It’s that time of year again…The month everybody hates. The month where it’s not uncommon to see fellow students sobbing down the phone to their mum after a particularly stressful day. The month where the library cafe is suddenly THE place to be, while the college bars lie cold and empty. And the month where relationships between final years and freshers become notably more fraught. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a third year say, “I overheard a fresher saying how stressed she was about her one essay. I almost punched her in the face”.
That’s right…It’s exam period.
Or dissertation, essay, generally awful period; whatever applies to you.
I’m extremely overloaded right now with work, and this is when I find blogging can suddenly become a lot more difficult to squeeze in. However, amongst all this stress, I find that blogging is one of the only things which helps me to relax and switch off for a while, and I really don’t want to give that up! So here are a few of my tips which have helped me to balance my blogging with the rest of my hectic life.
1. Get a diary: This is the biggest thing which has helped me to get more organised in my life generally. Now I have one diary which I can use to pencil everything in I have going on for the next month. Anything from blog posts to essay deadlines. Another little tip; buy a really pretty diary which will encourage you to use it more. The one I have above is from the Victoria and Albert Museum and I always love writing in it. It will help to have all of your appointments in one place.
2. Plan posts in advance: I like to take a bit of time at the beginning of each month to come up with some ideas for blog posts. As I post three times a week, this helps to avoid any last minute “blogger’s block”. Obviously, if a fantastic idea suddenly hits you then go with it! But it takes some of the pressure off to have ideas already in the bag.
3. Take all your photos on one day: Taking photos are probably the most time-consuming part of blogging. I can bang out a decent post in 45 minutes, but it takes some time to find the right lighting, set up the actual photo, and edit them afterwards. This is even more the case when I’m doing a Look post, as I have to put on a whole face of makeup. I find the best way to deal with this is just to get all of my photographs done on one morning – this is where pre-planned posts come in handy! Currently, I try to take one whole day off where I can completely relax and not think about revision. So I’ll spend a couple of hours in the morning doing some photography and then I’m all sorted for the rest of the week!
4. Choose subjects which don’t require many photos: Following on from tip 3, if I’m really lacking for time, I’ll try and think of a post idea which won’t require many photos. For example, this post only needed one photo just for effect, rather than a makeup look which requires quite a few! Try and think outside the box and I’m sure you’ll come up with some great and original ideas!
5. Make sacrifices: I always remember a piece of advice from my mum; one of the most hard-working people I know. At one point, she was balancing a very successful but demanding career, while at the same time making time for myself and my dad. She said that if necessary, she would get up at 4:30 in the morning to get a couple of hours work in before taking me to school. If blogging or your career, or whatever it is you’re doing, really matters to you, then you may have to make some sacrifices. In the last month, there have been days where I’ve woken up an hour before necessary so I could get a blog post in before heading to the library. I know it will all be worth it in the end though!
6. Prioritise: Ultimately, if things do become too much, you may have to accept that certain things are going to suffer. While I love blogging, and I do care about keeping it up, I know that it’s not as important as getting a good degree. So, if necessary, I would put improving an essay over writing a post. Decide what is important to you, try to make it work, but don’t beat yourself up if you find it becomes too much. I find it’s helpful to write a To-Do List in order of priority and then you can tick them off as you go.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my tips and that they’ve been helpful! Do you have any that you would like to offer as well? I’d love to hear them! And good luck in exams everybody!
Thanks for reading,