I have heard many people ask about how to balance life and blogging. The verbiage in this post may indicate that it is geared mainly towards bloggers, but it’s really for all of us who have issues with time management. The word “blogging” could easily be replaced with any activity that you enjoy doing but struggle to do consistently. Be it exercise, eating well, making time for friends, or whatever you wish you could do more often, this post also applies to you.
I took yesterday off because this week is mainly focused on home-stretch studying for my NASM exam on Friday. I didn’t plan to skip a post, but when I didn’t get home until 1:30 pm from teaching, still had to do laundry and a couple other errands, and had plans for dinner with Neil and Matt, I knew I needed the time I could have been writing a post for studying. It was a great decision and I was able to get a solid two hours of information in. I did miss you guys, but I don’t want to apologize for not posting. I don’t mean that to sound insensitive, but as I learn and practice more self-care, I realize that consistently putting the needs of others before my own can (and has been) be pretty damaging.
So it got me thinking about the question I have heard a number of times about how to balance it all. Our lives are all broken into different schedules, but by taking a look at these tips I hope you will be able to work around yours to fit in more things that you enjoy doing.
Blogging and writing are things that I love. They are crucially important for my peace of mind and sanity. That being said, I consider blogging one of the most important things I will do in a day and I need to treat it as such. I take a look at all of the things I need to do each day and I prioritize their importance. It can help to write everything down in list form and then number or rearrange each task until you have them listed in order of importance. I will aim to get the things at the top of the list (most important) done each day and those at the bottom of the list (least important) can be saved for a later time if I can’t conquer everything.
Your priorities can change day to day. Most days my top priorities are blogging/writing, exercise, working at Sweat, and eating delicious food. On days like yesterday, however, studying for my NASM exam was higher on the list than a blog post. It’s ok. Just figure out what things are most important for YOU and work on getting them done. This can be made a little easier with the next tip.
Preparing ahead of time can significantly streamline your process. Part of the reason why I didn’t post yesterday was because I didn’t have a topic. This means I would have had to go into my arsenal of post ideas, select one, brainstorm how to lay out the post, make a graphic, write it all out, and schedule social media. I didn’t feel prepared and it made me feel panicked.
Most of the time I have planned ahead using an editorial calendar. I have mentioned CoSchedule to you before, but it is really a life saver. I am a visual person, so being able to see a calendar laid out for me has helped tremendously. One weekend I sat down for maybe 20 minutes and filled up a whole page with post ideas. I can then take those ideas and lay them out on my calendar so that there are no surprises when it comes time to post. If I need to change a topic to another day, I simply move it. So I don’t take up all of your time, you can just click here if you are interested in reading my review.
Taking some time to sit down and plan out posts in advance can save you a lot of time (and peace of mind) later on. I have also found that the posts I plan out tend to be more substantive than ones I come up with on the fly.
3. Schedule Time
Think of your blog like a business. If you need to get something done, treat it like a business meeting. Schedule a block of time when you will be working on your blog and nothing else. Working at home is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but some days a post will take me forever because I get distracted by Instagram, those dishes that are driving me crazy in the sink, or the almond butter and jelly sandwich I can’t stop thinking about (yes, #1 is sometimes a struggle).
Whatever you have decided is a priority in your day, schedule time for that task. Set aside all distractions and concentrate on one thing for however long you have allotted time. If it’s important, you will have to make time.
4. Take a Break
You’ve done an awesome job prioritizing, planning, and scheduling, but sometimes you just need a break. Think of it as a sick day at work. It is highly unlikely that you will never miss a day of work for one reason or another and blogging is no different. You may be legitimately ill or you may just need a mental health day to go play with some puppies. THAT’S OK. Give yourself permission to listen to what you need and then act on it. Usually when I take a break I come back even stronger than I was before!
I wanted to keep this post consistent with blogging/life balance, but the whole time I was writing it I couldn’t stop thinking about how true these tips are for any type of balance. Meal prep and planning is a great way to ensure that you stay on track with your eating habits throughout the week. Scheduling time for exercise will stop the number one complaint that people have for not doing it which is “I don’t have time.” Think about what other things you can apply these tips to in your life and let me know what you come up with!
I am off to study some more.
- What are some other tips you have about maintaining balance?
- What other activities can these tips be applied to in your life?