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Archive for March 11th, 2011

FBFF Q&A: Just breathe… Blogging vs. life

11 Mar
Wearing my 30 for 30 remix outfit, wearing burgundy dress in garden

30 for 30 remix, day 23

I blog therefore I am… busy, tired and sometimes a little overwhelmed. When does the wheel stop spinning? Yoga might help but that would be yet another thing I would have to cram into an already busy schedule. So, how is this done? How much sleep do I really need, anyway?

This topic could not have come at a better time. I had been coasting nicely along until snowboarding season. All of a sudden, my schedule looks like this:

  • Monday night – Run 30 min., stretch 30 min., get home later. Blog.
  • Tuesday night – Catch up and blog. The weekly grocery shopping trip is often squeezed in here.
  • Wednesday night – Run 1 hr., stretch 45 min., get home pretty late. Blog.
  • Thursday night – Pack for snowboarding. Blog.
  • Friday night – Make the 4 hour pilgrimage to the slopes. Arrive late.
  • Saturday – Wake up early, spend all day at the slopes.
  • Sunday – Wake up early, spend all day at the slopes, make the 4 hour drive back home. Unpack.

 

To add to the precarious navigation of said schedule, my hubby and I commute together to and from work. Up until recently, we lived in urban areas where the need for a car was next to none and our schedules were totally independent of each other. Now, if one of us has an early meeting it means that both of us have an early meeting. We only have one car to share, there are regular negotiations about who gets the car when, who gets picked up from the train station at what time. All in all, everything we choose to do affects the other.

I’ve been progressively feeling like I’m falling behind; I have to ask myself why do I feel this way? My schedule has changed on purpose, acknowledging this is key. Am I going to let it stress me out or am I going to modify my game plan? After all, snowboarding is not a chore, it’s my passion. I dream about it all summer, I can’t wait for the snow to fall every year. You know what else is not a chore? Blogging. It’s evidently also a passion. What’s a girl to do? Plan better. Be more efficient. And just breathe…

This week we’re discussing the delicate balancing act of blogging versus life.

FBFF: When it comes to prioritizing your life, in what place does blogging fall?

FJ: After my health, fitness, adequate sleep and marriage and before socializing, reading books and resting. I know how that sounds, I put blogging before rest. I’ve been known to stay up right until bedtime which has led to thinking about blogging in bed when I ought to be mentally preparing myself for slumber. While it is not stressful, it’s also less than ideal. The mind should be shutting down, I’m aware that this habit needs to change. It’s cool to be this excited about something but it’s not sustainable to operate at this pace.

FBFF: We all wish we had more free time to dedicate to blogging and all it entails. What are your tricks for taking advantage of the time you do have to be as productive as possible?

FJ: I jot notes down every time I think of something I want to remember. I’ll also send myself emails, too, if I don’t have my notebook around. I click on links from my twitter feed and quickly check out a post at work while I’m on hold or waiting for a file to upload or print. I can read very quickly, it’s probably one of my most underrated abilities.

FBFF: Have you discovered any short-cuts that makes blogging easier or more time efficient?

FJ: Not getting sidetracked is key. I joke around that my brain is run by a tribe of rogue ants, all trying to make stuff happen at once. I literally have to list my top three goals on a piece of paper, number them and keep referring to them every time my mind, eyes or body dart elsewhere. I kid you not. I use a black Sharpie marker and make my list on the back of an envelope. It has to be obnoxiously noticeable to work. I know how my brain functions.

The other thing is that I’m always thinking, constantly mapping out how and what I want to do so that by the time I have a free moment I have already figured it out as efficiently as possible. My actions are bite-size! I’m always improving one little thing at a time. I let go of trying to be perfect out the gate a long time ago. It’s paralyzing. Instead, I’m constantly assessing how I can improve one little thing or another. No one really notices the changes but the experience is perpetually improving one little evolutionary step at a time.

FBFF: Do you have an editorial calendar or something similar that helps you plan ahead?

FJ: Lol! No and boy is that ever going to change soon! I’ve been kicking the idea around for a while. Before I even started hearing about editorial calendars I had already put in certain things in my gmail calendar with reminders. I just need to flush out the system realistically, I wanted to sit with it a little while before implementing it. I’ve been thinking of ways to create a sustainable schedule. I don’t want to blog every single day, it feels unhealthy to be in front of the computer like this all the time. I need to create a schedule that allows for pre-posting so that I can take a few days off a week.

FBFF:  If time wasn’t an issue what you would be doing on your blog/for your blog that you aren’t doing now?

FJ: About a gazillion things! I would have already practiced making a vlog, or two! I’d have read the manual to my new camera so that I could take better pictures, I’d have more posts written for the future. I’d have set up a facebook page. I’d read more blogs, spend more time getting to know fellow bloggers better. That’s just for starters.

As you can see, I’ve been thinking about this long and hard. What have I learned? Ultimately, the choice to do this is mine, I own the schedule, the content and the stress. As long as I remind myself that I’ve chosen freely to do this because I enjoy it I cannot give it so much power over me that it creates a heightened level of anxiety. I love doing this! If I don’t have the capacity for it some night, it’s ok. I take a break. To be frank, I’m a perfectionist so this is something I have really focus on, I have to give myself permission to rest. The internet is not going to die if I skip a day or two. Really! (That’s going to be my new mantra.)

Thank you Katy of Modly Chic for crafting these questions. Friend Friday is an opportunity for fashion and beauty bloggers to share their thoughts on a specific topic and read what others have to say on that same topic. For more information, check out Modly Chic and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

 

Deets: Burgundy sweater dress/unknown, leggings/Lulu’s, vegan grey faux cowboy boots/ModCloth, infinity scarf/hand knitted by me, cap/unknown, red leather belt/Wilson’s Leather, green abalone bracelet/gifted, silver three kitties ring/gifted*

* The background on this ring is that my youngest sister bought my other sister and me the same ring. The three kitties represent the three of us so I think of both of them every time I wear it.