You and Me & Chasing Little G


My Work at Home Schedule

Self EmploymentSabra GilbertComment

One thing that I've been working on these last few weeks of working from home full time is getting into a schedule that is right for me. That keeps me pumped & inspired while also being able to get down and concentrate on my work. I honestly thought that finding a schedule was going to be extremely easy for me. And that I would find a way to leave my work behind when the proper time came.

But when you are working for yourself, there really is no 5 PM work halt. Sometimes you convince yourself to go just fifteen more minutes, and then an hour later . . .

And while I don't mind doing that in some instances, sometimes it means that I get no time to myself, or with my husband. But I've started to set a schedule out for my days that I quite enjoy that is a compromise for Simeon and I. Though sometiems I start my work a little bit earlier (like today) if I don't get everything done the day before.

Which is why in my scheduled office hours, I don't actually have 40 hours in which I say that i am available to responding to emails quickly. I know that sometimes I'm just going to need to grind to get work done, and I would need time that I wasn't responcible to my email to get some more maintenance and inspired work done. And trust me when I say that I work much, MUCH more than those hours suggest, though there are certain days, such as Friday & Saturday that I do cute off at my scheduled times to be with friends who only have those days off. (My weekend is Sunday & Monday because those are the days that Simeon gets off from work every week!)

Anyway, onto my schedule! I'll be sharing my Tuesday Schedule since it is the beginning of my work week!

Work-At-Home Schedule || Becoming Sabra Gilbert

8:30 - Alarm

I am not a morning person. Hardcore not a morning person. Getting up at 7, or 6!!!, is just not my thing. I can't do it. I'm cranky. I can't concentrate. And no one wants to deal with me. So while it seems like a late start, it really is what is best for me (and for those who have to deal with me throughout the day!)

9-10 - Relaxed Reading 

honestly, I don't get ready first thing in the morning. And I can't eat right away either (it irritates my stomach). So after the grogyness of waking up passes, I put in some reading time (sometimes a little phone gaming time as well) with my books or some blog posts. I start the morning with something that I love and it makes starting the day SOOOO much easier!

10-11 - Random

This is the time that I either talk with Simeon, get ready for the day (maybe), or even just start getting some work done. But it's all still probably from my insanely ugly, but insanely comfy reading chair in our living room. And I make my breakfast during this time (I'm obsessed with Chocolate Bannana Oatmeal smoothies!)

11 - 2 - Midnight Photography & Design

This is when I finally hit my desk and start client work. I respond to my MPD email and try to keep BSG blog stuff closed. I'm trying to break the habit of constantly multi-tasking since I know that I barely get done what I want when I do.

2-5 - Becoming Sabra Gilbert

This is when I try to get some blog posts written for the week and schedule social media. If I've been in my chair for too long, sometimes I'll switch to the living room floor or my bed.

5-6 - Update Client Homepages & Finish up some emails

At the end of the day, i go back to MPD work to answer some responding emails about what I finished this morning and to make sure to update their homepage with where we are in our design process.

After Work:

I usually take around a half hour after six to wind down from being on my laptop for so long with coloring a page in my new coloring book that I received for Christmas. After that I'll either leave my laptop closed, or jump back on to do a few lessons of The Blog Detox by Helene in Between or handle some maintenance for MPD or BSG (like my current branding shift). If I'm still in a super creative mood, I'll also put some time into working on a few little projects for MPD that I have up my sleeve! 

And I have time to clean the house a little and make dinner. If I remember to make dinner. I often forget. :) 

Obviously, this is still a rough sketch of my day. And I do get lunch in there, just usually something quick that I can eat at my desk.

I love seeing people's days! So what do your days look like? If you have a post of one of your days, please share below! I'd love to read it!

Why I Love Google Calendar

Sabra GilbertComment

Finishing college. Being married. Running a blog. Being a contributor on two other blogs. Running my own photography & design business. Figure out how to maximize social media. Trying to write a novel on top of that.

With all of these things that I have decided to throw into my life, keeping extremely organized with my schedule is a necessity. I have a day designer and absolutely love it, but it's mostly only a really big help on today's to do and seeing my daily schedule. To really get to see long term, I am obsessed with using Google Calendar. It has my everything!

So what do I use it for?

1| Major Due Dates

 this includes school, business, and budget important dates, like when a bill is due.

2| Editorial Calendar

  For my blog and the other blogs that I contribute on, I write out editorial calendars for all three, which on Google calendar I can see all at once to make sure that I'm not writing all about the same thing on three blogs in one day.

3| Compare Schedules with myself and my husband  

 I love that Simeon and I can share a calendar so we have both of our daily schedules put in one place that we can both manipulate and see.

While this sounds like a crazy amount of stuff to have in one calendar, the best part of Google Calendar is how It helps me keep it all organized.

1| Color Coded

 For every specific area of life, there is a different color that I use. Dark blue for blog. Red for Budget. Purple for Midnight Photography & Design. Pink for His Endless Love. Brown for A Pinch of Faith. Green for school and personal things. Teal for my Novel. It's a great system because I can see what is taking up most of my week in only a glance.

2| All Day Event

 I mark everything as an all day event and put the time as a note in the event. That way it is big and bold and easy to see. 

3| Hide Future Event

 When you need to focus on just one topic at a time, like writing blog posts, I like to hide all my other things so I don't loose focus.

Prepping for Pintrest: Making Your Own Stock Photography

Sabra GilbertComment

Pintrest is a wonderful resource for blogging. It is a great way to get inspired, to get ideas, and to get seen by others. To be beneficial, we as bloggers have to use it correctly. One of the very first ways that you can make your post ready for Pintrest is to make a pinnable image!

But I know that sometimes, there just isn't enough time in a day to take brand new pictures for every single blog post. That's where stock photography comes into play. It's photos that don't have an exact purpose but can be used for many things, And you can keep your very own stash hidden away for times that you need a photo and you don't have time to take the photos and get the perfect one.

Step 1| What do you Need the Photos For?

           This is where having a list of your general topics comes in handy. Like here at Becoming a Gilbert, I write mostly about marraige, college life, my faith, photography & blogging, so I need to determine what would be the best backdrop for a title around those topics? Well for photography, I either should be showing off a technique or have a picture of my camera in the background. For my marriage posts, I use a wedding photo. College life can be a stack of books or my homework laid out on a desk. Just basic things that relate.

Step 2| Gather your Supplies.

           I try to do little photoshoot sessions and build up my collection over time. Like last week, I wanted photos for blogging and photography tips that would also work as decoration photography on my new MPD website (launching later this month!), so I grabbed my laptop, camera and some supplies that I might use in blogging. For college tips, I would use a stack of old textbooks or binders. To have the greatest impact, pick things with your branding colors. It really turns everything into a more cohesive look!

Step 3| Have the Right Background.

           Some people are blessed with the perfect spaces already in their home. Living in a basement apartment with a college student budget, big white spaces just aren't in the cards. My living space isn't the best decorated either. So I've opted to either go outside for photoshoots or use white foam board to create the backdrop that I would like.

Step 4| Pick the Right Time

            As I said, I don't really have the best living space for the best photos. But I know when the most natural light comes through my windows. So I try to schedule my little photoshoots for those times and also fake the right light with my foam boards and lamps in a million different directions.

Step 5| Have Fun!

             You might go into the shoot thinking you want one certain look at one certain angle, but you chould have a lot of fun changing the angles, focusing on different things, or trying different combinations. Your magical shot might be in one of those random changes. If anything, you have a lot of different shots that you could use and have built up a stock photography collection.

This is what I've done to save time in my blogging, and I hope that it helps you do the same! Blogging is so much more fun if you get to enjoy the community and writing more than worrying about Pintrest and making time for all the "things" that you "have" to do for blogging.

What are some posts that you can prep for today?

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Snapchat for Blogging

Sabra GilbertComment
Guys. I'm in love with using Snapchat for blogging. The only curating that can happen with Snapchat is that people choose when they want to snap. So sure, you could only show off the wonderful moments, but  honestly, nobody wants to see the perfect on Snapchat. I love behind the scenes posts on blogs, so when some of my favorite bloggers openly gave out their snapchat users for others to follow along, I jumped on it.

But how can you use it as a social media platform?

Snapchat for Bloggers - Becoming Sabra Gilbert

There are plenty of different ways that I've seen it used in the last few months. I haven't used it in some of these ways yet, but I plan on doing so in the future, and I hope that these inspire you as well!!

Helene in Between (helenesula) - I love how she shows off her blog post every day. Obviously there is no way to link to it, but it gives a different kind of a preveiw than what can happen on any other form of social media.

Ashley Brook Designs (abdesigns)  - OMG if you have a shop of any kind, you need to follow this girl. She is pretty awesome at showing off her work daily in a nonchalant way. It is the best marketing strategy that I've seen! She shows off how she uses all of her own things every day like picking one of her own mugs every morning.

The College Prep (collegeprepster) -  Not only does Carly show super cute videos of her little pup, but she does little mini giveaways. She has her own stickers and has people snap her their address and she mails the first 100 or so her stickers!

I can't wait to start implimenting some of these techniques! So make sure to check out my Snapchat story on the regular to catch some fun preveiws, behind the scenes, and giveaways!! I don't know what I'm going to giveaway yet, but stay tuned!!

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