’s what I’ve loved watching about what you’ve done with your blogs this year. And I’m really impressed at you allocating a day to what you love – who knows where that one day will take you. x

  16. Nikki you are kicking goals all over the place and should be so proud of yourself. Woot!

    I’m not into blogging enough to worry about these things… Yet. I tend to do most of my blogging while I’m waiting for stuff. Like right now I’m waiting for Max at his OT session. An iPad and a wireless box are brilliant.

    I struggle most with knowing what I’m doing with my blog and whether I am comfortable with being “okay” at something, rather than “awesome” at something. x

  17. Time management is not my forte either! I was blogging all over the place and just sitting down whenever to write a post. This week I began working on being at least a day ahead, by writing tomorrows post today. It’s helped me keep a consistency and my view counter shows that this works so much better than my sporadic efforts of the last year! To see results in one week shows I must be doing something right!

    I’m going to have to recruit hubby now he is home to give me a block of time each evening that is just mine with NO interruptions. Trying to fit it in around the kids, dinner, bathtimes etc means I spend more time  with my computer because of the interruptions. Working hard to find my balance 🙂

    1. Natalie – how amazing is that – to notice the difference already. I remember the same when I made the switch to consistent posting.
      And, yes when you have kids, you have to come up with strategies around that – without interruption. For me, with mine at school, it should be within school hours … but I’m easily distracted (hello social media) and that’s what I need to work on!

  18. Nikki, this is something that I have been struggling with a bit. I know it and must work out a plan to be more consistent and use my hours wisely! Thanks for the idea to make it a quarterly goal x. Between work, family, kids schedules it all gets a bit crazy sometimes! Thanks for the continued motivation x

    1. Oh Vicki – thanks!  It does get crazy and the craziness of family and kids’ schedules changes frequently too. I found that writing this post was a bit of a way to keep myself in check with what I could definitely work on so that it’s not as stressful to manage everything.

  19. I love your transparency, thanks! I do think some of these things apply whether you are a blogger or not…..the work/life balance is a tough one. To know what you are about, what your priorities are and to blinker yourself to all the other distractions…and also to recognise when seasons are changing and therefore things need a tweak. I have recently returned to paid employment, only a measly 9 hours a week, so its taken a while to  realise that I can’t manage all the things I did when that was not a part of my life mothering 4 kids. 

    1. Thanks Kathryn … and 9 hours paid employment is not measly … it takes re-arranging and new management to fit in. With kids nothing stays the same either, there is always a schedule change!

  20. Time management is not my forte, demonstrated clearly by the number of nights I went to bed at midnight this week!  Having little ones at home isn’t really conducive to writing though, so that endeavour has to be saved until they’re all tucked up in bed.

    Congrats on your outstanding report card 😉  You certainly deserve all that success xx

    1. I was up with you Tam! And yes, when your kids are little, the night thing is a reality. For me, with mine at school, I thought I’d be better at containing it within school hours … that’s what I’m working on!

  21. Congrats on appointing new team members Nikki. Should hopefully help to ease the burden a bit! And lucky Jo-Anne & Kristen getting to learn from the best!! If you find the secret to balancing it all please let me know too!!

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