Sunday, 22 January 2017

5 Ways to Start Your Week Off Right

I reckon that how you decide to spend your Sunday really sets the tone for how the rest of your week will pan out. I prefer to spend my Sunday emotionally recharging and setting myself up for the week ahead. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content after all!

So here are 5 ways to start your week off on a positive note, ready to go and #girlboss the hell out of the upcoming working week:

1. CLEAN YOUR SPACE  - coming home to a messy house/room is just not the one after a hard first day of the working week. I kinda of love the feeling of spending part of my Sunday cleaning and tidying up my space, I really think that it helps de-clutter and organise my head ready for Monday. Plus, whenever I'm feeling like I'm getting a bit overwhelmed I find sorting out my space a good way to manage my stress and channel it into something productive.

2. RUN THOSE ERRANDS - all those less-than-fun tasks that you don't really want to waste your time on during the precious weekend, like going food shopping or doing the ironing or filling your car up with petrol (ugh, the job I always put off until the last minute!) are easy to put off until the next week - but do you really want to be giving yourself extra jobs to do on top of your jam-packed working week? Take the pressure off yourself and do those easy tasks during the weekend and leave your evenings free - future you will thank you for it.

3. TREAT YOURSELF - sweeten the end of the weekend and the start of a new week with a little something to cheer yourself up. Buy yourself some fresh flowers (whilst you're doing the grocery shop if you're feeling like ticking two things off this list at once!), make yourself a delicious lunch for Monday, make plans to meet friends during the week - make sure you feature something positive into the start of your week.

4. PLAN YOUR WEEK - take the time on a Sunday to get all of your plans for the week ahead down on paper, write yourself a master to do list of everything that you want to accomplish in the next seven days. This will help give you a head start on Monday morning because you'll already have a plan of action as to how to tackle the new week and it'll help prevent those Sunday Scaries that come about when you're feeling overwhelmed about those two days of the weekend having flown by already. 

5. GET ENOUGH SLEEP - Monday's are bad enough without adding a lack of sleep into the mix. Try to get your optimum hours of REM, and make a serious dent in that sleep debt you've racked up after a crazy weekend (whether you went out and partied or if you stayed up a little too late binge-watching Netflix)! You'll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle Monday head on - instead of wanting to hit snooze, roll over and just have five more minutes in your duvet cave. Allow yourself enough time to fit in enough hours of sleep and create the best sleep-inducing environment you can - put fresh bedding on your bed, liberally spray a lavender pillow spray, light a candle, have an electrical device ban for those last 60 minutes before you turn out the light. 

So, those are the little tips I employ to try to start my week off right, with a positive attitude and as least stress as possible!


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

How to fit blogging in when you work full-time

eat sleep blog repeat

When you work full time it sometimes feels hard to fit in time for anything else other than just vegging out in front of netflix in a blanket burrito when you get home from work (no? just me?...), sometimes it's especially hard to find the time (and let's be honest, the motivation sometimes!) to fit blogging into your schedule.

For me, blogging is (and will remain to be) just a hobby for me, it's a creative outlet from my science-y job and I enjoy spending my evenings/weekends trying my hand at writing, editing, photography - but sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day (or week!) to fit everything in. There are times (like tonight - oops!) where I've done a full shift at work, come home, had dinner, faffed around on the Internet for a while and only sat down at 9pm to think of/plan/write/photograph a new post that needs to go up tonight - eeshk! 

So, to avoid moments like this (if you don't have a time turner or Bernard's watch to hand...) here are some of my tips and tricks on how to fit blogging in when you work full time:

Be realistic with your time // If you can manage to put up a post (and all of the social media that goes along with it) every day then please teach me your ways! There's no point in trying to commit to having a new post up every day if your work schedule just won't allow it, you'll end up burning yourself out creatively and emotionally and you'll come to see blogging as a chore - and there's no way you can be creative if you feel uninspired. Figure out how many times a week you can realistically manage to create a post and stick to that, don't try to take on too much - you do have another job too!

Schedule your promotion // your promotional tweets, your instagram captions, your facebook page status' - everything you can schedule, do it! You take the time to do it once (for the next day or for the whole week if you're feeling impressively organised!) and then you don't have to think about it again. You'll be working away and your social media will be driving traffic to your blog without you having to spend your breaks glued to your phone - winner.

Plan ahead // some people swear by an editorial calendar they set up each month - one brainstorming session and their content for a whole month is pre-planned, it just needs to be executed - genius. I'm just not that organised, so whenever I finish a post and schedule it to go live I start planning the next one. This gives me a couple of days to come up with an idea, jot some notes in my notebook about what I want to share and what sort of photograph I want to include - then I just have to take the photo and knock out the text  (using my pre-planned notes!) before I want the post to go live.

Use your drafts // I swear by creating draft posts, I like to keep a stash of draft titles ready for when my inspiration is a little bit lacking - whenever you get an idea for a post, create a draft title and then you'll have a bank of posts ready to be planned and executed for when you're feeling like you just don't know what to write about.

Make the most of your 'free time'  // When I'm home from work or on my days off I'll most likely be doing some sort of bloggy stuff (I don't like to call it work!). One of my better plans is spending the time on my days off actually writing, photographing and scheduling my posts for the week (this rarely happens though because I'm such a procrastinator! But if it did, I know it'd make my blogging life so much easier!) - then all the blog work is done before the next working week starts. All I have to do each night is tap away on my laptop whilst watching netflix scheduling my social media for the next day - the 'hard' work of actually creating the post is already done!

Create a checklist // When you work full time you want to be able to quickly and easily work on your blog - create yourself a checklist of things you need to get done to have a post up (write the text, take the photo, format the post, add links, schedule post, schedule social media, add to facebook page) - then this routine will just become second nature whenever you post and you won't have forgotten anything!

Bulk photograph // This is another thing I need to get better at (especially since I'm trying to post every day this year on my instagram!) - taking a load of 'generic' photos when you have the time (on your days off!) so then you have a stash of photos that just need to have a quick edit before being able to be used. None of this destroying half your bedroom trying to get a half-decent flat-lay shot in terrible lighting after you've put in a full day at work! This would make my life so much easier...

So there are my tips on how to fit blogging into your schedule when you work full time - now I just need to get better at practising what I preach!...

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