Today, there is so much discussion about balancing work with parenting, social life, fitness, marriage, volunteer work, school, hobbies and passions– the list goes on and on. I’m not in agreement with the belief that we can’t do it all. “Balance” does not mean that you are spending equal time in everything you do. To me, it means YOU- are happy and who’s around YOU is happy with the results and the time/attention you provide.
Between my day job as a business developer coordinator, dedicating time to my boyfriend and family, managing an online store, blogging, traveling, and maintaining an active social life, I feel like I’m doing a pretty decent job of managing my time. So if you’re also balancing blogging with other responsibilities, I invite you to read on.
I just have one month with my travel blog, however I had been preparing for it since 2015 – Yes it took me a while because I like to be prepared before executing a personal project, and blogging has to be done well! Just one month probably sounds like I don’t have the experience BUT like I said I also manage an online store with a friend as a side hustle, and we all know how customers take precious time e-v-e-r-y-day. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a side hustle is when you have a 9-5 job (or equivalent) and then you have a project you are working on in your free time that is your own. I’m sharing 10 simple tips that works for me in everything I do as a side hustle, including a good work-blog balance:
I’m sharing 5 simple tips that works for me to have a good work-blog balance:
1. Realign your goals.
Yes! Before doing anything else, you have to realign your goals! Don’t think in a little adjustment of your day-by-day. When you have a 9-5 Job and you decide to blog, go BIG, adapt yourself to a new “style of life” What’s the difference? Both are used to express a change in something to fit new conditions. However, adapt is more permanent and takes time to achieve, whereas adjust is quicker and less permanent. For example: You adjust things to make yourself more comfortable, like a belt, glasses, seat, etc. You adapt to a new climate, environment or lifestyle.
Let me share a good example of how I adapt blogging to my weekday’s routine because weekends are easier. At the beginning it will be hard, but nothing worth having comes easy! My secret is my morning routine. Adapting yourself to be a morning person will set the tone for the rest of your day. Seriously, that one little thing changes everything.
This used to be typical morning during the week for me:
- 7am: I wake up and do some stretching (Music on!)
- 7:10am: Bathroom and get dressed.
- 7:40am: Take my dog outside.
- 7:50am: Breakfast while checking social media. (Breakfast is very important)
- 8:20am: I go to the office (In my case I live 10minutes away from the office)
And now this is my typical morning:
- 6am: I wake up and do some stretching (Music on!)
- 6:10am: I check news, social media, and get some inspiration from other bloggers, situations, etc… This is time to plan what I’m posting that day, program IG posts, FB, Pinterest, etc. 6:50am: Bathroom and get dressed.
- 7:10am: Video call with my Bf
- 7:40am: Take my dog outside.
- 7:50am: Breakfast while checking more social media.
- 8:20am: I go to the office.
How I did it? Honestly I’m a very active person but like everybody else I like to have 5-10 extra minutes in bed, soooo I just changed my wake up time with these two tips:
- Do it GRADUALLY, 15min earlier each morning for 4 days will have you up an hour earlier.
- Prep for morning the night before to cut that time spent picking out your work clothes in the morning (15min extra). Having this extra hour will give you time to check social media, get some inspiration for your next posts, plan your posts, and check the news to see what’s going on in the world related to your blog topic.
2. Simple as possible, but not simpler.
You want to know how to make it simple? Write about things you love! You have to be passionate about what you are going to write. This is the most important question to ask yourself: What are you passionate about? That answer is the key, the more you love it, the simpler will be for you to be engaged and motivated with your blog. It may sound cliche, but there is a reason for it because when you are passionate about the niche-topic that you are blogging about, it will be simpler for you, also you’re more likely to put the time and effort into your blog to make it shine, and less likely to run out of ideas or abandon your blog in the future.
Let’s talk about the “but not simpler” part. Your blog is your personal space, it has to reflect your identity and your individual voice, meaning you have to spiced it up with a personal touch and always-always-always teach something. When your blog post helps or motivate even one person, its creation has been worth your time.
3. Write posts ahead of time.
This is so important because during the week there’s so many things and situations happening at day work that it’s difficult to write a complete post or have the inspiration to do it. I don’t know if is the same for you guys but somedays after work you are so overwhelmed and with any inspiration. What bloggers call “Down Time”
This is the best advice I can give you: Write and schedule your blog posts in advance. This is what I do on weekends. Sometimes at night during the week I make some drafts but weekends is when I finish them. I always repeat always carry a notebook or post it’s if I’m using a small purse. Ideas can strike anytime so have something where to take notes that you can remember them later.
If you assist to events (Unfortunately there’s not so many in Punta Cana or DR in general) make and have a calendar with you so you don’t overbook yourself. There is so many app you can use now in your phone.
4. Working on weekends will be your new normal.
Think of your blog as a business. If you have a deadline at work you’d do it wouldn’t you? So why is it, when it comes to our blogs, we let deadlines slip? You need a proper blogging schedule exactly like the one you have at work. During the week we are stuck at the office so the only free time we have is on weekends, and is when we should work on our blogs.
Another reason is that whether you’re a food, fashion, travel, or lifestyle blogger, the chances of finding good light for your photos and videos will be null after work. Plan your media on weekends.
Weekend time of course is precious and saying what I’m about to say will sound not appropriate….blog without any materialistic view – Yes, like you just read it. When you blog with materialistic motives, you miss out on the simplest fundamental truth of blogging: Sharing knowledge.
I know I said “Think as it is your business”, it is but like every business first requires an investment and that investment is your time. Rewards will come eventually. I wrote very interesting tips about where to focus on your first months which basically is writing good posts and generating organic followers.
Here is the link: http://www.blogbyjoa.com/2017/09/09/blogging-first-month-experience/
5. Have your “me” time.
With all this said don’t be too hard on yourself during the week or even on weekends. If you miss a few days, no problem, it’s not the end of the world. Remember that your blog is yours – not your readers or sponsors. Make sure that you also have some “me” time. Sometimes, my “me” time are my saturday homemade brunch. Sometimes, is having tea or wine while getting lost in a book. And other times, is to meet my friends to catch up or have a amazing coffee.
We all have a lot of obligations but you can avoid having an exhausted, and stressful life if you only take a few minutes to calm yourself down and allow yourself to relax. Having some “me’ time will restart you and give you some zest to work on your responsibilities and your blog.
So let’s get something straight: it really all comes down to two things to balance your 9-6 Job with blogging – time management and to learn to enjoy yourself. Working on weekends might sound awful, BUT if is something you love, it will be fun work.