Every few weeks I receive emails from women asking how I manage my time as a professional mom blogger, and it’s something that is brought up pretty frequently in group chats. Both blogging and “momming” are extremely time-consuming, so it’s no wonder it’s a big topic of discussion in the mom blogging community! Today I thought I’d share the tips that work for me. I’m also providing 2 free printables to help you with your daily organization as a mom and influencer. You can download them from the Printables Library.
Let me preface this post by saying that I know I have it easy compared to many bloggers out there. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom, which I know is not an option for many women. On top of that, I only have one easy, independent baby. He sleeps through the night (which is when I get most of my work done) and he naps for 4-5 hours a day. This post will probably be more helpful for fellow stay-at-home moms because I have no personal experience working, blogging and homemaking all at once. Time management is a tricky thing. What works for me may not work for you. My hope is that this post will, at the very least, give you a few tips and ideas that you can adapt and incorporate into your own life.
I Learned To Accept the fact that I’ll never be completely caught up on my to-do list again
It took me a while to come to terms with this. When I first started blogging, my son was a tiny little baby. After changing, cuddling, and feeding him, he went straight back down for a nap. My mommy duty list was easily accomplished in about an hour, and I would have time to work for a while until I needed to tend to him again. I was also new to the blogging world, so my list of things to do was fairly short and I could go to bed knowing I had accomplished my goals for the day. For about 3 months now I’ve felt completely frazzled. My son is getting older and more active and my blog is growing exponentially. As soon as I finish one task, another pops up in its place! Once I accepted that there will always be an email to respond to, or a load of laundry to wash, I’ve finally been able to move on to learning how to manage my time. It’s a never-ending cycle of playing catch up and prioritizing my important tasks.
I Use My Phone Calendar For Important Reminders and Jotting Down Quick Notes
I use my phone calendar to remind me of upcoming bills, sponsored post due dates, and appointments. I try to schedule as much as I can on my phone calendar, but I don’t always have the time to write out every little thing. I make it a point to always enter in the important tasks though, in case mom brain strikes on an important day. I don’t miss due dates for our bills, but I’ve come close! My phone always reminds me when something important is coming up, which is so helpful. I also utilize the reminders app and the notes app. When I’m at the grocery store and I randomly think of something that needs to be done, I write it down so I don’t forget. Most people say that they can’t keep up with their phone calendar, but… Just do it. I promise it will make a huge difference if you’re forgetful or all over the place.
Lists, Lists, Lists!
I’m a list-making fool! I love having everything neatly written out in front of me. It also makes it so much easier to prioritize my tasks. I made 2 different printables for you to download for free in my Printables Library : A To-Do List For Mom Bloggers/Homemakers and A Daily Planner. I use these all the time! The To-Do List is separated into 2 categories: Home and Blog. I find it helps me balance things out this way. The Daily Planner has a section for 3 priorities for the day, a schedule (sectioned out into the morning, afternoon and evening), a naptime/free time to-do list, meal plan, and a blog & social media posts section!
Lists are helpful because I can step back and really figure out which tasks are most important. I’m also less likely to forget something because I sat down and really concentrated on what needs to be done.
Another tip I have is to be realistic when you’re filling out your Daily Planner. Things take longer than you think, and it’s easy to get discouraged when you only make it halfway through your to-do list by the end of the day. Give yourself more time to complete tasks and don’t overload your list with a million things you’ll never get around to. There are only so many hours in the day. I remember I used to think I could take brand rep pictures of Marshall in 30 minutes, edit them in another 30 minutes and have the post up within the hour. Ha!
I’m Obsessed with Color Coding
I color code everything, and I keep it consistent across the board. Color coding may sound intimidating at first, but it doesn’t take long to get used to, and before you know it, you’ll have the colors memorized. It can be incredibly helpful! Here’s how mine are set up:
- Orange: Appointments
- Red: Bills
- Blue: Blog Posts and Social Media Posts
- Pink: Blog (Things To Do)
- Purple: Holidays/Birthdays/Special Occasions
- Teal: Brand Repping
- Yellow: Home Management (Cleaning, Organizing, etc.)
- Green: Husband (His class schedule, times he’ll be busy, etc.)
I Use Time Blocking
Basically, time blocking is scheduling out your tasks in a series of time slots, instead of working on things with no idea how long it will take to complete. Time blocking takes the guessing out of your schedule and ensures that you don’t focus too much on one task while ignoring another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent hours working on something because I was “almost done”, meanwhile I had messages stacking up and other tasks to get to. Time blocking makes sure I at least chip away at everything, even if I don’t finish.
Another reason I love time blocking is that it makes it easy to adjust my schedule if something pops up. That tends to happen a lot as a mom, doesn’t it? No schedule is ever set in stone when you have kids. So when something inevitably throws your schedule off, you still have your tasks organized into time blocks, which can easily be moved around as needed.
I’m Hardworking and Focused
I wake up every morning, ready to take on the day and move forward. I very VERY rarely will have a day where I slack off and ignore my duties. I see it as a day wasted!
I try my best to be consistent, hardworking and focused. I know a great deal of my success at balancing my duties as a homemaker and blogger come from my motivation and drive.
I Utilize Naptime
Nap time is a huge deal. When my son is napping, I work work work! It’s precious time! When he’s awake and I need to tidy up or prep for dinner, I can wear him or keep him close by. He enjoys watching me clean and move around. Watching me stare at a screen because I spent nap time cleaning…not so much. I’m not claiming to be a perfect mom who puts my devices down while he’s awake. I DO work while he’s awake. But it makes me feel guilty (for good reason) and I try to keep it short and sweet. Like I mentioned, he is independent and easy. He doesn’t need me to hold him and play with him every moment of every day. So I totally have the ability to work while he’s awake, as long as I do it while he’s having independent play time, and as long as I keep it to a minimum. Maybe respond to a message here and there, or plan out a few posts for the following month. Something that doesn’t suck me in or take too long to accomplish.
My Last Tips…
If you’re struggling to find time to work on your blog, the only real tip I have is just to move it up higher on your priority list. People sometimes ask me how I’ve gotten to where I am in just 7 months, and the answer is simple: I work my little butt off! There are mom bloggers out there with a bigger following, more sponsored posts, more kids, and more responsibilities! And they’re all successful as well because they make time for blogging. They may be busy and at their wits end by the end of the day, but they get their work done because it’s important to them. Even if that means they stay up an hour later to write, or they spend naptime working on a graphic instead of relaxing. You can absolutely make it work, it just has to be important to you!
Finding a balance is hard, but the longer you work on it, the better you’ll get. If you’re feeling guilty because you haven’t done anything fun with your family in a while, just put your To-Do List away for the day and go enjoy yourself! That’s the beauty of blogging. You make your own schedule! You have the freedom to plan and schedule things in a way that works for you and your family.
Just don’t lose sight of why you started this in the first place: To make money from home or on the side so you can do more for your family.
The final tip I have for managing your time as a mom blogger is to snap a few pictures while your kids are doing something fun. Don’t let it interfere with enjoying the moment, but try to sneak in a few and save them for later. If you’re writing a blog post or a sponsored Instagram post, I know you need to capture awesome images, but try to focus more on your kids enjoying themselves rather than the pressure of getting good pictures. I’m working on this right now too. When I set up for a little “photoshoot” it’s almost always more stressful and forced than the times I just let it happen naturally and sneak a few pictures in.
I’m currently working on more printables to help my mom blogging friends, so keep an eye out! I thought this would be a nice place to start. We’ll be delving deeper into the blogging side of things in the upcoming months, so be sure to subscribe if you found today’s article helpful!
I want to give a quick shout out to Chus from Graphikcliparts on Etsy for the adorable floral clipart on these two printables. She does great work, you should check her out if you’re looking for pretty gold and blush clipart!
Fellow Mom Bloggers, share your tips below! What do you do that helps you manage your time?