I'm an early bird. I'm usually up by 5:30 AM during the week. (I'm much more productive in the morning hours! My attention span begins to seriously dwindle around 3:00 pm.) I check the blog to make sure the scheduled post went up, and then I head to the gym for about 45 minutes. Once I'm home, I quickly shower and get dressed. Then, I start working on the blog — finishing up posts, starting new ones — check e-mails, and go through my calendar to make sure I know what needs to get done today. I'm not going to lie, somewhere in there I make time to check "What's New" on Shopbop. It's a daily addiction of mine. I just. have. to. know. On a good day, I usually try to sit down at my kitchen table and read through the last couple of issues of WWD that are starting to pile up (yes... I still subscribe to the paper version.) Then I head to work. I usually get home around 6:30 or 7:00, and then I sit right back down at my desk to work on the blog until it's time to go to bed. Not so exciting, right? I'm thinking this schedule will change quite a bit when I take my new job. So, ask me this question again in a couple of weeks!
What parts of your job do you love? I've been blessed with parents who always told me that it was just unacceptable to have a job you didn't love — the whole "love what you do, do what you love" is a big mantra in our family. I'm so thankful for that lesson. It's life-changing, really. I am genuinely excited to get up everyday and go to work. Between my "day job" and the blog, I'm always in a creative space. That's one of the best parts. The blog has always been the best part of my day. It's so much hard work (more than I could ever have imagined), but it's so worth it. I love the creative freedom I have and the people I get to meet. The blogging community is amazing. It's seriously unlike any other industry.
What parts of your job do you dislike?
This answer changes depending on the day. Some days are just better than others. I would say of one of the most difficult parts for me has been learning work/life balance. I'm really dedicated to my work — not to mention, a little bit (okay, a lot) Type A. Sometimes I put dinners and going out for drinks with friends on the back burner. I let my work day just keep going. My goal this year has been to create a better balance for myself. Get a little more sleep, make time to cook more meals at home, and meet up with girlfriends more often during the week.
What things do you have to do that you didn't realize going into your job?
All of it, I guess. I jumped into blogging with no expectations. The entire process has been a learning experience for me. And I'm still learning! The social media thing has been one of the greater learning experiences. Figuring out how it all works and the best way to use it as a tool for my brand. It's been absolutely essential to growing Luella & June. The downside, however, is that it makes me feel like I can never really un-plug. It overwhelms me how many different media outlets there are for brands — Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Pose, etc. — and it never stops! Once I finally get a groove going with it, out comes a new social media tool that I need to learn. I realize that I can't do all of them, though, so I'm just trying to be really good about the ones that I am involved in.
What type of calendar do you keep? I use iCal. I have all calendar categories organized by color (green for appointments, red for project deadlines, orange for travel dates, etc.). It's easy to add to it, and, thanks to iCloud, anything I add to my calendar on my iPhone is instantly updated to my calendar on my laptop and vice-versa. Everything (doctors appointments, gets put on my iCal. I should probably have some sort of separate blog calendar, but I haven't gotten there just yet.
How do you plan out your calendar? I wish I could say I have an editorial calendar for the blog that's planned out months in advance, but it just doesn't work like that for me. My blog calendar works more on the two week basis. I definitely think it helps to have regular features (Style Notes, What I Love Right Now, etc.) because I know what to expect and what content I need to pull.
How do you organize your to-do list? While everything else is digital for me, I put pen to paper when it comes to my to-do list. I just like the feeling of being able to really cross something off my list (it's such a good feeling, isn't it?). I keep my Graphic Image notebook with me at all times. I keep a running to-do list on the first page. When I've crossed off 3/4 of the items or I'm running out of space, I tear out the page and start a new list. Anything that didn't get done on the previous list simply rolls over to the new one. I also keep a section open at the bottom of each list for blog ideas. If I'm ever without an idea for a blog post, I just look there.
Photo by Bradley Agather
How do tackle your to-do list? I take it one thing at a time. I try to be as efficient as possible. I start at the top and work my down. I usually tackle the easier things first and save the more time-consuming ones for later. Most of my blog "to-dos" are written on post-it notes that are scattered across my desk (or neatly lined up, depending on the day). I try to work through those on Sunday evenings. Once I've completed an item, I throw the post-it away. It's such a good feeling (albeit rare) when I have a desk with just one or two post-its.
How do you tackle your never-ending email? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
I don't have a good strategy here. This is definitely one of the most time consuming parts of the job. It seriously never stops! I try really hard not to put off e-mailing people back. If a short e-mail response will suffice then I do it right then. If I can just respond and get it out my e-mail box, I feel so much better. The e-mails that require a little more attention, I put a star next to them. This lets me know that I need to respond to these e-mails. I usually wait until I'm home or I'm somewhere with a little time to kill (doctor's waiting rooms, airports, those kinds of places) and then I'll respond. When you are stuck on a project, how do you get out of the rut?
I take a break. I'll go for a walk, sit down to read a magazine or catch up on a TV show. I also really like to organize. If I'm stuck on something, sometimes I'll just get up and clean something or organize. (Do I sound like Monica on Friends?) It makes me feel productive. It seems to help?
How do you GSD at home?
Patience. I also make sure to set aside a little bit of time on Sundays for cleaning, organizing, etc. My dining room table becomes this catch-all during the week — stacks of unread WWDs, newspapers, magazines, mail, bills. I try to clean it all off on Sunday and start the week with a clean table.
Nuggets of advice you've been given that have stuck?
Figure out what works for you and then do it. For instance, I know that I am much more productive in the morning, so I do my best to schedule deadlines and projects for the morning hours. Don't set yourself up for failure. Determine what works best for you and then stick to it.