Dec 28, 2015

Discussion Day: Balancing Life and Blogging

Today is a Discussion Day here at Cover2CoverBlog. I am trying to start these a little more since they seem fun :) I hope you enjoy and if you have any topic suggestions let me know in the comments.

Today's Topic
The Balance: Life and Blogging

As an avid reader, with a job, and animals, and a house, and a blog -- with other hobbies too there is a lot of planning and balance that goes into a successful life and blog. So that is what we are talking about today -- how to find that balance...

Let's start by talking about how I can to begin blogging, I feel like everyone has a different reason and I think they are important.

I began blogging in the beginning of 2012. This was after I finished my Master's and was working full time and teaching as an adjunct but was bored out of my mind... after spending so many hours doing research and homework and papers etc - I had way too much time on my hands. So my husband told me to start a blog... I mean I was already devouring books and reading all sorts of book blogs anyway, so why not? Well I did and it is a lot more difficult than I expected and I have so much more respect for bloggers (still do).
I learned so many things, how to review more effectively, how to add in other types of posts, some HTML - to fix the broken things, how to create templates, how to scheduled posts, etc but I was still feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. (I kind of love this pressure situation, I like to feel busy).

Now years later, I am still learning and I love that but I have also started pushing myself further, for example I am writing this post to schedule a head of time (by 2 months!) thanks to Blog Ahead. However there is a lot that goes into this type of thing, so back to the topic of today's post: 

The Balance
How I plan for Cover2CoverBlog & Life

You may not know this but I LOOOOOVE planners, I have a bunch (I am a crazy person). I also LOVE to color code. Here are some examples of what I use: 

Weekly Planner:
I have a weekly planner that is my everything planner - home, work, blog - all of it in one place. I write my chores that need to get done, my posts that I want up, my reading/reviewing schedule, my bills that are due, and any meetings or dates I need to remember for work.

I also have a Blog Planner:
This paper planner came from Confessions of a Home Schooler and I use ti for my blog - posts, giveaway, stats, plans etc - this ends up copied into my weekly planner and on my GMail calendar.
 My GMail Calendar:
Is used for when I am online going through emails with review/tour requests to easy see what I have coming up. At least once a week I review all my calendars to make sure they match. (I'm a little OCD).

These calendars really keep me organized. I bring them almost everywhere in a purse (along with a good book) and can refer to them whenever I need to. This really helps to make sure I get important home things done as well as blog things that might otherwise slip through the cracks. 

Other things I do to help with my blog/life balance is keep lists - this is one I use a lot, my TBR spreadsheet, sorry for it being so tiny - I have colors and codes for everything I need so when I go to review it is all here. Purple means it is complete, green for scheduled, and blank for things I need to do still. I organize it by month.

 So how is this balance?
It seems like I have too many lists for blogging and not enough things for life outside of it. Well... My weekly planner really keeps me grounded in ALL the things that I NEED to get done. When things happen that alter that plan, first I stress a little, then I shuffle as needed. I have found that this schedule really helps me stay super focused - so I can blog and then move on and not feel like I SHOULD be blogging or that I forgot something important.

I also don't normally post on a Saturday, that is because I don't like to have to prep a post on Friday and that leaves my Saturdays open as 'me time'. I do things around the house, my husband and I do projects, I knit, watch movies and TV or catch up on reading if I feel like it -- no blogging obligations on Saturday and I have kept to that for the most part. [If you see a post on a Saturday it was pre-scheduled by a lot of days :)]

I am a planner and always have been, now if I could just get my hands on an Erin Condrin LifePlanner I would be SOOOOOOOO happy :)  ... some day...(they are $$).

I have found that over the years I have never stopped loving my blog and blogging in general, but I also really only blog for me - if people read it and like it, that is wonderful and I heart you all! - but I started this as an outlet for my feelings about books and that is how it will stay. 

If I don't feel like reading, I don't. If I don't feel like posting, I don't. That is just how it has to be since this is a hobby. I am completely ok with that!

*** UPDATE ***
I got a new planner :) It is the Levenger Circa Disc Bound system and I am loving it. I bought larger discs than it came with and the planner insert and the hole punch SO EXCITE!

Happy reading, happy blogging everyone!

 How do you balance? Let me know in the comments.

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