Happy Monday! I’m doing something a little different today because I didn’t have time this weekend to take any blog photos…I’m sharing how I’m able to run this blog while keeping up with the work load that goes with being a junior in high school. I hope this will be helpful to all of you with blogs who are still in school! This might even be applicable to those of you with full-time jobs as well. 🙂 Beware, it’s a long post.
Schedule: Ok, I thought it first might be helpful to go over my daily and weekly schedule so you get a sense of what I have to accomplish each week. Mondays through Fridays I have school from 8 to 3. During those hours I basically only spend time in class and on school work. I play a fall and spring sport for my high school, so once school ends during those seasons, I go to practice. This can last from 2 to 3 hours, depending if I have a game that day. Then I come home, eat dinner, and do homework until 10 to 11 at night. That’s when I finally get to go to sleep!
Friday nights I usually “take off” and either hang with friends or just relax at home. I’ll wake up at 8 or 9 on Saturday morning and get to work! Sometimes I have sports practice on Saturdays for a few hours, then I do homework for most of the day. I usually have a lot of homework on the weekends, and I also try to work ahead for the upcoming week.
On Sundays I’ll usually wake up again around 8 or 9 and have a nice family breakfast. Then it’s time for more homework! Sundays are also what I dedicate as “blog days”. I’ll usually do a photoshoot with the previous week’s outfits, which lasts 2-3 hours. Then I edit the pictures (just lighting and cropping) and write my three posts for the upcoming week. This usually takes a while—about an hour per post. If I have spare time during the weekend, I like to read and watch movies with my family. 🙂
If I don’t have enough time to schedule all my posts on the weekend, then I usually write them super late on Tuesday and Thursday nights. That’s not fun! At that point, I’ve usually finished my homework and am already super tired, so I try to avoid this situation.
Thursdays and Fridays I’ve started to do link-up parties on other blogs, and I’ve begun this year to try and update my outfits for Pinterest on the days of the actual posts. (I used to wait to update all my Pinterest photos on the weekend, but that seemed pretty spammy. I’m trying to break this bad habit for the new year!)
Tips: So now that you know how I go about things, I can share a couple of tips that I’ve picked up in the last six and a half months of blogging.
- Schedule schedule schedule! I’m so glad I discovered the scheduling feature for my blog. Graceful Rags is powered by WordPress, but I’m guessing other blogging platforms have a similar tool. Scheduling makes it really easy for me to get all my posts for that week ready to go beforehand so I don’t have to worry about them during the busy week (and can instead focus on all my homework and tests). This tool is also really useful if you know that you’re going on vacation or that you’re going to have a crazy weekend and school week (i.e. studying and taking finals), in which you can schedule posts two weeks in advanced.
- Make use of long weekends and breaks. I can’t stress this enough (but honestly I need to take my own advice!). I know it’s really tempting to just have fun on your days off of school, but if you dedicate one day—or even a few hours—to getting stuff done, you can save yourself a lot of stress in the long run. I try to plan a few extra posts when I have a longer weekend, as well as build up a photo “stash” (see next step) and take any of those outfit photos that have been waiting on the floor of my room for months*. Long breaks are also a great time to tackle some of that pesky school stuff, like college research and possibly studying for a standardized test. *By the way, since I unfortunately don’t have time to take outfit posts on the day I actually wear them, I’ll wear them and then put them on the floor of my room in nice little stacks until the weekend. As you can imagine, this is not the best method a) because I always have clothes all over the floor of my room and b) because then I can’t wear an item again until I’ve photographed it and washed it. This is my only option for now though. Any suggestions? I’d love to hear! I originally would wear the outfit, wash it, and then put it back on for photos later, but the outfits would usually get dirty during photos and I’d have to wash them again. So this is the method I’ve come up with.
- Create a photo “stash”. On the weekends or during long breaks, I try to take extra outfit photos. This way if something comes up last minute and I can’t take pics, I still have some new content for you guys. Sadly, I used up my stash, so that’s why I’m writing this post today.
- Utilize every free second. Ok, so maybe not every free second because that would be exhausting, but if I find myself sitting around for five minutes, I try and make use of that time. Obviously I can’t write a whole post in a few minutes, but I do try and use that spare time for things like Instagram or Pinterest. I’m not very good at marketing for my blog, which I’m trying to improve, so while I’m eating breakfast, waiting for a ride, or brushing my teeth, I usually look at Instagram and comment on other posts. I sometimes also use that time to sort through a couple of emails and delete any unnecessary ones. So if you find yourself waiting alone (don’t be that person on her phone who ignores the people next to her), stop waiting and make use of that time.
- Set aside specific times for school and blog. For me, it makes it easier knowing that for the most part, I have a set time for school and a set time for my blog (mainly Sundays). This way I don’t always feel like I’m scrambling to get everything done. I can spend my week focusing on school and working hard for that, and then I can prepare everything for Sunday so that I’m ready to go for my blog. You could set aside 30 minutes each week day for blogging, or keep blogging for the weekends like me; it doesn’t really matter as long as you find something that works for you. Maybe this tip won’t work for everyone, but it definitely helps me keep my priorities straight and stay sane knowing that I have allotted times for each. 😉
- When it comes down to it, remember that school is more important. Even if you don’t want to admit it, school is probably more important than your blog. So when you’re super busy or in a time crunch, focus on school. It’s okay to miss a post every once and a while, that’s what I have to remind myself. Take today for example. This post is going up really late. I was busy with a lot of homework yesterday and didn’t have time to write this. I thought about doing it this morning before school, but ultimately (and reluctantly, I might add) I decided it was more important for me to use that time studying for my history quiz today. Thus, a late post. I’m okay with it though; I think the most important thing I’ve learned about blogging during the school year is that I just have to let it go. Like is said, it’s no big deal if a post is late or doesn’t get published at all. Just make sure you focus on what is really important.
Phew, if you’re still reading, then your eyes must be tired, and I want to thank you! I hope this post is helpful and that you got something out of it if you are a blogger. I’d also love to know if you have any tips of your own for balancing a busy schedule. Hopefully see you Wednesday, but like I said, I didn’t take any photos last weekend!
Miles of smiles,
P.S. Apologies for the fuzzy picture. I can’t figure out why the photo is acting weird and I don’t have time to fix it right now.