Keeping up with a blogging schedule is a hard enough task as it is, without adding kids into the mix. Any parenting blogger will know that finding the time to keep up with your blogging schedule around the kids is an art form. You always run the risk that you’ll end up spending all your evenings working rather than relaxing, and let’s face it; that’s no one’s idea of fun.
If your kids are still small and at home with you all day, then the chances are you’re not getting much productivity out of your day. The kids are always screaming that they want/need something, a fight needs splitting up, they’re in that cupboard again, they need feeding (god, no-one told me I actually had to feed the buggers…), nappies need changing, the washing needs to be put on/hung out, the dishes are stacking up from the 85 snacks they’ve had, dinner needs to be started, baths need to be run and supervised, pyjamas want putting on, and stories need to be read. Maybe, just maybe, after all that you might squeeze in a couple of well-organised hours before slumping in front of Cold Feet and promptly falling asleep in the first 15 minutes AGAIN. Fuck!
Of course if they’re older, none of that stuff goes away. There’s a good chance you’ve got another job to find time for too, what with the no-longer-babies being at school now. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be that way? What if I told you that you could get blogging tasks ticked off your to-do list during the day, even with the kids at home! Interested? thought you might be 😉
Write It Down
Easy peasy. Write down every task that you want or need to get done on each blogging day. For example, you might need to send or reply to a couple of emails (each email is an individual task), write a blog post, edit some images, and SEO optimize a post you’ve already written. That’s a lot of work to get through in the evening when you’re already knackered.
Either the night before, before you go to sleep, or first thing in the morning write down all of the tasks you need to get done. At this stage you can prioritise them if you want to, for example I might put my emails near the top because if I leave them until the end the chances are they’re going to get sent after business hours. That might not always matter, but it is a factor. Think of it this way; you’ve been emailing back and forth with a brand you really want to work with, and they’ve emailed you a question. They email you on Monday at 4pm, you reply on Tuesday but not until 7:30pm when the kids are in bed. They don’t receive that email until Wednesday morning. No big deal really, but by leaving it until the end of the day you’ve potentially delayed getting started on working with them.
Anyway, write it all down and work through what you can during the day. Can you dictate a post using your phone while you’re cooking for example? Or tap out some emails while you’re in the park. Do you have editing apps like Canva on your phone? If not, you should; basic editing can be done on your phone anytime and anywhere!
Utilise Natural Downtime
If your kids still nap; perfect! That’s your time to get some blogmin done. Do any jobs that need doing (I always used this time to wash up and tidy up so they woke with a fresh slate to wreck) on double time, then get yourself settled with a coffee and do what you can. You could even use this time to dictate that blog post that needs writing while you’re doing your household
If your kids don’t nap, or they’re past that stage, try introducing ‘quiet time’ at the time they would usually nap. Amelia starts school next year, but we still always have quiet time after lunch until her brother wakes up. It’s usually just enough time for her to watch a film (which is perfect because I don’t have the TV on any other time so it’s a huge treat) and gives me the peace I need to get on.
If you really want to maximise your time, you’re missing out if you’re not already using the 20/20 rule. trust me, game changer!
Leave Them Alone
There’s an entire different post on this (watch this space) but I’m a strong believer in letting kids get on with it by themselves. I’m not talking 24/7, obvs, and I’m not talking about the tiny ones. But seriously, once they can get about that’s my cue to back off and leave them to it. Developmentally, the freedom is exactly what they need. They explore, I
drink coffee get some work done.
I could bang on about the importance of freedom all day long, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about! The point is, by backing off a bit you’ll give yourself more valuable time to work on your blogging to-do list. Win-win!
Give Yourself a Helping Hand
There’s a chance you’re not making things easy for yourself. For example, can you streamline the way you blog by separating tasks into manageable chunks? If you’re currently writing blog posts, editing the images, SEO optimizing, and scheduling or posting all in one sitting, then the chances are that you could probably look at how to make life easier for yourself.
This works especially well if you write and schedule posts in advance. Rather than completing a post all in one go, separate the jobs. So one day/sitting write the text of a few posts. Another day, do the images for all those posts. Then any pinnables or social images, then check the SEO. Doing it this way, you could literally double your post output or more.
Spend Some Time Creating Tools to Help
When I write a post, I do a few things. I add the words ‘IMAGES’ and/or ‘SEO’ to the end of the title, so when I sit down to work I can see instantly which posts I still need to work on. If it’s an image session for me, I can see which posts need images. Once each post is done, I simply remove the word from the end of the post title.
Each post also gets added to an excel spreadsheet. I include information like the post name, the URL for the post, the date it was/will be published and any link-ups I’ve added it to. I then colour code the title depending on where the post is at in terms of the creative process, if it’s been published or scheduled yet, and if it’s sponsored or paid for content. This way, if I ever need to quickly find a post, they’re here. The spreadsheet is split into category pages, so posts from the same categories are always in the same place too.
Every year, I will start a new spreadsheet, so eventually I’ll have a simple year by year post database archive of everything I’ve written. Having the URL’s available like this is great for social media scheduling too – when I want to get all my Twitter/Facebook scheduling done, I have all the links for the posts I want to share in one place.
Want my Post Database Spreadsheet?!
You can have it! Pop your email address in the box below and I’ll send you a blank copy to use.
What Have I Missed?
These are most of the ways I keep on top of my blogging schedule even with 2 kids at home, but I’d love to hear your tips and tricks! Go on, let me in on your secrets!