I Don’t “Manage” Blogging – I’m a Mood Lifer

I’ve been reading a lot of posts lately that are titled things like:

  • How do you manage your reading schedule?
  • How do you make time for blogging?
  • School is starting soon—how do you make time for your blog?

Then the posts themselves and the comments are riddled with all these organizational tips. Some people say that they have specific days on which they do certain activities, or others designate certain hours to blogging and other hours to homework, etc.

I always read these posts, get prepared to comment, and realize… I don’t do any of those things. I don’t “manage” my time or my schedule. I take the Nike approach and Just Do It.

I’m not say that management is not the way to go. Different methods work for different people. Some people really thrive off of having schedules, timetables, and spreadsheets. Every time they get an ARC they put it down in their calendar for a review. They set aside two hours for blogging and three hours for homework and only do those activities in those time slots. That works for some people and that’s great! But I thought I’d talk a bit about what I do instead.

I’m a mood lifer

You know how some people are mood readers? (I totally am one.) They read whatever they want whenever they want, without any thought to obligations or deadlines. If they’re in the mood to read this ARC that won’t be released for another four months, they’ll read it, damnit! It doesn’t matter if they still have a pile of books to review that come out next week; they’ll read what they feel like reading.

That’s kind of how I approach my life and blogging. I’m a mood lifer.

I don’t set aside times for work and times for blogging and times for reading. I don’t work from 9am to 4pm, blog from 4pm to 6pm, and read from 8pm to 11pm. When I get an idea for a blog post, I immediately switch gears and write that post. If I feel like reading, I drop what I’m doing, grab my Kindle, and read.

But how do you get work done?

So you might be wondering: if I always do whatever I want whenever I want, how do I ever get my work done? I have clients and have to complete certain projects and tasks. Where do those fit in? Well, I set kind of vague deadlines for myself. I estimate how long a project should usually take me and expect myself to have it done before that point. Then I fill in any gaps in my day with that work, and I usually get done ahead of schedule anyway.

Honestly, this is kind of one of those things that’s like, Don’t ask, because I can’t even tell you. Seriously, it just works itself out in the end. I don’t question it.

It was the same way in high school. I didn’t really study more than 30-60 minutes for tests and left 99% of my homework until the last minute. And I did pretty well in school. How did that happen without studying timetables and scheduled homework times? I have no idea. It just worked out fine.

This doesn’t work for everyone

I don’t expect my method to work for everyone. It’s kind of weird and some people might see it as messy or disorganized. But it works well for me and I love it!

Are you a manager or a mood lifer?

(Yes, mood lifer is my new term. I should trademark that awesomeness.)

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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25 comments

  1. I am so with you, Ashley. I sometimes get a complex when I read those kinds of posts, but I just can’t do it that way. Takes away the joy for me, and the joy is why I do this (not like there’s any money in it for me). I write and publish posts as they come to me. I read 5 books at a time, switching based on mood. Life (and blogging) is just more fun that way.

    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
  2. This is me, except I don’t manage it well. I review and post when I feel like I have something to review or post. I wish I was better at keeping up with it all but I don’t always have the energy or time and I honestly feel like doing something else. Same with reading. And I am so a mood reader. Great post.

    JennRenee recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday #119
  3. Yep this is so me!! I’m def a HUGE mood reader and mood blogger really. So mood lifer YEP. Some weeks I will spend so much time reading and blogging and some weeks I won’t even open my computer or a book. I just go where my mood takes me. I don’t schedule blogging things. I just do them when I feel like it. Sometimes that’s at 5:30 am and I will bang out lots of stuff and sometimes that’s frantically before I go to bed because I really DO want that post up. (and sometimes I’m like YEAH NO BED IS BETTER SEE YA). I find just doing it when I WANT to helps me to resent all this less and make it feel less like a chore. I also do my better work I think when I’m doing it because I’m inspired rather than because it’s my designated time. BUT I know other people thrive in different ways! But, long story short, I’m very similar to you!

  4. For blogging in general I just do it when I can and feel like it. Right now I have the mornings free so I do it before house stuff, and when I start work that will probably change. I think I’m more of a mood lifer (I like the new term), as I tend to read and blog when I feel like it, and if I don’t I’ll go do something else.
    I do put on my calendar when ARC books should be done by but I usually don’t read them until I’m in the mood, and if I do happen to be late I try not to stress, although so far I’ve been good.

    Kelsey recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday: Mortal Gods
  5. I’d love to be able to fly by the seat of my pants like you do, but I work from 8 to 5 every day, have two kids that need attention after work, a house to keep going, dogs to walk, dinner to make every night…etc. If I don’t schedule blogging and reading time, I might as well quit. So you should feel lucky that you have such a flexible schedule. Most people don’t.

    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday (114): THE MECHANICAL by Ian Tregillis
  6. Honestly, I’m both! I have post ideas written in a planner for what I want to post. I try my best to get the posts scheduled on my blog before the day they’re going to be posted, but sometimes I miss a day. But I’m a “mood lifer,” as you say, when it comes to reading and reviewing, therefore I can’t really schedule ARC reviews or anything of that sort. I have a rough idea in my mind when I want the review to go up, but nothing definite.

  7. I’m a bit weird with this: I like to have a schedule, but I also do things based on my mood. Like, when I’m making up a TBR for the month, I pick random books out based on what I’m into at the moment, but then I stick to it and don’t really change it. And when I’m writing non-review posts, they’re mostly based on what I’m thinking about at that moment in time, but once they’re done they go into the schedule. It works best for me and keeps me going because I’m the kind of person where if I stop doing something for a little while, I’m unlikely to ever come back to it.

    Louise @ Nerdette Reviews recently posted: On Pre-Ordering
  8. I’m definitely more of a manager. I like things orderly. But I’m not super strict about it. I’m definitely a mood reader. I can’t read what I’m not craving no matter the release day. But I do keep a spreadsheet of the ARCS I have and their release day. This just helps me know what books I have to read, but I don’t read them in that order. And I also read a lot of backlist items, too.

    But I do have a schedule for what posts go up when. It just helps me relax knowing what needs to be done when.

    Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook recently posted: Review: The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar
  9. Mood Lifer… love it! You should trademark it!

    I’m a fairly organized person with most things, however, when it comes to blogging and life in general, I’m a mood lifer. I know that sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but what I mean is I’m a bit OCD with a lot of things (example: my fridge, my cupboards, my desk at work, my painting supplies and my purse even) but when it comes to blogging and reading and other interests, I do them as per my mood sees fit.

    Carrie recently posted: The End of Feeling, Cindy C. Bennett
  10. I’m very similar. As side from a few reviews for publishers, of which I don’t do a huge number and I still pick only what I want, I listen and read whatever I want when I want. If I don’t get it from a publisher for review, I may or may not even right a full review for it, just a sentence or two whenever I get around to it. I think if this because a job, I wouldn’t enjoy it.

    Melanie Simmons (@mlsimmons) recently posted: Passion Untamed Audiobook By Pamela Palmer (Review)
  11. I tend to be the same way. I do schedule things – my calender is full of review dates and such – but I don’t put aside a certain time for them. I’ve never had much of a problem keeping up with things, so I don’t need to schedule each day, although I’ve tried it before. I ended up with less done, somehow.

    Katie recently posted: Goodbye Summer Readathon TBR
  12. I’m a mood reader too. With blogging and since I have a co-blogger, I have to be a bit more organized. We try to – at the very least – have posts scheduled a week in advance.

    In my personal life, I’m a bit of an organizational freak. With work (I manage a staff of 20!), a hubby in the military (thus sometimes I’m a single mother) and three kids, it’s up to me to keep some semblance of order. Chaos drives me crazy!

    Liza @ Reading with ABC recently posted: Waiting on Wednesday: Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah
  13. I tried managing my blog but it became too stressful. So now I do have specific days for some posts but it doesn’t mean I’ll always have something to share (and I’m not stressing over missing a day). If I don’ t have a review for a tour then I read by my mood. I also alternate from my ARCs and TBR so that I have a variety and tackle both stacks.

  14. I tried making a blogging schedule, but I totally failed at following it.
    Now, instead of setting specific times to read/blog, I’m setting goals and limits. For example, I want to post at least three times a week, but I’m not going to force myself to plan those posts ahead and write them at set times. Instead of reading at set times, I’m letting myself read whenever, but I need to acknowledge that I need to put down the book and do homework.

    I’m a master procrastinator, and I’ve always been fine with that, but lately I’ve been getting really stressed about school/newspaper deadlines because the work load is increasing and I’m not working efficiently. Cutting cold turkey never works, but setting limits seems to be easing the pressure quite a bit.

    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist recently posted: Review | The Winner’s Curse by Mary Rutkoski
  15. Oh, I’m totally a mood lifer. Schedules DO NOT work for me. I’ve tried to keep them because there are times when I’ve felt like I really should, but I invariably drop the schedule and end up doing whatever. Now, of course, there are some things that have deadlines – for my blogging I do sometimes participate in tours and have to review books by certain dates. And I homeschool my kids, so during the school year, I have to set aside most of the “school day” hours to work with them (though I do read or blog sometimes while they’re working on things), but I leave my schedule as flexible as possible and just do what I want when I want to (I don’t have a rigid homeschooling schedule either – we work on certain subjects pretty much every day, but I don’t have a rigid list of things that we need to get done). Works for me!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: ARC Review & Giveaway – The Jewel by Amy Ewing
  16. I’m definitely a mood lifer, but I’m trying to get my priorities more in check. I majorly procrastinate anything related to school, but I do fairly well anyway. I just never feel in the mood to do homework, so I just don’t. Although this year, I’ve started off very focused. The last couple of days I’ve been able to get to bed earlier and have some extra time to read or blog. So, I’m trying out to stick to a more schedule oriented style of life… We’ll see how long that lasts. But, hopefully I’ll keep it up!

    Amanda @ Vivalabooks recently posted: If I Stay | Movie Review
  17. I’m a bit of both. I schedule myself with deadlines to do things, and what I’m post when, but in terms of actually getting those things done, I just do them when I feel like it. It sounds like I have a similar strategy to you, but I do have a standard 9-5 job that I work that around.

    Sarah recently posted: Review: Poison Dance
  18. Hmmm I like the term mood lifer. I am a mood reader and perhaps that is why I am having such a hard time getting my blog tour books read on time lately? Maybe I need to go back to just reading what I want when I want.

    My work life is very scheduled or at least I have to organize my day every morning by importance. I actually pull all my work out of my TO DO basket and organize each file by importance and attack them that way.

    Some days I wish I had a job where I could work from home, because I think I could multitask a lot of personal stuff while also getting work done. Or maybe that is wishful thinking on my part. 😉

    I really do like your way of working though.

  19. I’m totally the same way! People get burnt out on blogging, and to me, it seems like it’s because it’s always the people trying to maintain a crazy schedule and keep on track. I pick up books at random, read them at random, and just make sure I’ve got a week’s worth of stuff scheduled so if I don’t feel like blogging for two days, I don’t have to! Hooray for mood-lifers!

    Cassie G recently posted: Pinteresting: Bikes & Beaches

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