How To Stay Motivated & On Top Of All The Things

How To Stay Motivated & On Top Of All The Things - The confused millennial, millennial blog

*Ask Rachel* ICYMI, you can submit your questions about ANYTHING to me by using this form. You just may see my response on the blog!


One reader asks: 
Do you have a team that helps you create your content? …I’m sure you hear this often, but I’ve been wanting to start my own blog but my procrastination (and fear of being judged) continue to get in my way. How do you organize your day so side projects you’re passionate about get completed? And how do you get in the right mindset to put yourself out there online with the content you create?

Thank you so much for reaching out! Blogging is definitely the category I get the most questions in! Just as a reminder to all the readers, I do offer blog audits, one-on-one coaching, and so much more on my services page! As a millennial, and a millennial blog no less, staying motivated and on top of all the things can feel impossible as times. I hope my answers about how to get it all done while maintaining passion help!

My Team

Currently, I don’t have anyone on my team helping me with content creation. I do accept guest posts (sponsored and non-sponsored) which alleviates some pressure. I generally post 2-4 guest posts per month. In the past, I worked with an awesome graphic designer who helped with a few projects. Right now, I have a fantastic intern right now. She helps me manage the bulk of my social media and a lot of blog maintenance stuff I am working on.

Fear Of Judgment & Mindset

First off, it’s awesome that you have the insight to distinguish where your procrastination is coming from! Fear is typically the biggest culprit when it comes to procrastination. Otherwise, it’s not really procrastination, but a matter of not enough hours in the day. When starting out, or evolving, I think fear of judgment is something we ALL struggle with. I’ve written about how to overcome that fear when starting out a couple of times:
How To Announce Your Blog To The World
How To Overcome “First Post” Jitters

Many bloggers I know experienced bullying or harmful judgment in some way prior to starting their blog. I think this is why telling our truth to a broader audience is so important to many of us. Reflect on how you’ve overcome criticism in the past, and there is nothing to be afraid of or ashamed of. It’s also really important to get clear on your “why,” as in “why” are you starting a blog. Once you get clear on that, it becomes easier to move through all the “noise” (re: negative self talk, doubts, fears, etc.).

Getting in the right mindset for me has a lot to do with knowing my “why” and what the big picture I am working towards is. I know what it’s like to feel totally alone and lost (after so many years of being an overachiever). That isolation and fear of failure isn’t a fun place to be, which is why I hope to help all the other confused millennials out there. I hope to be that big sister that is a few steps ahead in life, and tells it like it is, but you can still have fun with.

My big picture goal is long term (like 10 years away) and requires a large and engaged audience. Whenever I feel like quitting or question a vulnerable post, I remember those things. Wanting this type of community is a priority in my life, and no other side project or career distraction is going to get in my way at this point. For me, blogging and coaching are do or die (not to be dramatic, but I legit can’t work for other people, haha!). There are no other options.

If you can start thinking that blogging isn’t just A road but THE road for you, things fall into place. That’s not to say you should be all desperate and and shortcut things.  However, in my experience, if you don’t have the fire to truly BUILD something, then don’t waste your time, energy, and money because blogging isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the passionate.

I think overcoming fear of judgement, make motivation and finding the time to do all the things a lot easier. Also, when you let go of fear, the motivation to create content becomes a lot easier. Obviously writer’s block of creator block can happen, but in my experience it’s usually traced back to fear. For example, you have something big going on in your life, emotionally draining you, making it impossible to think (or produce content) that’s “on brand.” I know I’ve produced nothing during those times because I couldn’t find a way to spin it as “helpful” or “actionable advice” (on brand for me).

Daily Organization & Scheduling

I believe I touched on this in my post on “how to create the perfect planner for you,” but essentially I try to give myself an “out”. I have certain tedious routine maintenance tasks I do every single day. Beyond that, I keep a running to-do list and a daily to-do list of my top three priorities. These are my “must dos.”

I’ve identified my most “productive” or “focused” times of day and schedule my must dos during those times. For example, 10:30-1 I am a ROCKSTAR! I get a second wind from 2-3, then am a waste. During high energy times, I schedule tasks that require my best effort. Sometimes I get more done earlier in the day, but if I’ve completed my three main tasks, I give myself permission to go to do whatever. I’ll hit the beach or watch tv in bed, even if is 1 o’clock in the afternoon. As an entrepreneur and blogger, the to-do lists are endless. There will always be more tasks to do and if you keep trying to force yourself through them all, then you will reach burn out.

My day basically looks like:

7-10: social media and emails (I am usually a zombie at this time, so I schedule my low attention items here)

10-1: must do tasks of the day

1-2: lunch and a tv break

2-3: finish any must do tasks – if those are done I either call it a day or do some of my weekly smaller tasks

3-5: Watch ELLEN! *Yes, I watch the same episode back to back every single day (unless I have a client call, in which case I will watch 1 episode

5-6: Prep/cook dinner, check emails, social media

6-8: Evening walk and dinner with the hubs with the occasional social media management and email check

8: phone is away & tv time!

My friend Stefanie O’Connell uses a similar tactic called ruthless prioritization. Basically centering everything around task #1 for however long. Check out my Forbes post quoting other entrepreneurs and side hustlers on how they create work-life balance.

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  • That sounds amazing! I love that schedule! I am most productive in the early and late morning, so I would love to be able to work from home and utilize a schedule like that. If I still lived at the beach though, I’d be in trouble. I would want to stay out there from around 11am-2pm every single day!!!

  • Fear od judgement is definitely a huge roadblock for me. Sometimes I post things and delete them right away. Petty, right!!

  • Allison Lancaster

    I love that you have your day scheduled out! Scheduling has helped me be so much more productive.

  • Candice Schenk

    It’s like you reached into my mind! Staying motivated is so important! I am in the process of making a daily schedule right now!

  • I LOVE the fact that you watch Ellen back to back daily. She’s the best. As are you.

    Coming Up Roses

  • Having a daily schedule is SO important when you are your own boss. Knowing yourself and when you are most productive helps a lot too. I am so productive and creative in the morning but brain dead and a little grumpy by 3-4! In my ideal world I would do all blogging in the morning (sadly that doesn’t always work with my day job but I do my best).

    As for feeling afraid of judgement, I don’t think we ever outgrow that completely. I’m still nervous to publish posts sometimes after 4 years of blogging but usually when I’m afraid it means it’s a post that is important to me.

  • Daily schedules help me out SO much. At the start of every week, I do a rough outline of what I need to get done and then each morning, I fill up my to-do list for the day.

  • I love that you incorporate nice breaks throughout your day! I honestly think that’s why so many people get burnt out with typical 9-5 jobs because it can be so tedious. I eat at my desk for lunch everyday simply because there’s so much going on, and I know it’s not good. Everyone needs and deserves a break throughout the day.

  • Alexandria Snider

    That’s a great idea to schedule your hardest tasks during your most productive time of the day! I need to start trying that!

  • nicole simonetti

    I love how planned out your day is – strategy at its finest! I’ve learned to start updating my to-do lists based on what time of the day I can complete things because my productivity is allll over the place depending on the hour. thx for sharing! x, nicole // http://www.nicoleeigh.com

  • I love how you broke down your day and talked about scheduling your tasks that require the most attention when you feel most active. I’ve never thought about doing that before. So smart!

  • These are such great tips! I love that you kind of gave us a glimpse into what you do everyday in your life! Since I’m currently home and working on my blog full time I need to do something like this.

  • Rachel, what a great post for newbie and old hat bloggers! Your section on fear = procrastination really speaks to me (it took me TWO YEARS to start Cook Wine and Thinker! I was TERRIFIED!)

    Finding your productive times is also important, totally agree.

    Xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

  • This is so funny, I published a post about motivation today too! How funny… great minds think alike!

  • Having a set routine definitely helps! I totally have those same (short) “rockstar” times of the day. I wish they lasted longer sometimes, but then again, I do get a lot done in those times!

  • Knowing the times when you’re most productive is SO important! This has been a lifesaver for me, even at my full time job. I work best in the mornings (I’m a morning person) and that’s when I like to get my bigger tasks done but everyone is different 🙂

    Also, I LOVE Ellen too! Whenever I have a day off from work, I make it a point to watch her show if I can!

  • Neely

    If I dont have a rough schedule I can’t function

  • I like the idea of scheduling things during your high energy times. I try to do that each day but it isn’t always as successful as I’d like haha.

  • Rachel @ It’s A Hero

    These are really great tips! 🙂 I need to implement some of this scheduling! 🙂

  • I’m a person who tries to get my most important tasks done between 9-noon because that’s when I’m the most focused and can get a lot done.

  • Can I say how insightful and in-depth your responses always are? Like I was just sitting here reading the part about procrastination being linked with fear thinking “wow, that’s me sometimes.” And I have noticed when I let go of fear, the ideas start flowing. Loved this!

  • You have a great schedule,I wish I could plan mine that well. I need to start planning my days that I actually don’t have my kid better.

  • Ash Neverson

    I love this post, even when i started my blog i still was scared of a lot of judgement from friends but i ended up making awesome connections through this platform!
    Thank you for sharing these tips
    Ash – http://www.theashtreejournal.com

  • April Kitchens

    I think I’m always pretty motivated to work on my blog content. Now, other adult things, not so much lol.

  • Amy Blake

    I have recently fallen out of my daily routine after taken a vacation, this is exactly what I needed to get myself back in gear! Thanks!

  • thesofieyahdiaries

    I totally agree with these tips!! I feel like because of how busy I’ve been, I haven’t had the time I wanted to really be motivated, esp for my blog, but that will all change once school is over!!

    http://thesofieyahdiaries.com/beauty/emcosmetics-illustrative-eyeliner-review

  • I need motivation right now. These are such great tips!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Miss ALK

    I love your daily schedule!! I need to really get into one for my morning time before my day job.

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Planning daily my activities always helps me stay sane. It’s the best piece of advice I could give someone. Although, even with all the organisation, motivation still fades away sometimes…

    Cristina | *janded

  • Daily schedule is KEY for me too! I’m so with you.

  • Carla Ngan

    Yes!!

  • I need to get better at scheduling. I can be hours doing the same thing when I should have set time for the tasks.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

  • Sami Mast

    I love this post! I definitely need to get better at scheduling and getting my butt to work! Half the time I feel like I’m scrambling to complete things!

    xo
    Sami
    The Classic Brunette

  • Candice Schenk

    Thank you for this post! I need help with prioritizing my schedule!

  • Corey Wheeland

    Yes, I too am trying to do all the things! Great ideas!

  • Working full time adds on another layer of trying to get motivated. I love how you are able to schedule out your day- sometimes I feel so taxed by bedtime from trying to work in blog posts and social media content after work, along with making dinner, having time for my pets, etc. I need to take your advice on creating a better schedule!

  • Elly Leavitt

    I literally organize my day down to the hour haha.. it’s so much help! more power to you for being able to put your phone away so early lol. i can’t do that.

  • Daily scheduling is everything for me! I can’t operate without my hourly to-do lists!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

  • robbie doyle

    Great read! You made some great points. I know for me planning is a must because it is easy to get overwhelmed with trying to maintain and balance everything! I like the way you break down your day by hours, I will have to try it.

  • Anmaria Djong

    yes sometimes I do struggle if I should give it up. It took so much time with all these things. But as you said..we see it long term. So that keeps me going.

  • I’m a procrastinator and it’s definitely in large part due to not enough hours in the day. I’ve been trying the running to-do list in a notebook, and it’s been helpful with being more productive, knowing that not everything has to get done that day.

  • A daily schedule and making a list are the best things for me to stay motivated! Really appreciated all your advice!

  • I love how you share with us how your day looks like. I might be easy to give up, but just keep going!! Thanks for sharing this :))

  • Susie Liberatore

    I love the intern idea!! I need to see if I can find someone to help with some stuff here and there. I also like the schedule I am critical of this everyday.

  • Amanda Jonsson

    I love the idea of figuring out your high energy times so that you can focus on important tasks during that time. This was really helpful, thank you!

  • mckenna bleu

    I love this post! I love that you watch the same Ellen episode! I love her show so much!

  • Organization is a must for me. My day goes well when I am organized. Ellen is the bomb!

  • Organizing is definitely a must! I like to write out my daily schedules the night before so that when I wake up I know exactly what is on my plate for the day.

  • Kaitlin

    I love how open and honest you are – being a millennial blogger myself (and I’m sure most of your readers are, too), I really, really appreciate your openness. Thank you!!

    – Kaitlin
    kedgotwed.com

  • Loved that you broke down your schedule!! I feel that to be a successful blogger you have to have a schedule that works best for you. Also being organized really helps too!

  • Sydney Power

    Great daily schedule, mine is all over the place with having school and a job ontop of blogging!

  • Making a plan I can stick to is my only way to stay motivated!

  • I am so jealous of your day! I work from 7:30-4:30 which is such a pain. My most active/productive time is from about 8:30-1 and then I enjoy my lunch break from 1-2. I, too, get a second wind from 2-3.

  • I love your schedule! I’ve been really terrible about waking up at a decent hour and staying up really late recently, so I’m trying to get back on track! Otherwise our schedules are pretty similar – very important to schedule yourself some breaks as well!

  • Do you have any tips for managing third trimester exhaustion? LOL No matter how much I plan ahead and organize everything, I have the hardest time finding the energy to make things happen these days.

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