My Crazy Life: How I Get So Much Done
As I often get asked about how I manage to get so much done, I thought I'd share with you a little insight into my often productive, nearly always crazy life.
As most of you know by now, I do a lot of different things. I have two other blogs (in addition to this one), where I post most days.
www.WritersAndAuthors.info which is for, you guessed it, writers and authors. The site is all about/for people in the publishing industry. Posts cover a bit of everything from how to write to how to sell more books. As well as all the articles, I interview authors about their books, post excerpts, and sometimes post book reviews.
www.TheMumClub.com which is for, you guessed it, mums (my website urls are pretty clear about who the sites are for aren't they? ;)). This is a new site that I launched at the end of January this year. The aim of the site is to inspire, motivate, and give mums ideas for how they can look after themselves. The end of last year was tough for me and so this site also serves as a tool to help me focus on myself as well as everything else.
Then, of course, there's my books. I write multiple genres and so I'm often hopping between children's books and non fiction. Sometimes I mix it up and work on women's fiction too. Variety is the spice of life!
I also work as an illustrator. I illustrate my own books, but also work for hire on projects for clients.
At the moment I'm organising and preparing everything for this years Promo Day. Promo Day is an annual online event I organise that takes place at www.PromoDay.info. This years event will be on Saturday 30th May. With over 10 presenters, and several publishers doing pitch sessions during the event, there is a lot to coordinate. People need to know about the event too, so a lot of marketing and promoting goes on too.
Not enough? I'm also working on some ecourses that I hope to launch in the near future. Filming, editing, graphics, downloads....
My days are filled with much more than the work you see and hear about online though. I'm a mum of two little boys... and man do they keep me busy!
Then there's the house work. Washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, tidying up... that's all part of my day too.
So how do I manage to get it all done? Good question! Sometimes I surprise myself.
Week days officially start at 7:30 am (although I sometimes get up before then). Breakfast, prepare kids for school, and get them out of the house by 8:10 am. Luckily for me, my husband does the school run.
Once they're off, I get washed and dressed and start tidying up and cleaning the house. I usually put a load of washing on first. Then hoover, dust, etc... I also make sure I prepare things I'll need later during the day like the kids swimming bag so I'm good to go when the time comes. I have a good routine now and can usually manage to get most housework done before 10 am.
By that point I deserve a cup of tea! I put the kettle on to boil and turn on my computer.
I usually start by checking Facebook and Twitter (the two main social media channels I use). I go to notifications and make sure I reply, retweet, like, etc. I then give myself 10-15 minutes to browse my newsfeeds, whilst I drink my tea. I'll share/tweet a few posts, leave a comment or two, and share some like/retweet love.
Next it's on to blogging. I keep editorial calendars for all my blogs and try to schedule posts in advance when possible. This gives me a cushion for those days when I'm ill, just too tired, not feeling it, or life gets in the way.
I usually tackle each blog separately. I'll do a session on Writers and Authors, then The Mum Club, and then on this blog.
Once I've managed to get a few blog posts sorted, replied to emails (I have separate email accounts for each to keep things organised), I then share/program a few social media posts for each. I do this directly via the Facebook pages, and then use Hootsuite for Twitter and Google+. I then make sure I've pinned all published posts to my Pinterest boards.
Next I check the emails for Promo Day and send out some invites to the event to publishers and writer groups. I also send some invites via Facebook and Twitter. I try to make at least some of the graphics as I go so that I have some materials ready to use and available on the media page. I like to be organised and hate the feeling of having to rush everything at the last minute so little tings like that are important to me. Again, I try to program at least some blog posts in advance. These are usually the evergreen type of posts like "How to register", "FAQs about Promo Day", and stuff like "How the forums work" or "How the pitch sessions work". It's a bit different from a normal blog as I don't always have all the information straight away. I have to wait to confirm presenters and publishers for the event, and then wait for them to send me their photos/logos, bios, etc... The same for sponsors. Some decide to be a sponsor at the last minute.
By this point it's usually around noon, or just after, and time to start thinking about lunch.
After lunch I usually try to step away from my computer to give my eyes a rest. I also get bad back ache if I'm on the computer too long. Early afternoon is therefore when I go for coffee with friends, or sit out on my balcony in the sunshine (weather allowing). A bit of relax and then I do the current fitness challenge for The Mum Club. I'll sometimes do some sketching, brainstorm for my books, work on illustrations for clients, or work on writing books up until 4 pm. This is when I have to get ready for the kids coming back from school and mum duties start up again.
Depending on how much energy I have after the afternoon/evening activities, I sometimes work on my books or projects for clients for an hour or two in the evening (after 9:30 pm when the kids are in bed asleep).
As you can see I'm pretty busy most of the time. I do try to keep a balance though and make sure I do have some time off to relax through out the day. Whether it's watching a film with my family, coffee with a friend, or lunch with my husband.
I think my secret to productivity is being organised, and having a routine.
How do you manage to get everything done?