Keeping my S*** Together: Balancing Books and Life by @DianthaJones

The following originally appeared on and is posted here with permission.

So this is my deal: I work full-time, I'm getting my Master's degree in Human Resources Management, I'm an author, and I blog like it's nobody's business. Add Masquerade Tours onto that and I'm officially out of my damn mind.

But I manage to keep it all together with very little collateral damage. How? Organization and time management. It's the key to everything.
If people actually laid out every hour they're awake, they would realize how much time they waste not doing a damn thing constructive. Sure, we all need time to just goof-off, but some of us spend more time playing around than handling business. For someone like me, this is unacceptable and I'd never get anything done if I lazed around as much as I'd like.


First, I have a calendar on my laptop. Looks like this:

I do a lot of tour hosting and have a lot of memes between three sites, so for me, this calendar is invaluable. Each site (I have three) has a color and I set a reminder for each post for the day before so I don't forget. Now that I have an assistant to help me do more of my author stuff (and he takes care of some of my tour hosting posts), I have more time to focus on reviews and memes. And reading! I'm insane enough to be doing The Mad Reviewers' reading challenge this year, so I definitely need time for that.

On top of my calendar, I keep notes and makes lists. Lots and lots of lists. I write a lot of my "To-Do" stuff down in my notebook or make a list in my iPhone. I prioritize tasks by the most urgent or important and check them off as they're completed...well, most of the time. But the lists do help me keep myself on task. I'm easily distracted by things such as Pinterest and Netflix if my mind is left trying to figure out what to do next.

Time Management

The days I work are the hardest to manage, that's why I manage my days off carefully. Every hour is precious and they are here and gone before you know it. I usually schedule the earlier part of my day for blogging and tour business. That way, when I start writing, I won't have to stop to take care of other things. Sometimes, however, my blogs take up my entire day. That's all right, because it keeps me from getting burnt out writing. If I get burnt out, the writer's block snags my ass with a vengeance and it takes forever to shake it off. I'd rather avoid it if I can.

I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to allocate time to each task, like exact time periods. This is only because I'm getting into a monthly routine with a lot of my memes and such, and I'm able to calculate how long things are taking me. Like running my review team (yes, I have one of 30+ reviewers) is very time consuming, but more at the end of the month when I'm collecting books for authors and having to create review lists. I have a system that works, but it still takes a lot of time. On the days where I have to focus on that, I don't schedule as many other tasks.

Other than my own writing, Masquerade Tours will now take priority over everything else from now on. Our clients will get the best service I can provide even if I have to drop a couple of memes and slack up on my tour hosting. If I stay organized then I should be able to handle it, but only time (management) will tell.

Basically, stay organized and make every minute of your day count and I bet you'll accomplish so much more than you ever thought you could. I know it worked for me.