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How Bloggers Can Make The Most of The School Hours

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As the kids go back to school, we bloggers have several hours during the day to ourselves. If you are not careful, those hours will go by very quickly and you’ll find that you haven’t accomplished anything. Here are a few tips bloggers can use to make the most of school hours.

Routines. Set up a weekly routine and put it on your calendar. I like to start my week out by writing on Mondays and Tuesdays. That way I have the rest of the week for social media, meetings and anything else that comes up. Some weeks, I have to rearrange, but I try to stick to that routine. By having it on my calendar, I don’t spend any time figuring out what I need to do. I can be productive as soon as I sit down at my desk.

Do tasks that require peace and quiet. I try to schedule conference calls and meetings for the 6 hour span that all 4 of my kids are in school. I know I won’t be settling arguments while on the call. That is another reason I like to write during the day. My thoughts are not interrupted by, “I’m hungry.”

Exercise. That may sound counter productive, but if you start your day by moving your body, you will have more energy for your day. I find the days I work out, I accomplish more in less time.

Be ready when the last child leaves. Don’t use the time the kids are gone to shower and get ready for your day. Get up before the kids if you need to. Once they are out the door, you can begin your work day.

Set business hours. You may want to post your business hours on your blog. If someone is trying to contact you or set up a meeting, they know what your hours are.

Following these tips has helped me become more productive during the day which leaves me open and available to my kids after school when they need me. I have had to learn to be very flexible though. It never fails that someone will be sick or we will have snow day when I have an important meeting. I will rearrange my week so I can work around the changes. Ultimately it all comes down to managing your time well.

What tips do you have for maximizing those school hours?

Blogs Make Better Dads

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… by Brad Powell

Blogs make me a better Dad. I’m not kidding. Reading and writing about the journey of fatherhood helps me be more thoughtful about the ride. It’s much like a family dinner at the end of a long day of vacation. It’s a time to discover and process what’s important. The entire clan gathered around a table at a greasy spoon in a small town and I hear “I loved the rock candy we got from the Cracker Barrel” and “the bird that pooped on Myers’ head when we stopped on that hill was awesome” and “I want to go swimming at the hotel pool after dinner.” These tiny snippets of our day, the truly memorable ones, would be completely lost on me if we had not stopped to enjoy soggy chicken fried steak.  Rock candy and bird poop dropped with precision on an infant’s head trumps a $28 per ticket train ride through the most beautiful landscape in America? If I’m listening, I realize that it does.

The conversation time awakens my attention to what matters. That is exactly what new media offers me as a parent: a virtual conversation.

I am jolted awake by PERSPECTIVE.

Most morons I know are not bad people they just lack perspective. Myopically positioned, these folks can’t get over themselves or the way they see the world. Please don’t let me be one of these folks. Give me broadband access. Give me interesting people talking about life.

My sweet wife offers the following insight as to how new media has enhanced her life as a parent. She touts three distinct benefits: anonymity, convenience and community. The ability to anonymously (at least initially) seek out information that you might find embarrassing is key: “Thank goodness some one else’s child does that.” Then there’s the ability to interact at times conducive to a busy parent’s schedule:  “2 a.m. is a great time to discuss developmental milestones.” And lastly the greatest benefit is finding a community of like minded individuals that understand the struggles of a working parent of three; “Many of my still single girlfriends just don’t get why I’m too tired to go out syndrome“ syndrome!

Having been in the content creation business for 5 years the opportunity to look at parenting from many different angles has been rewarding. You can check out some of our work at DadLabs. And I’m not just a creator of content; I’m a consumer, too. These three dad-bloggers really make me think.

Jason Avant over at Dadcentric. He is hard nosed, no nonsense and sometimes edgy. When he thinks you are full of it he will tell you. If he does, you probably need to hear it because this dude is honest, sincere and as devoted to fatherhood as any I know.

Craig Heimbuch from Man of the House. Craig is a wonderful writer, funny and wicked smart. He is all of that and willing to talk about the insecurities of fatherhood that keep us all awake at night wondering if we are doing enough as dads.

And CC Chapman head honcho over at  Digital Dads.
C.C. is the nicest guy in the world but yet a total badass.  He is the epitome of a kind and caring father who sacrifices none of his masculinity to be so.

These are just some of the gents who make me ponder how I’m doing as a dad?

Thanks for the perspective guys.

Brad Powell is founder and Chief Operating Officer of DadLabs.com an Internet television network dedicated to all things dad.  He serves as co-host for DadLabs weekly web shows and is an avid parenting blogger and speaker. Brad is co-author of DadLabs Guide To Fatherhood, Pregnancy and Year One and can be heard weekly on the Cast of Dads pod cast on Blog Talk Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @daddybrad.

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