Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blog Redesign Week: What is your day-to-day routine like?

Some people have a long commute to get to work every morning. I zip down the hall to our kitchen table. Some people are stuck inside a stuffy office -- or worse, a tight, cramped cubicle -- all day. I can go out and about with relative ease. Some people have lots of co-workers to bounce ideas off of. If I try to bounce ideas off my co-workers, they just stare at me and tilt their head quizzically.

Ahh, such is the life of a blogger. When I started blogging nearly five years ago, I never realized how much a part of my life it would become. At the time -- way back in 2008 -- I was working as a college newspaper adviser and was looking for an outlet to showcase my writing. I didn't have much experience with writing for the Web, but it had always been something I'd been curious about. And since the media industry was going digital, I thought starting a blog would be the perfect way to keep up my writing and explore this new medium at the same time. Plus, I had chunks of free time on campus during the day to write and play around with this new-fangled thing called a blog.

Well, as they say, the rest is history. It worked! I started blogging and, obviously, never looked back. Before I knew it, four years had gone by, and I found myself in the zone -- my own personal groove, if you will. Over the years, I'd developed a pretty solid work schedule (that's my #1 tip for being a freelance writer -- make a work schedule. It will make your world a happy one. Trust me), and despite some gossip you may have heard, said schedule did not include me sitting in my long underwear and eating bon bons all day. Surprisingly, my schedule is probably a lot like yours, just without the pesky commute to the office. My day-to-day routine typically looks something like this...
9 a.m.: I've been trying really hard to get up by 9 a.m. Every morning (confession: some mornings are easier than others), so I can get dressed, get ready and eat breakfast and start working.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: I'll usually have scheduled a post the night before to go up in the morning. This way, I'm not scrambling to throw something together mid-morning. I'll do a quick check of my email to make sure there's nothing pressing that needs my attention right away. If not, I'll start working on the rest of the day's posts. If I've made out an editorial calendar for the week, it helps me to visualize things.

Fun fact: I've been know to sing along -- quite loudly -- to my favorite songs when I'm working. I find that it actually helps me write better...who knew? Lately, I've been listening to lots of Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, Hanson and Bruce Springsteen.

2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: OK, full disclosure here: This time of day is my one luxury. I've always been a fan of long, leisurely lunches. I love taking a break during the day to watch a favorite show or two when I have my lunch. I'll spare you my guilty pleasure TV shows for now, but don't worry...I'll be sure to do a post about them later.

3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Usually, I'll have the final post of the day to finish up. Once that's done, it's time for the "outreach" part of my day: Commenting on blogs and engaging in social media. This is one of my favorite parts of the job. I'm so inspired by all the beautiful blogs I read every day, and I love how bloggers really give you a peek into their lives and thoughts.

8:30 p.m. to between 10 and 10:30 p.m.: I've been trying to go to bed earlier lately in my grand attempt to defy nature and become more of a morning person, but I haven't had very much success yet. More often than not, you can find me at our kitchen table after everyone else has gone to bed. I like to get a post done and get it scheduled for the following morning, so if anything comes up, I won't leave you, my dear friends, hanging.

10:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Since I've become addicted to 7 Little Words, I've been playing a few rounds on my mom's iPad before I turn out the lights. I know, they say that you should turn off all electronics before getting into bed, but I just can't help myself.

And, here are some general thoughts about working from home...
*Separation of work and personal life is key: Sometimes I find it hard to just "clock out" at the end of the day; after all, my laptop is always nearby, which means I can work any time. That's usually great, but it does make it hard to "leave the office" sometimes. I'll say to myself, "OK, we'll just finish this and close up shop (translation: close the laptop), and two hours later, I'm still commenting on blogs and laughing at GIFs of kittens.
*Getting out of the house a few times a week is also so important: A few times a week, I'll sometimes go to the university library for the day. Shaking up my scenery every once and awhile really gets those creative juices flowing; plus, the cafeteria in the student center makes the best taco salad. Ever.
*You have to be very disciplined and focused: That means setting your own deadlines and sticking to them.
*I always try to stay away from the blog and work on Sundays: I've designated Saturdays as the Business of Blogging Day, where I catch up on everything that has to do with the administrative and business end of running So About What I Said -- things like choosing giveaway winners, answering emails, sending follow-up emails, uploading new ads, researching and seeking out potential new sponsors, updating sponsor records, etc. Sunday is a good day to rest and recharge.
Well, there you go, friends! I'd love to hear what your typical day is like. Does it vary, or is each day pretty consistent? xoxo
 
[Bottom two photos via We Heart It]

12 comments:

  1. Love this! It provides structure and routine. Maybe something to emulate.
    Thank you!
    For sharing your day and life with us!
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  2. I LOVE THE REDESIGN! Sorry to be so late on this happenin band wagon. It's so fresh and clean and COLORFUL. And I'm writing in caps, so you know I'm excited :)

    My daily routine is so crazy, I don't think it could ever be called a routine. More like continual mass chaos. Cuz that's how I roll.

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  3. Due to the fact that I do not have a job to go to my day varies. One of my brothers and I are the ones who drive my parents around. IF they are having me do it I have to know beforehand as it takes me about 40 minutes to get into their house. Both have had major health issues in the last year and a half and do not drive (my father had a stroke and my mother had two open heart surgeries). I have a set appointment for myself on one day a week for acupuncture and I must have it. I helps me with fibromyalgia and a few other health issues that I have so that I do not take medications for them. I have a sister who lives in the area and I will sometimes help her as she has four young children under the age of 8 and the youngest has a heart issue.

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  4. Sounds like a pretty good day! I also loveeee taking long lunches. For work I only get 30 minutes, and I can barely choke down a salad in that short time(I've always been a slow eater), so often I'm forced to clock out much longer than intended. The new design is so lovely. Very you and very easy to use. =)

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  5. Sounds like a busy day! I'm an artist and spend all my days at home. I need to get out more! I agree setting a work schedule and sticking to it is so important. My biggest problem is juggling painting time with computer time (business). I really can't complain though, it's pretty nice!
    I love your new blog design:)
    Jennifer

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  6. Thank, Katie...my mom is the same way. She's a slow eater, and she usually comes home from work with some of her lunch!

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  7. Aww, thanks, Tiffany and Jennifer! Off to play 7 Little Words now!

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  8. You asked! I'll answer...
    5:15 am Three dogs want to be fed and go outside. I don't go back to sleep easily -- especially when it starts to lighten up outside by then.
    5:30 - 6:45 I play my favorite short games in Shockwave, mostly word and jigsaw puzzles.
    6:45 - 8:00 Breakfast and tea with my man, discussion of our day's activities which, since we are both retired, varies greatly!
    8:00 - 11:30 Dog walking if decent out, work on current sewing project, cleaning house, and often working at Hospice.
    11:30 - 12:30 Swim laps at NIU pool Monday through Thursday.
    12:45 - 1:15 lunch (I REALLY wanna have a taco salad with you sometime!!)
    Afternoon echoes the 8:00 - 11:30 activities with a background of my current tv obsession (The West Wing).
    4:30 - 5:30 Feed dogs, Cook dinner.
    Relax for the evening when we are not at a concert, or church meeting. Thursday is sacred TV night! (Big Bang, Person of Interest)
    Throw into the mix playing my piano, French horn, flutes, trumpet, gardening in season, running errands for people I care about, baking bread....
    Ok, I'm done :0)

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  9. As a chronically undisciplined person who strives to stick to a schedule on my own time, your post was really helpful! My work day versus my day off are complete opposites of each other. Here's an example:

    Work
    8:00 - 9:00 Oversee morning tasks of marine mammal trainers and schedule the day's shows, sessions, interactions, lunches, etc.
    9:00 - 10:00 Feed seals, otters, dolphins, sea lions, penguins, clean habitats
    10:00 - 10:30 Dolphin Show
    10:30 - 10:45 Dolphin interaction
    10:45 - 11:00 Clean buckets from dolphin show/interaction
    11:00 - 11:20 Sea Lion Show
    11:20 - 11:45 Feed our old, stubborn, retired sea lions (my favorite)
    11:45 - Feed penguins

    Etcetera etcetera

    Day off:

    7:00am - 10:00pm Watch Law and Order SVU and eat leftover Easter candy

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  10. Thank you for this post! I love seeing how other people manage their time.

    I'm a full time graduate student with two part time jobs, so my life is pretty much a mess. Unfortunately, most of my blogging stuff gets pushed into an hour block from 11:30 pm to 12:30 am. Yikes. I know. Hopefully when I'm out of school, I'll be able to balance a bit more.

    Also, I totally agree with you about taking some time each day that's for you. For me, it's a trip to the gym or to a running trail. As long as I manage to fit that in, I keep my anxiety levels low and my energy levels high.

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  11. I love your taste in music! Sing if it inspires you to blog, and sing loud! :)

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  12. My typical day is opposite of what most people's as I work overnight shifts. For example, when you are getting out of bed, I'm just getting out of work.

    So here's my typical day:

    5pm-6pm I'm usually waking up about this time. If I'm extra sleepy I'll lay in bed snoozing or sometimes I'll get up right away and take a shower.

    6pm-7pm Shower, call my parents, make coffee/dinner. Read a book or go online.

    7pm-9pm I'll either go back to sleep for two hours or I'll read, watch television, or go online. It depends on how I'm feeling and how much sleep I actually got in the afternoon.

    9:30 Leave for work. I have an hour or so commute (I have to be there by 11pm so I leave early, especially in winter).

    11pm-9am Work.

    9am-10am Get out of work, drive home.

    10am-11am Watch something from my Hulu queue while eating breakfast.

    11am In bed!

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Your lovely comments make my day so much sweeter! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!

xoxo

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