How To Be a Blogging Mom and Time Management Guru

June 12, 2011

in Relationships & Family

When I discovered blogging a few years ago, I would spend hours surfing the web, learning how to customize my blog, searching for that perfect template, as well as reading a million other blogs. Except for when I was at work, I had plenty of time to do all of this.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I wasn’t working and truly had all the time in the world. Sadly, during that pregnancy, besides losing interest in eating, I also lost all interest in blogging.

Now, as a stay at home mom to a very active 18-month old toddler, I’ve started blogging again and find that free time is extremely limited. I don’t think italicizing was enough so let me underline it as well: extremely limited. Yet I feel that I am able to publish higher quality posts than before because I am strategizing and managing my time more wisely.

"Blogging Mom"

The main times I get to work on my blog are when my son is napping, between 12pm to 2pm, and when he goes to bed for the night at 7pm. Although in the evenings, by the time I make dinner, eat with my husband and tidy up, it’s usually about 9pm and it’s a huge effort to force myself to sit in front of my laptop when I’d rather just poop out on the couch.

I also need to fit in time to exercise, read for leisure, do housework, and time to spend with my husband and friends.

I hope to have more free time when my son goes to nursery in a few years. In the meantime, here are three time management tools that I utilize and that have proven successful for me. Guru-dom, here I come.

Create a Blogging Schedule

I set a target of two posts per week and strategize around that.

As a food blogger, I have to plan out what I want to create in the kitchen a day or two ahead in advance so that I can have all the ingredients ready. Since I use natural lighting for my photography, I can only photograph my food during daylight hours. As soon as my son goes down for his afternoon nap, I have two hours to prepare the ingredients, cook the dish, plate it up, and photograph the results. If I’m lucky, I even get to clean everything up before he wakes.

On days when I’m not cooking or photographing, I use his nap time to edit photos and draft posts. My mind is freshest in the mornings and afternoons so I try to get the bulk of my blogging done during those times when the creative juices are flowing. Evenings, when I’m drained, I mostly edit and proofread.

Limit Time Wasters

I can easily spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, and reading all the links that come out of those two sites. Sometimes, at noon, I sit down at my computer with the intention of banging out a blog post but before I know it, my son has woken up from his two-hour nap and I haven’t even touched or started a draft.

I now limit the time I log on to Facebook and Twitter to twice per day – once in the morning when I get up, and once in the evening if I get all my blogging work done. It takes a lot of willpower but I find that I’m so much more productive if I can manage it.

Blog On the Go

My iPhone has been a great blogging and time management tool.

Whenever an idea or catch phrase for a blog post comes to mind, I immediately type it up using my iPhone’s note app. I have separate notes for blog ideas, blog-specific to-dos, and sometimes I even draft a blog post on my note app and then email it to myself so that I can copy and paste it to WordPress. If I wait until I’m in front of my laptop, I find that I either can’t remember the idea or can’t get the wording as perfect as when I had first thought of it.

I get many of my ideas while driving and since I can’t type and drive, I utilize my iPhone’s voice memo app. I record my ideas as I think of them and then type them up later. In fact, I recorded most of this post as I was driving home from the gym.

I also get a lot of ideas when I’m in the shower – if only the iPhone came as a waterproof version!

 

What are your time management tips and how do you successfully fit in blogging, family, and “me” time?

 

 

*Photo Courtesy of Nickelodeon Parents Connect

mph765543 July 7, 2011 at 2:46 am

You can spend all day on facebook and get nothing done!

mph765543 July 7, 2011 at 2:45 am

That is true you can spend alot of time on those time wasting sites. Between Google and Facebook, it was about half the time spent on the internet last month!

GingerAndScotch June 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

@weekdaysolomommy I have all the same fears you mention. (And I’m still trying to figure out the nuances of Twitter.)

I try to focus the workweek on creating content and community building and then on the weekends I tackle my to-do list (right now I have things like like research SEO, update blog template, research discussion plugins….).

GingerAndScotch June 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

@LeighAnnTorres Wow – good on you for a 3-4x/week blog schedule! it’s so easy to get sucked into socializing. I find that drafting posts on my iPhone is more productive as I’m less prone to opening up multiple windows of blogs, Twitter, and FB.

GingerAndScotch June 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

@TolaPopoola LOL – the only problem is that I don’t want to be checking email while I shower so maybe some kind of integrated console that stays in the shower and then automatically emails the recording to your iPhone or PC – would be better if this gadget could transcribe as well :)

weekdaysolomommy June 20, 2011 at 9:54 pm

These are great tips and totally do-able. I hadn’t thought about using my iPhone, but I’m going to try it for sure. Between my mommy time, my work time, and my house time, my blog time is only at night when I’m pretty tired. Whenever I check Twitter etc I feel overwhelmed, and I get worried that my blog isn’t developing as fast as I’d like because I don’t have time to market it, work on it and wonder if I’m doing the right thing even having a blog when I don’t have time to give it my all. These tips might help me be more organized about it.

LeighAnnTorres June 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Oh, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to get something done and by the time nap time is over, all I’ve done is chat with my friends on Twitter. In fact, I’m supposed to be working on a post right now. I find it’s helpful to close my laptop in the morning, so it doesn’t distract me and I can focus on my kids and the house. Then when they go down, I either use that opportunity to blog and use social media, or I use it for chores so I can relax or write in the evenings. I’m working on a 3-4x/week blogging schedule so it’s more predictable and less random.

TolaPopoola June 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Someone really needs to invent a water-proof voice recorder as I also get a lot of my ideas while I’m in the shower which I forget by the time I step out to a screaming toddler.

GingerAndScotch June 14, 2011 at 7:50 am

@iliveinafryingpan i used to keep little scraps of paper everywhere and 10 different notebooks – now it’s so much easier to just organize everything in one handy dandy iPhone – I don’t know what I would ever do w/o it!

iliveinafryingpan June 14, 2011 at 3:22 am

Very helpful read, even though I’m not a mom! I especially agree with the last point about taking notes on your phone….once wrote an entire post waiting for my turn in the line at the medical center!

musingmom6 June 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

@GingerAndScotch @musingmom6

I have an iPhone 4 it most always loads updates when I open it. Sometimes I have to pull the screen down to reload. It did not work as well on my 3G 8 gb.

I have also sent support tickets when it is acting finicky. I got a real reply to my email! Within 48 hours there was an update that fixed the problem. I hope you can get it to work it is an amazing time saver. It is not perfect and I’m still figuring out the update to add a picture to the post. I tried one and it didn’t go.

GingerAndScotch June 12, 2011 at 11:26 pm

@Tia Peterson I’m hoping to establish good blogging habits now so that when I return to the workforce with 2 kids, I can still manage (or so I hope!)

GingerAndScotch June 12, 2011 at 11:24 pm

@musingmom6 I have the wordpress app and was very excited when I first DL’d it. but I find it quite limiting or maybe I’m not using it properly. When I draft a post on the app, it is stored locally on my phone. How do I get it to show up on my PC? I need to upload my food photos so can’t publish from my phone.

I will check out the Editorial Calendar plugin – sounds like something I’ve been looking for! Thanks.

musingmom6 June 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I find my iPhone invaluable to blogging. Make your post writing easier with the WordPress app.

I can reply/approve/delete/spam comments.

Write a post

Write a page

It syncs to your blog and it is fairly simple to set up.

I have had to work my way through building a schedule to blog and still be a wife and mom. All things are challenging when you start something new. The Editorial Calendar has been a great additions to my plugins, also.

Tia Peterson June 12, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hey Sandy!

This is awesome, practical advice. I, too, have a very short window of time for blogging and working from home. My son’s naps are much shorter now that he’s three.

If I would prepare more, I would get more done, but since I also work (this blog is just fun, not work!) when I do prepare, it’s for work, and not for the blog.

I know that I need to get much, much better at time management. I am going to try limiting the time wasters. That’s a biggie. Thanks for the advice! gingerandscotch

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