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I'm so glad you are here. I'm Elizabeth and this is the blog. This is the space I tend to. The place I share my heart and our stories. I pack these pages full of tips, stories, adventures, travels, outfits, and recipes. It's a little bit of everything and a whole lot of me. My hope is that these words & photos would encourage & inspire you. That being here will brighten things at least a little bit. Please stick around & explore. There is something here for everyone! Click through the categories below for more! 

5 Easy & Practical Steps to Get Things Done

Get things done!!! 5 easy and practical steps to getting things done!  Over time I have been asked a lot of questions about blogging and I have also asked a lot of questions about blogging. Most of them revolve around “How do you do it all?!” I have had several hopeful bloggers reach out to me and ask me how I do it all – a home, a blog, a job, a family, a social life. AND I have looked up to other bloggers who I feel are doing even more than me – how do they do it all? Now, before this turns into a comparison fiasco, we are going to bring it back to reality.

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance” – Psalms 16:6

Our social media reach, blog stats, jobs, locations, homes, family, and friends are all gifts. We have reach that falls in beautiful places whether we have a million followers or ten followers. It is important for us to be thankful for the influence we do have and to be thankful for all the those things that we try to balance – family, friends, jobs, skills, dreams, homes, etc. That does not mean you can’t have ambition, it just means that you always cultivate gratefulness.Second important note, no one can do it all. I’ll talk about this in more detail later, but no one can do “it all.” If they look like they are, you are just not seeing all the things that they are neglecting. We make time for the things we think are more important and let other things fall behind. I do not do it all. I may work full time, blog 5 days a week, consistently post on instagram, and spend time with my husband, my friends, and my family BUT I don’t do a lot of other things so that I have time for what I chose to do.

If you are entering this new year with big goals for your blog, I am on your team! I will cheer with you, encourage you, pray for you, and be real with you. I know you want to do it all (so do I) but you can’t. But I will share with you how I do get things done.

PRIORITIES

The most important thing you need to do is set priorities in your life. So many other bloggers email me and assume that I do it all. I’ll tell you right here, right now that I do not! Our laundry is like never done. The basket is usually overflowing, then I’ll randomly wash it all but leave it all on the couch and run down to the basement for the next two weeks to get random outfits and new underwear. I also don’t do a lot of cooking. I make quick meals a couple times a week, we tend to do sandwiches or cereal a couple nights, and then eat out the rest of the time. Some people love to spend time in the kitchen and it gives them life but I am not that girl. I also value tidy over super clean. So everyday I pick up around the house but we only deep clean once a month or every other month. Those are just a couple things that I have chosen other things over. To me (and Bruce) it is more important to spend time with people than to stay on top of laundry and it is more important for me to rest after work than stress about dinner. You may want to make laundry and cooking part of your priority list and that is wonderful! Just know you need to chose what is most important to you.

If you are not actively choosing your priorities you will be stressed all the time. And you may be neglecting the things you value most because of other responsibilities that “feel” more important. Maybe you need to make a list of “all the things” that you want done if you were to “do it all” and then prioritize that list. This will help you physically see all that you do, and help you put direction to making time for the most important things.

MAKE PLANS

After you have started to prioritize your tasks, making plans is important to staying on track! I work 32 hours T-F. Those hours are already scheduled and I make sure that while I am there, I am getting my work things done so that I do not ever feel pressured to work late or at home. It is easy to add the already scheduled things to your list – work schedules, children’s schedules, classes, appointments, etc. It is harder to schedule the other things sometimes (like rest, family time, and blog time). Bruce and I have several evening activities that are scheduled out (like Bible Study every week, events, dinner parties) but we also schedule date nights and “nights off.” We know that life can get so busy so fast so we make sure to have one evening of down time. We plan a night to have no plans. Also, as a blogger, it is easy to get sucked into working ALL THE TIME. To help family, friends, and my husband still stay priorities, I have scheduled time to blog. As a planner, all this comes more easily to me but I know a lot of non-planners who still need to make loose plans so that they can get things done.

Maybe cleaning was lower on your list, so you deep clean the first Saturday of every month. Or maybe you even hire someone to clean your house once a month. Maybe you value laundry always done so you make a point to watch the football game at home so you can do the laundry every week during the game. Maybe you work full time and blog, so you set aside Saturday from 8 am – 1 pm to get all things blog done for the upcoming week. Set plans, so that you can make sure the things you value get done.

SCHEDULE AHEAD POSTS & SOCIAL MEDIA

This is huge for me and will be huge for you if you are a blogger who also has a life! I try to schedule all most posts at least a week before time. I set aside a day for post writing and will crank out 2 -4 posts during that time. Most blogging platforms have a way to set your posts go live at a certain time. So you may be sleeping or at work when the post goes live and you don’t need to do anything else about it! Also, there are ways to stay active on social media without being on social media all day.  Buffer, Hootsuite, and Coschedule are all social media schedulers that I have used. Now that I am on WordPress CoSchedule makes the best option for me because I can schedule while I write my post, but the other two are great options as well.

TAKE TIME OFF

I mentioned this in the planning part but if you want to be productive when working, you need to rest when not. Have you ever noticed that when you feel like you have all the time in the world to get things done, you never get anything done? It is because procrastination is in all of our hearts whether we embrace it or not. So many things will distract you and you will reach the end of the day wondering what you did the whole time. When you take intentional time off work (NOT on istagram, working on blog posts, answering emails, playing with social media, reading other blogs, ect) you can enjoy the other things in life and then go into your planned blog time with zeal and determination!

GIVE GRACE

This one may be the most important of them all. You need to give yourself (and others around you) grace. As much as you prioritize, plan, and schedule ahead life will happen. Sometimes unexpected things will require your attention, sometimes you will need a nap instead of doing laundry, sometimes your kids will throw up and you will be holding sick babies instead of blogging. If you push yourself so hard toward perfection and if you get down on yourself for not following your plans, you will only be disappointed & discouraged. Grace is what will keep you going and prevent burnout. Grace is what will keep your joy. Grace is what will carry you though the craziness of life with contentment at your core.

So maybe this list isn’t what you wanted to hear. Maybe you wanted someone to tell you perfection is possible and that you too can be super women if you just follow this list of 10 thousand things. But if you did ( and if you didn’t) I hope this was what you really needed to hear. I hope that you are renewed because no one can do it all. That your confidence is boosted because you can chose what to spend your time on. Lastly, I hope that grace is a word that speaks to your soul this year – that even when plans fail or you feel like a failure, that grace would step in and sustain your zeal.

How do you do it all? – I’m curious! Also, be sure to check out my Blog Tips for more blogging tips, tricks, and advice! 

Photo by: Stellar Propeller Studios

  • making a list of priorities & then keeping the priorities as priorities has helped me so much in the last few years!

  • Perfect for any stage in life – so so true.

  • You are on point, friend. Thank you for sharing your heart. I personally enjoy the bloggers that have other jobs, priorities, and a life. Their words are relatable and their shared experiences come from a variety of parts of their life. I love what you share about perfectionism, my post today actually goes somewhat hand in hand with how perfectionism hinders creativity. Great minds think alike 🙂

  • Kim Ridings

    Grace….you don't even have to be a blogger to get encouragement from this! Wise words.

  • Eryn Ivey

    I really appreciate your longer posts lately! Well written, inspiring, and from your personal experience. Well, done!

  • Thanks for sharing!

  • LOVE. You did it again.

  • This list is great! Thanks for sharing from the heart!

  • Wonderful tips, friend. And that grace one…so important for me to practice.

  • This is great for all bloggers to read! It really is easy to look into someone else's world and think they do it all (and flawlessly)! You're so right though, it's about prioritizing and sacrificing to get "it all" done!

  • I love the last one..give grace. Life tends to happen to me all the time so I really need this step. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Thank you for sharing! I really need to work on my routines! My husband likes our house tidy and laundry done. I like clean surfaces, but my office seems to never be like that.

  • I really love this post. So many great tips. I need to remember to give myself grace adn margin.

  • Kendall Ashley

    Love this! Great advice!

  • You are so wise friend and so humble. You really do a wonderful job in this space of yours. And I'm going back to revisit some of your Blog it series now!

  • Martha Kate Stainsby

    Oh how I can relate to this post. Thank you for sharing my friend! Just founds your blog and will definitely be following along. What a beautiful space you have created here! Xo Martha Kate http://www.leavingperfectionlearninggrace.com

  • This is probably one of my favorite posts I've ever read. As the new year has begun and I've tried to amp up the blogging side of life, all of it has been accompanied by huge feelings of doubt and insecurity. This post was a great reminder that no one really does it all even if they appear to. I think setting priorities (even though they're going to look Different than they used to) is going to help me feel a bit less overwhelmed. Thanks for the great words 🙂

  • I love love love this post! Such great tips, my favorite are the priorities and understanding the importance of being grateful 😉

  • This is so so so good! I have struggled with balancing it all at times, and I have learned a lot of these lessons, too. Last year I learned to determine my priorities and let other things go. What I need to work on is the grace thing. I put a lot of pressure on myself! Sometimes I stop and think, "is this really that important?"

  • Those are great reminders! Since having my son I've been trying to do a better job of planning ahead of time so that when I did get a moment or two to get some work done, it was all ready to go

  • I love this. Here lately I've been spending most of my "down time" researching blogging lately. How to grow my tiny space and how to make it better. While I do enjoy it, I need to schedule some time off. Thanks of the reminder! Also excited to check out Buffer! I hadn't found a social media planner I liked yet. 🙂 Thanks of the tip!

  • I have always been fascinated with hearing what life is like "behind the scenes" of other blogs. Thanks for some insight into what works for you and these great tips! I'm trying to get more of a scheduled time for blog stuff going so I can have more down time that's not really just more blog/social media time. (And I too leave my laundry all over the basement pretty much until it's all dirty again. Getting clean clothes with house guests gets tricky. Glad I'm not the only one!)

  • Elizabeth Jones

    This was the perfect thing to read this week. I recently started a blog (like literally last week!) and have been trying to figure out how I can balance everything from working to keeping up on laundry to spending time by myself and with my husband. It is slightly overwhelming, but I'm trying to step a little bit out of the box this year! Thank you for your inspiration!

  • What she said 🙂

  • I really need to work on scheduling posts in advance. Thanks for sharing these tips!

  • Hi Elizabeth! I just commented above you and saw your post. Welcome to Blogland! What's the name of your blog so I can check it out? I didn't see a link in your Disqus profile.

  • I take it back- I found the link! Checking it out now!

  • Such good advice Beth! I'm so feeling the weight of trying to "do it all" right now…and struggling to give myself grace and learn to say "no" when i need to. it's a process, but it's good!

  • Oh for sure! Especially with wedding planning. Seriously, it is not worth the stress! Feel free to email me if you ever want to chat wedding because I know from experience that the joy is not found in the perfect plans 🙂 XOXO

  • YAY! I am proud of you. Take it day by day and you will do great! Also, lots of grace is always needed!

  • Girl! I love your encouragement!

  • Foreign Geek

    I still struggle with prioritising and still suck with making plans :S but I agree with what you write. I need an every day reminder. Thanks for the post Elizabeth 🙂

  • This is wonderful! My last attempt at blogging was while in school full time and working two jobs. It was sporadic at best. Now that I have a regular work schedule, I've started over with a much clearer vision in mind. Adding the time management piece is key, and these are all wonderful tips!

  • Yes. I think we all need to ask ourselves that every once in awhile

  • I love this 🙂 XOXO

  • I am so glad this was helpful! It really is – life is always busy and if you want consistency, you just need to plan on it 🙂

  • I am so glad that you were encouraged!

  • You are so welcome! I find that if I have all my ideas for post written down (and photos ready) I can just schedule time to knock out those posts. I love having that scheduled time to "get ahead" and I feel so less stressed!

  • YAY! Twins! Also, I love sharing things like this! I also love hearing from other people because it reminds us all that we are, well, real people!

  • I love that. It does make all the difference!

  • I agree. It is funny how we tend to always need the reminder though!

  • I love when we share similar things 🙂 I loved your post!

  • YAY! Mom. You are an all star. Thanks for commenting on my blog and being a wonderful cheerleader. You are the best.

  • Eryn,
    That is so sweet to hear. One of my goals this year is to step back and really only post focused, quality content here! It is always a work in progress but it is humbling to hear that you were encouraged! XOXO

  • And thank you friend for being a constant reader and encourager!

  • Thanks Allison!

  • You are so kind and encouraging! I am honored and humbled that you enjoyed this post!!

  • It's funny how they forget we're real people. Because I'm a food blogger, people think they can't cook for me anymore. It's so silly! I serve just as much "ugly" food (or eat take-out) as I do pretty, blog-worthy food.

  • I think we can all agree with that one!

  • YAY! I know – we set such unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others. Thanks for your encouragement Madison!

  • You are so welcome! We really need to embrace life (not be mad at it for messing up our plans all the time) sometimes other things just are more important!

  • Yes! haha. We all have our thing!

  • I am glad you were encouraged and inspired!

  • YES! Don't forget time off! You will find that "off" time is where you really find your inspiration and purpose.

  • beth, this post is so encouraging!! i appreciate you being so real, and for giving such helpful suggestions!! when i was in college, it was easy to find time to blog (although i was pretty sporadic with it), but now that i'm teaching full time….whew. this post was just so refreshing to read.

  • MeganReablog.wordpress.com

    This is so helpful! Thank you for being so real and shedding some light on "doing it all." 🙂

  • I am so glad that you were encouraged and inspired!

  • Julie!
    This is so good to hear. Yes, life gets busy and I think we always need to prioritize and give grace no matter what we are doing! I am glad that it encouraged and even inspired you!

  • YES! Because that little man is a priority so you want to be spending quality time with him as well as get things done! I love this!

  • Sarah,
    What sweet words!!! I am praying for this journey. Comparison kills creativity! LEt others inspire you, vocalize you priorities, and give yourself grace! You can do this.

  • YES! They are self reminders as well! lol

  • Thanks Kendall! Also, thanks for lunch today!!!

  • YEP! So true. We can't let plans trump people and/or God's nudging!

  • Thanks Allison! You are so sweet!

  • Martha Kate! Thanks for your sweet words 🙂 I am glad you stopped by and were encouraged! I look forward to getting to know you better!

  • Thank you for the beautiful encouragement!

  • Kendall Ashley

    It was a blast! So good to see you!

  • LOVE LOVE your honest and thoughts, Beth! What a great article, really! As I anticipate our sweet little baby in the beginning of March, I am working to give myself space to adapt and be present with the new baby! I think blogging may have to be one of those things that goes on break, or changes roles in my daily life. It can be so hard whenever I can see so many things I could be doing, but need to be content with my current life situation! I'm now working 26 hours/week from home for a social media company — I think that will be hard enough to maintain. 2015 will be interesting and new — thank you for being my friend and encouraging me along the way! xo

  • I am so excited! I am praying for you in this new season. May you make the things the Lord is asking of you priority and give yourself grace for everything else!

  • Thank you so much, I really appreciate your friendship and prayers <3

  • I am so so so SO glad you were encouraged by this! Let me know if you ever want to chat!

  • elizabeth-oliver.blogspot.com !

  • This is really good. I really needed to hear this. I need to learn to give myself grace, and more importantly, receive the grace that God gives me daily. Amen!

  • Yes! I am so glad you found this older post and were encouraged!! Grace!

  • Kike Akinola

    This was really helpful. I have a blog as well ( ww.w.thefvfactor.blogspot.co.uk ) and I your post certainly addresses a lot of the questions I have been asking myself. Thanks for sharing

  • I am so so so glad you were encouraged! You got this!
    XOXO