Let’s talk…flexible working

I’ve been planning this post for a while now, having thought about a new mini series for Carry on Caroline: Let’s talk. I’m hoping this will be a few posts on things that aren’t about beauty, travel or fashion that I want to share with you. A couple of months ago, Powwownow popped into my inbox with an invitation to feature in their Ultimate Guide to Flexible Working, so I thought where better to start than a few top tips for writing and working full time.

Having started my blog 3 years ago while at University, trying to run it alongside a full time job was definitely a new challenge when I moved down to London last year. Here you are on my little corner of the internet, as they say: Carry on Caroline, my very own personal style blog. Carry on Caroline started as a hobby, but has kept going alongside my full time job as a Digital Designer in London. Luckily, London presents itself with a million and one opportunities for blog posts – whether it’s things to do or pretty backdrops to visit, so coming up with post ideas has become somewhat second nature to me.

What surprised me most after starting my blog, was the amount of work that goes with it. Coming up with ideas, writing, taking and editing photographs all takes time, and also sometimes revolves around other people’s – like my photographers – schedules! It can feel like I’m constantly hunting for ideas and never quite ‘switching off’, but I do genuinely enjoy all aspects of blogging, which is why I continue to do it.In terms of scheduling my blog around working full time, I try to create a spreadsheet of everything I’m doing that month and see how I can create posts around that, making sure they’ll still be relevant when I schedule them to post. I’ll do this in my lunchtimes and evenings and keep updating this list. Sometimes I start with photography, and sometimes I begin writing and the photos will follow, which means keeping track of several different blog posts and ideas at once.

When I began Carry on Caroline, my posts were pretty irregular and I’ve had a few unintentional breaks. In January, I started a New Years resolution to blog once a week, which means it’s much easier to plan and takes the stress away from trying to constantly create content. I have a post scheduled every Wednesday (or, ahem, Thursday if I’m a little busy that week!), and a Trello board which I use to put my ideas into, and then move them along as I write content, take photographs and ultimately schedule them to post. I always try to take at least one post’s worth of photos on a weekend, as working means I often get home in the dark – though finding time to photograph is always easier in Summer. I’m lucky enough to usually have an obliging boyfriend/sister/friend* (*delete as appropriate) which makes the whole process that little bit easier!

Posting once a week is really all I can do as I try to allow time to switch off and enjoy my dinners out and weekends with friends. I’d love to work out a way to post more in the future, but for now I’m happy with my routine, and means I only spend a few evenings and weekends in my pyjamas writing away.

My top tip for flexible working would be: make some time in your diary, whether it’s a whole Sunday or shorter evening sessions, treat it as you would organising to meet a friend – make sure you make the time, and if you can’t make it, make sure you can reschedule yourself!

Check out my, along with other blogger’s, top tips in Powwownow’s Flexible Working Guide here!