Achieving Work Life Balance

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.

Plan Ahead
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?

Want to see how other bloggers achieve a work/life balance? Check out these other fabulous blog posts below!

Leave a Comment

15 Comments

  1. It is definitely not an easy thing to master but once you do its awesome, I too have 9-5 job and sometimes struggle to find the balance between my work and blogging. But I use some of these tips, just need to work on saying no.
    -ajulydreamer.com

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  2. Emilie Burke wrote:

    First found your blog through the Smart Girls Media Group. Glad to see we did the same link up! Looking forward to following you more.

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  3. These are such great points! I am still sort of “new” to blogging but I do feel like I am doing myself a disservice not attending every little thing, but I know it just doesn’t work for me! I tried glorifying busy a few years back and crashed. Hard. So Thank you for the reminder!

    I also love sitting on my sofa like a beached whale, so… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    xx! Jordan Taylor | petiteMODERN

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  4. Saying no is so hard and so essential! It is something I am continually working on and love that you are doing the same

    Alyssa J Freitas

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  5. Ellen wrote:

    Love the tip of working smarter not harder. Thanks for these tips, Alicia! As someone who is starting a full-time job after graduation, this post will help keep me sane.

    Ellen | A Pop of Pink

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  6. Great tips friend!! Especially the one about using your time efficiently. So key to staying balanced! Xo

    Kristyn
    Primp & Proper
    http://www.kristynalysse.com

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  7. Saying no is such good advice, and it applies to a ton of different things – both personally and professionally. I think it was difficult at me to figure out what I truly wanted to say no to, but with experience, I’ve figured it out, and subsequently edited!

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  8. Rachel wrote:

    Great advice! I also believe in saying no, we don’t do this enough!

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  9. Ellie O'Brien wrote:

    It has taken me such a long time to learn to say no, but it is SO important. Thanks for sharing!

    xo, ellie

    https://withlovefromellie.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/work-life-balance/

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  10. Adjoa wrote:

    “Work smarter, not harder…” Love that!

    BK || Thy Bliss Calls

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  11. Jordana @WhiteCabana wrote:

    I take the same approach to blogging. I find it very effective. I have loads of posts in draft form/brainstorm of ideas, and each week I sort of just plug away at them. Some posts I write very quickly, but other posts take time to research and design. Keeping drafts of posts really actually makes me feel organized.

    Posted 4.22.15 Reply
  12. I’m working on the whole using my time effectively/planning thing. Love the idea of working smarter not harder. Something I strive for.

    Posted 4.23.15 Reply
  13. Clarissa wrote:

    Thank you for those tips! I too have a full time and a blog that I would like to make successful!

    Posted 11.16.15 Reply
  14. Kirsten wrote:

    Even though I do not have a full tome job myself I found this blog post helpful. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Posted 11.17.15 Reply
  15. My schedule mainly consists of sports, school and work, and I’ve started to sense my ability to stay on track of my blogging slip. I love these tips, I’m most definitely going to set a fixed amount of time aside from now on to do the things that are truly important for me.

    Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Alex
    mstigerlilly.com

    Posted 1.2.16 Reply