Since starting university back in September I've had a hard time getting myself organised. I'm awful at managing my time and prioritising, so learning to spend less time procrastinating and more time getting things done has been a genuine struggle. My boyfriend and I moved into our first home in August and suddenly I felt completely overwhelmed by everything I had to get done; meaning that my blog took a massive hit. When I started my course a few weeks later I became even more snowed under and didn't really have time to do anything I actually enjoyed any more, which definitely isn't a good way to be. From the beginning of the year, I've decided to make a real effort in sorting out my schedule; making a few really helpful changes along the way...
- Making lists had never been my forte until I moved in to my own place - now I find myself writing EVERYTHING down. Being the techno-phobe I am, I shun note making apps on my phone and iPad in favour of a more traditional pen and paper option; keeping separate notebooks for uni work, shopping lists, accounts and finances and general blogging banter.
- On a similar note, planning ahead has become my new thing. One of those people that likes to leave everything until the last possible moment, I suddenly have a list of blog post ideas 3 months in advance. In fact I could give you all a pretty exact run down of what will be featured on the pages of thunderl0ve in April. Ridiculous, I know, but oh-so-practical. If only I could become that organised with uni work, too...
- My blogging notebook is laid out in a highly organised manner, with planned post content laid out in bullet points and photo ideas listed there, too. I like to have a general idea of when posts are going to be put up, but I tend to waver from the schedule every so often as I don't always manage to type up posts on time. Before Christmas I was pretty oblivious to the idea of scheduling blog posts at all, so being able to type up a weeks worth of posts at once has been something of a god send for me.
- Photography wise, I try to get everything done in as few 'bulk' sessions as possible. I use two different cameras to take my photos, so it can take a little longer than sometimes hoped to get photos that I'm happy with. I'm always sure to take my photos in natural daylight so the weekend is the only possible time for me; usually Sunday mornings are my best bet. The aim is usually to get a fortnight's worth of shots taken at once; that way I have everything all ready on my laptop when I'm typing up content.
- Living off campus can be a pain and I like to get as much uni work done during the week as I possibly can. I hate coming home with lots to do, so lunchtimes and free periods on campus are filled with as much time in the library as I can cram in. Uni work will always take priority over my blog, but I like to keep them both separate as much as possible.
One of the best lessons I've learnt is not to be too hard on myself. I was once so adamant that I had to have fresh blog content up at the same time of the day, every day. In hindsight, I really don't think that's actually the case at all. So many bloggers emphasise the importance of making sure readers know exactly when new content is going to be posted, but I feel as though my blog is a lot better now that I don't push myself to write posts just for the sake of it. I'm genuinely enjoying blogging again, which is a lovely feeling and I finally feel settled into a routine that I'm happy with and works for me - for now, at least.