I am now in my last few months of my BA English and Journalism degree. That means fourteen weeks left to get the best possible results I can in my english essays and portfolio, journalism website project and feature writing. All that while juggling my little corner of the internet can be difficult, especially when you're at the last hurdle. I've managed to blog, study full time, have a social life, gain internships and gym five to six times a week for the last three years. #girlbossing or what? I won't lie and say it's been easy, it's not. But with the right mindset, I have been able to do it.
Blogging isn't just writing. It's writing, photography and social media all rolled into one. With each of those comes many things you need to do on a weekly basis. It takes hours every week. But I love it. Growing a blog is possible while studying full time and here are a few tips I find work for me.
1. Blogging should be a hobby
If you get home from University, do some work and sit down to watch TV then suddenly thing, "Oh god I have to write a blog post", then blogging may not be for you. You should be thinking "Ooh I haven't written my blog post for tomorrow, better get crackin'" and be looking forward to writing as an outlet, a way of de-stressing.
2. Plan your schedule
This is the most important tip I can give you. Without a plan, I probably wouldn't have gotten this far. As soon as you get your timetable for education, add in some dedicated blogging time here and there. If it doesn't work after a week, try it somewhere else. Also, I like to add in gym time either in the morning or evening, so find out what works for you. I'm in my final year and I thought I would have no life, but I do. No where near as much time as first year, but I get everything done.
3. Work out what works and what doesn't
I take my photos whenever I have a free half and hour in the week at around lunch time (most likely to see a little bit of sun) and then I edit them and write blog posts throughout the week. I do have my own personal blog schedule, however I don't get beat up about it if I miss a blog post and you shouldn't either. I'm sure you don't know off the top of your head when all your fave bloggers post? It doesn't matter if you miss one once in a while, hell, every month. You can schedule and promote old posts to keep your traffic up and remember, quality over quantity.
4. Use your gaps
At University, I see so many people just sit around for an hour break. After all, what can one do in 60 minutes? Well, a lot! Because of the previous point, I would've already decided what to do in that hour, whether it's emails, scheduling social media, checking out Instagram, editing a post, doing some uni reading etc. If you have a three hour break, you can get a chunk of work out of the way. Get ahead! However, if your brain is literally fried and you need a break, there's no shame in that. Pick up a coffee and do some reading, or online shopping. Just remember to make up for the work in the evening!
5. Write weekly to-do lists and monthly goals
Now this point is my personal fave. I am not a stressed, anxious person when it comes to my workload and this is mainly down to the face I break it up as I go. I religiously use a wall planner for my uni deadlines (highly recommend!), stick a piece of paper up every month with progress I should be doing and use a checklist each week for smaller tasks. This allowed me to make sure I was equally dedicating my time to each module, after all uni work does come first at this point (all final year students join in with a Mexican wave). I would also include blog post x2 on the list that I would work on here and there when I was feeling a little overwhelmed and like I needed a break. Like when waiting for my dinner to cook or the shower to be free.
When it comes to check lists, don't forget to be realistic. Make sure you're planning ahead, too.
6. Pull back your deadlines
I have started to do this in my final year and it is a little crazy but it blooming works! If I have a deadline on the 24th of March, I will tell myself it's two weeks before. I don't know if something else will happen, I may have to go home or I just don't want to do my work. Giving yourself less time will make you do it! I hate leaving things till the last minute, it's just not me, can't do it!
7. Take care of yourself
While getting good results, maintaining your relationships, blogging, gym and work experience is important, you must remember your priorities (the order in which these mean to you) and look after yourself. You don't need to attend every lecture, if you are behind on some reading or an assignment, get that done instead. Let your lecturer know what's going on. Use all your time wisely but please, take some time out to bum around in front of Gossip Girl with a glass of vino, I beg you...
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