The number one question I’m asked when I tell people I blog is, “How do you find the time to blog when you have 4 kids?” The second question is, “How do you do it all?” I use the time effectively or I would never get anything done.
There are days where it all flows easily and I feel like I’m on top of the world. But there are also days where I am lucky to get a shower in, I forget to pick someone up from school and all three meals are McDonald’s. Not something I care to admit, but the truth.
Here are my tricks for finding time to blog, keep a house up and raise kids.
- Let go of perfection. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have standards and you shouldn’t try to do a good job. It just means that not everything you do has to be done to perfection. That is an impossible goal, so don’t even try.
- Don’t do it all yourself. I have someone come and clean my house every 2 weeks. I know that if nothing else, my showers and floors will get cleaned every 2 weeks. It also forces me to pick up every 2 weeks. I hate cleaning with a passion and so I let someone else do it. Ask for help when you need it.
- Carry something with you to take notes. Whether it’s a pad of paper or audio notes on your iPhone, when an idea strikes, take note of it. I use my iPhone because I can talk faster than I can write. When I have an idea for a post, I talk it out. I find that often I talk enough to get an entire post written. If you use a program like Dragon Dictation on your iPhone, you will save some of the writing time too.
- Work when you wait. According to Answers.com, the average person spends 2 – 3 years in their lifetime waiting. When I’m waiting at the doctors, in line at the grocery store, in line to pick-up kids, I get small things done that I can do on my iPad or iPhone. I check e-mails, read blogs, research for articles I’m writing or edit articles. It doesn’t seem like much, but it helps me get some of the small tasks done. There are days where during that time, I listen to music or catch up on a TV show. Either way, I’m accomplishing something I want to get done.
- Have a weekly plan. Each week, I look at my deadlines and plan out how I will accomplish everything. Things do come up and I have to adjust, but I find having a plan helps me.
- Schedule in time for last minute stuff. I have deadlines each week, but I try to make my deadlines several days before the article is really due. That way when I have to take a kid to the doctor or I am sick, I have some leeway on my time.
- Learn to say No! I’m still working on this one. You have to know what you have time to do. Saying no isn’t not an insult. It just means you do not have the time. There are so many things we would like to do, but we have to prioritize our time. Leo Babauto of Zen Habits wrote an excellent article, 7 Simple Ways to Say “No.”
- Take a break. This may seem like an odd tip for this topic, but if you do not take time for yourself, you will burn out. It will begin to take you longer to do tasks because you will not be able to focus. Take a break and you will feel refreshed.
- Enlist the help of your family. When I have to review products, I get my family to help me. If it’s something we can all do, I get everyone to try it and I record their responses on video. This morning my kids and I did a workout video together for a review I’m working on. We had a blast and it was a great way for me to work and spend times with me kids.
- Have fun! When you stop having fun blogging, then it may be time to quit. When your work is something you love doing, it doesn’t feel like work.
Not all of these tips will work for everyone. Use what works and leave the rest.
What ideas do you have for finding time to blog?
Image from Microsoft.