I’ve updated this post with my what my days are looking like in light of all the COVID craziness! It has definitely required some changes, but I feel that the bulk of my daily routine is still pretty normal.
I’ve gotten some requests for a schedule of my typical work day.
Being a blogger or content creator can be hard. There’s no one to answer to but yourself! I’ve found that creating a schedule to keep me on task and increase my productivity has been paramount to my success both at getting things done and keeping my family time high on my priority list. I’ve had several requests for what I do in a typical day and so I decided to write a post on it for future reference.
As you read through this, please keep in mind that this isn’t a structured schedule. My days tend to change depending on if we are traveling, if I have an event or meeting to go to, etc.
One crazy important thing I’ve learned in this blogging business, is that I need to schedule ‘work time’ and stick to it. If I don’t, I tend to find myself without a purpose for the day and trying to fit in some time to write or work on social media gets hard. Don’t ask me why. I’m just a planner, through and through.
Here’s what a typical day looks like for me:
6:00 AM—7:30 AM Wake up. I usually let the chickens out to freerange for what we call “chicken recess.” During this time I brew a cup of coffee and sit outside with them. I take this time to post (I like to post either early in the morning or late afternoon) and catch up on Instagram, breath deeply & enjoy my morning. I also make a list of what I need to get done that day and then prioritize tasks. If I’m hungry, I may make myself my Green Drank Smoothie.
7:30 AM—9:00 AM Workout at home, make breakfast, get the kiddo working on schoolwork (COVID craziness = homeschool) or set up with plans for the day (summer break). I also give myself some time to engage on Instagram, scroll, comment on posts I like and answer any DMs or comments on my posts.
9:00 AM—time for work. I grab a huge glass of water and head to my office. I always spend the first 15 minutes or so going over my list for the day. I’m a list maker, 100%. I like having a reference to glance at when I’ve hit writers block on an article, or I need to switch gears. I have two lists on my desk at all times: one for tasks that need to be done that week, and the one I wrote for the day.
I usually start by answering emails, then checking out analytics for my site and for Pinterest (HUGE traffic driver) to see what’s performing and what’s not. Then I schedule Pinterest pins, create new graphics, write blog posts, optimize existing posts, research for articles, communicate with brands about current and future partnerships, check IG again, bounce ideas off my blog bestie (if you don’t have one, you need to find one!) plan and schedule shoots, meet ups, etc and anything else that needs to get done!
12:00—1:00 take a break for lunch, if I’m not on a roll with something. If I am I’ll just eat at my desk. If Brian’s available, sometimes we’ll eat lunch together. If I’m not hungry around this time, I’ll still pause for a bit to have a protein shake or a snack.
1:00—5-:00ish—Grad schoolwork. Run to the store for anything I might need. Shoot pictures for blog posts and social media. I may edit a few pictures and slap them onto a waiting post so I can schedule it. I try to shoot in batches so I only have to mess the kitchen or house up once a week or so. This requires keeping a content calendar so I can look ahead and see what needs to be ready and when. I’ll usually eat again in this span, typically a snack or something small.
5-ish, on— If I find a good stopping point for the day I may help Brian start dinner, or we’ll talk about where to pick it up from if he doesn’t feel like cooking. (Spoiler: I never feel like cooking dinner! I love to help the hubby when he does it, but I just don’t have the creativity in the kitchen that he does.)
I try not to do any work from dinner, on. It’s important to me to have real family time. We have our daughter put her phone away at 7 so we can all play cards, watch a movie or read together.
10:30 PM–12 PM— I try to go to bed by about 11 every night. I don’t usually get more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep due to a myriad of things like chronic back pain and the fact that it is just physically impossible for me to sleep in.
Towards the end of my week (Friday/Saturday) I like to sit down and work on a posting schedule for Instagram and my blog for the next week. I have a calendar with important dates highlighted. Any sponsored posts are scheduled for the timeline the brand requests.
I like to plan my normal content a week ahead. I’ll show you how I do it. This process fits perfectly with my personality and my level of organization, but I know some (amazing) bloggers that simply wing it every day. They snap a picture, pull up IG and/or a new blog post and lay out what’s on their heart. Y’all, I’d freak out.
Here’s my process for planning content the week ahead:
Preparing for success
I have an “idea bank” in a binder I keep with me. If I’m feeling stuck I’ll take a peek in there. The idea bank is wonderful. I add to it all the time when an idea hits me or when someone else’s post inspires me. I keep the binder with me just about everywhere I go, but you can also open a new note or google doc on your phone. I just prefer writing things down physically. I’m a verbal/physical processor. I need to write things down or talk out loud to work them out. (Sometimes that means I’m talking to the dogs. They pretend not to hear me.) My idea bank has everything from ideas for a series of posts, to things I’d like to share on Instagram posts and stories.
I have a calendar in my binder for any special dates coming up, such as random silly holidays (National Avocado Day, anyone?) events, blogger meet ups, trips, etc . When I first write a special date in there, I figure out what it will take to create content for that post. Sometimes I need to schedule a shoot or a get together way ahead of time, so I will do it right then and there. Sometimes I just need an idea of what to shoot or write about, I’ll notate the date and decide when it needs to be completed by.
Next, I think of Instagram post topics I’d like to address to fill in the blank days that I don’t have a sponsored post/special date for. Once I’ve written down the topics I want to talk about for the week, I will check to see which pictures I have in my library that I can use to go with them. If I need to shoot pictures specifically for some of the topics, I make sure to schedule those posts a little further in the week so I can fit the shoot in.
Next, I save each picture as a draft on IG, by getting it ready to post with the topic idea in the caption area, but instead of hitting that SHARE button, I back out and opt to ‘save draft.’ I do this with each picture so I have them all neat and ready in my drafts for the week. Over the next few days, I will go in and write out the captions when I’m feeling inspired.
For blog posts, I try to post 1x/week. If I need to shoot pictures, I’ll do them a day or two before I need to schedule the post, so I have time to edit them and a buffer in case I get distracted by something higher priority… or something shiny. I don’t have a very set schedule for blog posts. I let them come to me however inspiration hits me and I don’t force it. I’ve learned that if I force it, and freak out about publishing a blog post every several days, I turn into a stressed bundle of nerves and it doesn’t happen smoothly. This is the one area I don’t try to be scheduled and precise.
If I have a sponsored post to work on, I give myself as much time as possible to really write from my heart and give my readers the best opinions I can about the product or service. The day it’s scheduled to post, I’ll go in and re-read it, tweak a word here or there etc. After it’s posted, I post to all the required social medias about it.
If the sponsored post is for IG only, my process is similar. Brands usually have a set timeframe they would like you to post in that coincides with their marketing campaign. This is why scheduling sponsored posts is a top priority for me, and then I fill in the blank dates with my everyday content.
Whew! What do you think? Does your schedule look anything like mine? I do what works for me, but I’ve had to learn it through trial and error. If I don’t schedule and organize, I tend to get overwhelmed and I’m not productive when I’m in that state.
Are you a planner like myself or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants? Tell me what works for you in the comments!