The last year and a half have been the busiest of my life. Med school alone is a full-time commitment, and balancing blogging/Instagramming on top of school has been a learning experience. I’m hoping to share the strategies that have been helpful to me in managing it all and to talk about blogging specifically while in school. My friend and fellow blogger Emma and I did an Instagram live session recently discussing our tips, and this blog post was borne out of that discussion!
These first two tips are a little more general and can apply to anyone that is balancing a lot of different commitments.
1. Be smart about scheduling
Obviously one of these tips was going to be about scheduling. We all know the importance of using a calendar app (I prefer Google Calendar) and scheduling in all of our obligations. That said, scheduling your days/weeks should take more than 30 seconds because you should be very intentional about it. If you have to be downtown for something, schedule in any other errands that you need to run in that area. Since we’re talking about blogging/Instagramming, if you are going to be taking photos, make sure you check the weather before scheduling a shoot. (You’re not likely to get good photos if it’s raining, if the sun is setting in 20 minutes, or if it’s noon and the sun is directly overhead, for example.)
Batching is also a key part of efficient scheduling. Running with the example of photography, it’s much more efficient to spend an hour and take photos in three different outfits in one session than to take one outfit photo a day and to meet up with a photographer/friend three times a week. Additionally, it’s important to be realistic when scheduling. Take transportation times into account, leave a little wiggle room in case something runs late, and take into account when you are most alert. It’s probably best to schedule studying for earlier in the day when you have more energy and writing blog posts or planning YouTube videos for after 10 PM when you’re a little less alert.
2. Don’t ignore other aspects of your life
Even though you’re busy working, studying, running a blog, etc., you have to still give energy and time to other areas of your life. I guarantee that you will feel worse about your life overall if you completely neglect going to the gym, spending time with friends, eating healthy, reading for fun, or whatever else. Yes, you might not be able to go to the gym for an hour everyday, but you can probably do an at-home work out for 25 minutes as a study break. You can catch up with a friend on the phone while walking across campus for 20 minutes. You can read while on the train for 15 minutes. You’re more likely to feel stressed out (even if just on a subconscious level) when you know you are letting important aspects of life fall apart. Conversely, you’re more likely to feel confident if you are doing well in those other parts of your life besides school/work.
These next two tips are specific to bloggers that are in school. Being associated with a university has a LOT of benefits that you can use to your advantage. You’re studying and working hard to be in school, so you may as well take advantage of what the university has to offer you as a blogger.
3. Take advantage of resources your school has to offer
There are so many amazing resources that student bloggers should take advantage of. Many universities have technology libraries where student can borrow equipment like cameras for free. You don’t need to buy a nice DSLR if you’re just starting out- chances are that you’ll be able to borrow stuff you’d never be able to afford, so start there. Another example is to take advantage of the gorgeous architecture that most campuses have for photos. I wish I’d started Instagramming earlier because there are so many gorgeous places to take photos on the Princeton campus, but now I don’t live there anymore and I totally regret it. Luckily Yale also has nice architecture, and I’m trying to incorporate that into my photos. A third example is to take advantage of courses that will help you with your trade. Photography, graphic design, expository writing, and other courses can really help you take your content from amateur to professional level. This is something else I wish I’d done while in undergrad, or even during my first year in medical school.
4. Find another blogger to collaborate with
The best resource that universities give you access to (even more than nice cameras and architecture) are your fellow students. If you find another person in your sphere to collaborate with, that will serve you well throughout your time in school. I have an awesome blogger friend who I meet up with once a week and I’ll take an outfit photo for her and she’ll take one for me. You can and should collaborate with others who have skills that you don’t. Don’t be shy about reaching out to people to collaborate!
These last two tips are a little more general, again.
5. Make blogging/Instagramming a hobby
I don’t think it’s possible to do school and also the whole influencer/blogging thing if blogging isn’t something you consider enjoyable and relaxing. Blogging has to be your study break and what you do for fun, or else it won’t be possible to balance everything. I recommend niching into something you are really interested in so that you enjoy talking about it all the time on your blog/Instagram/YouTube/etc. and so that you can kill two birds with one stone- blogging and unwinding/having fun.
6. Let people know when things are busy
This is something I really need to improve on, but I think it’s important to let friends and family know when you’re going to be having an extraordinarily busy month. Let people know when you’ll only be able to hang out once in the next six weeks, and then be fully present when that happens and enjoy the time you have together. Besides that, also be clear that blogging/Instagramming/YouTube is something you are taking seriously and that you treat as a job. Sometimes things can get really busy with the whole influencer/Instagramming thing, so people will think that you have time for fun things (e.g. brand events, meeting up with others in your niche, etc.) but not for them. Let them know that those things are a necessary part of the job, even if they ARE fun.
I hope you guys found this useful! If you have any other questions, please comment them below in case I do a part 2 of this post! Also, please join my email list which is to the right if you are on a computer and below if you are on a phone! <3