My days feel like they are completely escaping me at the moment and then before I know it the week is over. I've been struggling to keep on top of everything to be honest so I've been knuckling down and making myself a plan of action. Although in general I'm pretty organised, it's actually one of my best skills that doesn't mean I don't fall behind when life gets busy. So here are some my best tips for staying on top of everything:
To keep up with work I have to plan, I run two businesses which require constant attention so planning ahead with both of them is key. Something I do every weekend is sit down with my diary and a notepad and write everything down which needs to be done, it helps me feel a lot more organised and suddenly that workload seems a lot easier to tackle. For my blog as I post daily I write down what post is going up on each day so I know what needs doing. I then write a list of what exactly needs photographing to go into each post, I hate scrambling at the last second when we already have limited daylight. As for my online magazine ALO that is a little bit more complex, working with contributors means I have to work to a separate schedule and be a little bit more prepared if content doesn't come through on time. Both my blog and ALO are planned for 4 weeks ahead, ideas might not be set in stone but the general spark is there. It has taken me years to get to this stage as I used to just blog when I felt like it but now I like to have a plan ahead of me. Finally with freelance work there is no guarantee with getting any work in that week so when things to come in last minute then they have to go to the top of my priorities so by planning ahead then I can always be prepared for that.
I'm terrible for procrastinating, seriously it's awful. So lately I've been working to motto of working less with more focus so this means no more sausage dog videos on repeat when I have a to do list to work through. Whilst I will still be doing the same workload I just won't be spending as long doing it because I have more a lot focus. One the biggest factors has been disconnecting from the internet, I simply open up the tabs I need but then turn my wi-fi off. I've also banned myself from flitting between tasks and just focusing one thing at a time. It's important to do one job well rather than five jobs half arsed. Now the days are getting a lot shorter and lighting is dire one thing I always make sure to focus on is getting all the images I need done both for my blog and ALO done in one sitting, it takes a lot of time but is so helpful in the long run.
iCal is my best friend, I've got two editorial calendars that I flit between on a daily basis and they help me so much when it comes to scheduling content:
Seeing all my content laid out in front of me really helps to work out a flow to what work I'm putting out, personally I don't like having too many beauty posts all in a row so I like to try and break the week up a little bit by mixing around my posts. In general I always like to work four/five days ahead of myself so I've got the time to go back to proof read with fresh eyes instead of doing it the night before. By working ahead it prepares me for anything that might crop up last minute as I don't like to rush any area of work. To schedule all my social media like most people I use Buffer, it's so nice to have that all done and not have to think about it during the day when I'm busy with other tasks. Finding a work/blog schedule that worked for me is something I'm still working hard at getting a good balance with it's easy to spread yourself too thin when you work for yourself.
Write Things Down
Although so much of my actual work is done online I still do a lot of things the old fashioned way by putting pen to paper. I keep a diary and then a lot of notepads and to list pads get me through my daily activities. Every morning when I sit and have my breakfast I will write down exactly what I need doing that day, including any other work related tasks just so nothing gets forgotten. Being self employed means I have quite a lot of admin to do so I keep a big notepad for just my finances, so I know exactly what is going in and out and then I put all my standing orders into my iCal just so I get a little reminder of when they are going out. As well as all work related tasks I keep all my personal appointments in my diary and calendar too as it's important not to forget about them either. By writing everything down I find it makes me a lot more organised that if I keep everything on my MacBook, I'm also far more likely to remember something I've had to put pen to paper.
What are your tips for keeping on top everything?