I get asked this very question on a daily basis: how on earth do I manage a full-time job, a booming blog and a social life at the same time? Short answer: a lot of organization and copious amounts of coffee. It hasn’t been easy and trust me, this is not a skill I picked up overnight. Over the years, I’ve learned these three key lessons and now I can juggle all of this craziness with ease. Or at least pretend like I have some sort of sanity, anyway.
Learn How To Say No
This is my biggest fault: I love saying yes to everyone. Yes, I will attend that event. Yes, I will go to happy hour. Yes, I will drive an hour away for your art gallery. Yes, I will collaborate on this post with you. I’m a people pleaser and would do anything for my friends. However, you know what’s more important than that brunch? My sanity. I’m not saying you should be a hermit, but you should ideally have a few hours of alone time each day. Some days you can’t avoid packing on events, however, give yourself some downtime to relax. You don’t have to go to every single little thing you’ve been invited to, nor do you need a legit excuse to decline said event you just can’t juggle at the moment. Regroup and shine at the next fete you have enough energy to make it to.
Use Your Time Efficiently
I create “blogging office hours” for myself each week, usually on Sunday evenings. This is a certain period of time when I knock out posts, try to get my inbox down to zero and brainstorm new post ideas. My apartment building has a pretty quiet clubroom where I can go and really focus in on what’s important. I try to eliminate as many distractions as possible so I can get through my inbox and draft/schedule as many blog posts as possible. I even have an app called “Self-Control” that temporarily blocks Facebook, Twitter and any other websites I want so I can really buckle down and GSD.
I definitely do not write, edit and schedule a week’s worth of posts in one sitting. However, I will finalize my editorial calendar for the week and get a head start on posts so that I can complete them faster during the week. There are some nights after my 9-5 job when all I want to do is go to happy hour and do nothing on my couch. The more I accomplish on Sunday night, the more me time I have to chill out like a beached whale. Boom. Motivation.
The only way this blog is a success is because I plan ahead. I use the combination of a paper calendar and a google calendar to set up a rough editorial calendar and keep track of all of the various events and appointments I’ve committed to. It’s great to lay out sponsored posts, link ups and other time sensitive posts at the beginning of each month, and schedule your not so time-sensitive posts around those posts. Being able to see the big picture is absolutely crucial, and will help you run your blog a bit more smoothly. I have different calendars that all link up to my master Google Calendar, so anytime I have a happy hour with friends or any personal events I want to attend, I place it on my calendar as well so I avoid any scheduling conflicts.
Long story short: I’ve learned over the years to work smarter, not harder. Careful planning, a ton of organization and hundreds of post-it note reminders are the key ingredients to juggling a full-time job, blog and a booming social life. Fellow bloggers (or folks with side hustles), what tips do you have on how to achieve a work-life balance?