Life is a constant juggle. We have to keep on top of so many things, I don’t know how we keep it together sometimes. If it’s not one thing, it’s another and from time to time, it can feel like a little too much. Two of the biggest clubs in my juggling circle are working and blogging. The reality is: it’s not easy to do both. I work part-time and feel swamped so I applaud those who work full-time and run a blog too. I think many are under the impression that blogging is this super easy task of taking selfies and posting them on Instagram. It certainly is not. Working a secular job isn’t exactly a walk in the park either. It can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining working multiple days a week, especially if it’s a job you’re not particularly fond of.
For a few years now, I’ve been working part-time and running this little blog here, and somehow, I’ve managed to keep going. It’s certainly a juggling game, but there are five ways that give me a boost of balance.
Routines are absolutely everything for me. They always have been, and probably always will be. I feel content when my routines go to plan, and when I’ve planned a routine. There’s something about knowing what’s going to happen next, and knowing when it’s going to happen that keeps my mind at bay. I’m one of those people that doesn’t really thrive in chaos, I much prefer pre-planning and organisation to keep me going. Everything in my life has a routine. My morning routine, my spiritual routine, my workout routine, my chore routine, my makeup routine. They’re the cogs that all come together and stop me from self-combusting.
Because I find peace within a routine, they’re essential to juggling work and blogging. I work three days a week, and these days very rarely change. My weekly schedule doesn’t alter much, so I always have time to fit in blog photoshoots, editing and everything in between. Having that routine set in stone, gives me the opportunity to tackle an obstacle head-on, without being completely thrown.
The great thing about routines, is that they start to become habits. For example, my makeup routine. I don’t have to tell myself what to do next, and when to do it – I just know. I apply makeup that often that I go into some sort of auto-pilot mode and zone out. Weekly routines have the same effect, they’re very easy to execute and start to feel natural.
Scheduling is a must. Without scheduling my blog posts, I don’t think I’d have any content live. Since 2015, every blog post published on Anika May has been scheduled, and I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that. Some believe that the best way to capture an audience and be authentic is write and publish – but my brain doesn’t work that way.
When it comes to writing blog posts, I write them as soon as the idea pops in my head. That becomes a draft. Then I go over the draft plenty of times to check for spelling and grammar (sometimes things still slip) and then I schedule the post with the photos to go live on my blog. Scheduling posts means they can go live on my blog early in the morning, equalling maximum exposure. There’s no way I’m waking up at 6am to publish a post, so WordPress can do it for me.
I occasionally schedule tweets too. Most of my tweets are very much original and random thoughts that pop into my head throughout the day. But when I’m promoting a blog post straight to Twitter, I schedule those tweets because it’s likely I’ll forget. My “new post” tweets go live around five minutes after the post does on Anika May, ensuring that the link will work and photos match up. The site I use is Buffer, but there’s also Hootsuite and TweetDeck which are just as popular.
Scheduling is extremely helpful when it comes to juggling blogging and working because it’s one less aspect of blogging I don’t have to worry about. I can chose the time and date everything is published, so all is in order.
I can’t schedule anything without planning it first. I have the same planner for work, blogging and my social life so I don’t mix anything up. Plus everything is colour co-ordinated to avoid confusion. I get very ‘Monica Geller’.
My planner enables me to see everything written down and in the right spot. Then I can rearrange things if needed. Being able to physically see what’s to come is so helpful. When all else fails, I retreat to my planner. When it comes to blogging, planning is vital because it brings all the pieces together. If I’m writing with pen and paper, it’s most likely in my planner. It’s one of the many places that blog post ideas are born. My diary in particular is pretty chunky, it has a build-in notebook so I don’t have to carry different scraps of paper around. I can also plan when blogposts will go live, and then pick the days that are best for me, depending on the topic that’s being shared.
For example, if I have a lifestyle post ready to publish, I can save it for a Sunday or a bank holiday (if there’s one close-by) because that’s the day the longer reads are more popular. During the week, fashion and OOTD posts are more popular, most likely because they’re shorter.
This step is crucial for me to keep my blog alive. Writing on the go includes drafting blog posts but also planning outfits and ideas while the inspiration is still in my mind. Sitting at my desk, on a slow work day, painfully trying to come up with titles and captions results in nothing but a headache. If I always waited until I was home, or actually on a computer, I don’t think I would be able to regularly publish content.
When you’re blogging and writing on the go, most of the time you don’t need more than an internet connection, and sometimes you don’t even need one of those! It’s a flexible career than can be done anywhere in the world, which is why I love it so much.
Blog post ideas come to me in the most random of places, and when I think of it, I like to write it down. The following posts all came to me while I was on the go, either on a train, in conversation, in a car or just going about daily life:
Kindness Is Not a Weakness
The Perfect Weekend in Paris
Is Blogging Just Putting in the Work and Getting Nothing Back?
It’s Time to Inspire Myself
Four Rules I Live By as a Blogger
Six Things I Strive for Other Than Money
…and that’s just 2018.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I have considered giving up. In 2016, I took a break because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere and missed it too much. Even nowadays, my Instagram following is yet to reach 1000, but I’m refusing to let it get me down. There are also countless days where something hasn’t gone my way, and I have asked my sister: “should I just give up, and quit blogging?” On occasion, I find work a bit hectic and struggle to see how I can keep up with blogging.
But then I hop on YouTube, Twitter or Instagram and see some of my favourite bloggers achieving new things and experiencing the most wonderful of opportunities is so inspiring to see. It’s like the extra little push I needed to tell myself it is possible, I can do it and I will do it.
There are so many great blogposts to inspire and motivate me to keep going, keep juggling and enjoy every moment. They best way to find them is a quick Bloglovin’ search – the site is massively underrated and easily the greatest way to read blogs on a regular basis. Blogosphere Magazine is my go-to publication for everything blogging, especially inspiration from others.
Even though there are a couple of times when my work life and blog life to combine to create chaos, there are way more ups than downs, and the juggle is almost quite fun.