Posted in Blaugust

Blaugust 2022: Four organizational tools that help me stay on top of life (and blogging)

Blaugust is back, transforming what can be a dull summer month into a scorching hotbed of discussion, fun, and blog revitalization! With Blaugust 2022, the goal is for the current blog community to encourage, mentor, work together, and promote each other over the span of the month (and beyond). Check out the official Blaugust post for more info and sign ups.

One thing that gets said to me a lot is, “How do you manage to write/podcast/do so much?” I’m not superhuman nor working myself to death; rather, I have clung to four organizational tools that help me produce all of the blogging and other content that I enjoy doing — and stay on top of my work and personal life responsibilities (which are more important!). So in the interest of helping bloggers develop better habits, here are those four tools. Hope they might help someone else!

Routine

The word “routine” gets a really bad rap, in my opinion. Routine lowers stress, streamlines your week, and creates a framework from which you can get stuff done. My life is built around routine. I have a rough routine for how I go through every day, and a routine for specific days of the week (for example, Tuesday is my sermon writing day, so I clear every Tuesday morning to do just that).

When it comes to writing, I have a routine for every blog I write for (personally and professionally). I write my morning posts for Massively OP after breakfast. I schedule the blogging week for my movie blog on Tuesday during lunch. I gradually work on posts for Bio Break as I play games during the week and then schedule them all on Friday. With this routine, I’m never scrambling last-minute to write something for that day or finding myself crippled with writer’s block when I need to be productive.

Scheduler

I seriously don’t know how I lived my life without a scheduler as long as I did. I did it poorly, I think. Once I started using an online scheduler like Tick Tick, I found that my productivity shot up, I was wasting less time, I didn’t procrastinate as much, and I ended up with more free time in the end. The scheduler helps reinforce the week’s routine, as I punch in daily, weekly, monthly, etc. To Do items. Waking up in the morning and scanning my scheduler, I can quickly figure out what needs to be done in what order. A scheduler keeps me on track in all areas of my life.

Buffering

The third tool that greatly helps is buffering. Simply put, I work ahead as much as possible. I don’t like doing tasks the day that they’re due — I’d rather do them days or a week ahead of time if I can. That takes the pressure of the task off of me and gives me some room if the unexpected occurs or I need to take a break. For blogging, I write Mutant Reviewers two weeks ahead of time (part of my routine is squeezing in five movies a week to watch and review), Bio Break one week ahead of time, and many MOP columns a few days prior to their posting. I cannot emphasize how great it is to have this buffer and how satisfying it is to keep it as full as possible.

Flexibility

Finally, I have learned to be as flexible as possible, because life is unpredictable. Problems arise, writer’s block occurs, sick days are needed, my family needs more of me today, and so on. If my life is too full or inflexible, then I’d break under the strain of handling those deviations. So instead, I use the first three tools to provide as much stability and buffer as I can so that *when* I need to be flexible, I can without a moment’s hesitation.

3 thoughts on “Blaugust 2022: Four organizational tools that help me stay on top of life (and blogging)

  1. It’s all down to personality, isn’t it? I’d be in therapy after a week of using your methods. I don’t mind a modicum of foreward planing but by that I mean jotting down the odd cryptic note or taking a few screenshots that i hope might remind me of something. I generally don’t think about what I’m going to post until I sit down at the PC and these days I often don’t know what I’m writing about until I’m halfway through. As they say, it all comes together in the edit, or I hope it does.

    Everyone needs to find their own path to creativity, I suppose, as well as to productivity, which isn’t necessarily the same thing.

  2. Routines are something I’m working hard to find in all areas of life. Scheduling and planning I’m great at but the putting into action is shocking. I’m definitely a fan of task blocking though, so that I’m not jumping between different types of thing

  3. Let me say that you have your scheduling down to a science. It’s a crazy weird feeling to listen to the MOP podcast and hear what you’re playing and then read about it right around the same time. Especially given that you schedule stuff in advance.

    Nice work!

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