The question from the outset is complex. No secrets lie within the pages of the book Michael White, my life is fantastically normal. Yet somehow I have found the time over the last year to work full-time and keep this blog going. This is the 67th blog post of 2011 and I want to let you know how I do it.
The Weekday Situation
Being a Multinational Account Manager at Microsoft does not require me working over the weekends, only Monday to Friday. On average I work for Microsoft 8 ½ hours each day, occasionally spiralling to 9 ½ hour days depending on my level of workload. In which case I choose to arrive earlier to work – yet the working hours do not take into account my travelling time. Each week I spend at least 7 hours travelling to London and back.
Organisation is Key
You’re sitting at your desk in the morning but there is something wrong, you feel stressed. In your mind you know the tasks you need to do but are unable to decide what should be done first. During these times it is easy to procrastinate.
Do not underestimate calendar planning. Plan each task of your day into your calendar. Below is an example of a day next week:
9:00 – 10:00: Review Advertising Campaign Performance
10:00 – 11:00: Look into campaign ‘x’ to compare against agency data
11:00 – 12:30: Team Meeting
12:30 – 1:30: Lunch
1:30 – 3:00: (Unplanned Time)
3:00 – 4:30: Xbox Team Unveil New Features
4:30 – 5:00: Call client regarding issue ‘y’
5:00 – 5:30: Rebill order ‘z’
Be ready and prepared. If you are then it is easy to spot a period of time when blogging could be possible. Yet all jobs are different, could you make time over the weekend?
There are possible actions each day which may not add to the value of their time. For instance occasionally I receive a meeting requests in my work calendar which are either not relevant for my role or simply time wasters. A couple of interns from my year had the habit of planning meetings which would eventually prove unnecessary as no developments had been made from a previous week – avoid time wasting meetings like the plague. These meetings block out time and will eventually only cause stress.
In a simpler metaphor, your calendar is a plant which must be regularly pruned.
Importance of Blogging
Some days I will blog at Microsoft over my lunch break. Writing provides a therapeutic break from an otherwise hectic day. On other occasions I will write once I arrive back home. Blogging should not be seen as a task but instead a necessity. Find time to enjoy the act of writing a post. If you look carefully there will be time somewhere.
This blog post was proudly written on a Sunday morning. It took form at 8:30am and was completed at 9:20am.