Between this month and next I somehow scheduled posts that are oddly in tune with my life. Not quite sure how that happened since I’m pretty all over the place with selecting topics (this is where I’m shrugging irl). Regardless of how this topic came to be, balancing life, work, and reading is my current struggle, predicament, whatever you want to call it; There are great days, strange days, and days where I wish I could just hit redo. Whether you are in the same situation, or just curious how to keep it all together in quarantine, here we go!
To start us all off, here is the quick recap of my last month in weird isolation, aka only putting on makeup for groceries. When you lose track of when all the social distancing began, you know it’s been a while since we were all a lot less worried. Racking my brain, I am about 80% sure it was around the last two weeks of March when I started to work from home as a temp and wondering how I was going to continue looking for the next job. It definitely wasn’t a good time to be nearing the need for a next job, and then it turned to losing the temp position. I got lucky in how it all unfolded though, I’ve now started a consulting business and am figuring out what all that entails (It’s a lot, quite a lot).
So good things have been happening, but what does that figure into balancing the life and books part? Well, when it was working as a direct employee that figured into me sticking to the same schedule I had before; starting at 7, lunch mid day, and clocking off at 4. You would be amazed at how sticking to a structure keeps you honest with yourself, and makes it fairly easy to be productive and still keep everything separate. Considering my “office” was a short distance from everything I would label as being an escape, keeping that structure was really, really important. Starting a new business though brings a whole new host of changes to how I set up. Most changes involve building a schedule, tracking hours/incoming projects, and other day to day things. It’s essentially building a new structure and mindset to how I go about my daily life, and finding out how much you miss ergonomic chairs.
But there’s something I missed in all of this; books & life. Well, I haven’t forgotten, not really, but this last month has been a learning process as weekdays and weekends have dramatically changed for me, at least in how I plan and enjoy them. I’m still reading, albeit slowly since it’s a classic, but that’s still going I promise. The blog is actually getting more attention as I figure my new normal out. I am back to being a full on planner again, which is really good, and scheduling not only blog posts, but Instagram ones as well. The strategy that seems to help in the long run for me is scheduling posts, writing them ahead of time, and just being real with myself on what I can handle. I’m currently at the getting posts written ahead part, so catching up and then getting ahead (ugghhh). Once that part is done it typically gets easier to post reviews (since they aren’t from memory), move to actually posting social content, and generate content that just feels more alive. It sounds like a lot, and not at the same time.
The overall message to balancing the blogging/reading part is just building a setup that works for you. If you’re struggling with reading then reviewing in a tight timeline, it’s alright to schedule out a few weeks later. The only times honestly that I pressure myself to post a review quickly is when it’s a new release, or an arc (advanced reader copy). All other books I tackle as best I can or as soon as I can. I also only read what I want to read, it’s part of being a mood reader so that already works in my favor, but reading is and has always been an escape for me. I don’t mess with that, which is why it still works and why it feels balanced. I put it at the end of my day to relax, and work on the blog posts in between work and relaxation times. Given the quarantine life we are all living currently, separation of time and tasks has helped me a lot. I reserve my most productive times to work, read during times I would have pre-quarantine, and blog whenever possible.
Hopefully the above system or words helps all of you in these crazy times. I think when it comes to blogging, social media, and building a brand-even when it’s just a personal one- we all tend to forget to breathe and give ourselves a moment. Part of my structure is to keep some normal in my life and the other motive is in keeping myself productive. I am definitely ready to see all my friends and family in person again, but am thankful everyone is okay and have been able to at least zoom/face-time with me. I hope everyone is staying safe during these times, and looking out for one another as we make it through this. How are you doing during quarantine? What are your happy moments currently? Let me know in the comments below!