How To Balance Life and Blogging

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.

How To BalanceLife and Blogging

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.

1. Prioritize

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.

2. Prepare/plan

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!

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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.

Questions:

  • What are some other tips you have about maintaining balance?
  • What other activities can these tips be applied to in your life?
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34 Comments

  1. May 27, 2015 / 5:43 am

    I have been so busy studying and taking care of things that needed to be done the past several days, that I haven’t been blogging. I’ve been working on a big post series I want to do, but I’ve just come to the reality that I have days I just don’t need to post. Blogging is a priority, but not the number one priority at the moment! These are great tips, and I definitely need to work out a editorial calendar, for sure! I know being more structured and organized is necessary for me! Good luck on your exam! I know how much anxiety it causes, but you got this! You’ll pass it, no sweat <—-(see what I did there lol …I'm such a geek!) 🙂
    Erin recently posted…5 Memorial Day RecipesMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:31 am

      Thanks for all the support! I’ve also found that I am not as important as I think I am and if I don’t post for a day the internet won’t crash haha

  2. May 27, 2015 / 6:24 am

    I prioritized last week and “cheated” by posting old posts that I thought were consistent with what I would have talked about anyway! But I think it was a good way to do it–I woke up in the morning, commented on blogs while having breakfast (as usual) and then in the evenings I just reposted and wrote the intro. For that week, it was exactly what I needed to do. The problem is, now I don’t know what to write about!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Le Colonial Chicago (Anniversary Dinner)My Profile

  3. May 27, 2015 / 7:22 am

    Great post. I need to work on the planning out posts ahead of time thing. I usually find myself running out of time in the morning to write, make a graphic, post and share on social media. But then when I do sit down to plan or write articles ahead of time, the ideas and words just don’t come. Maybe I need that pressure of a deadline?? I don’t know!
    Bri recently posted…Calorie counting: Is it really necessary for weight loss?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:32 am

      That could also be it. I’m like that sometimes as well. I just try and take the inspiration as it comes so if I think of a couple ideas one day I will make sure to jot them down for later use.

  4. Konika
    May 27, 2015 / 7:55 am

    Great post! Here is my question though – how do you get yourself to put aside that hour to do what you need/want to do? I’ve been trying for so long, and it hasn’t happened yet!! Good luck on Friday – you are going to kick butt on that test. 🙂

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:33 am

      Haha I don’t know! Maybe if it’s not something you won’t set aside the time for then it’s not really as important to you as you think? Thanks for the luck!

  5. May 27, 2015 / 9:09 am

    Loved this post! I think this is especially helpful if you’re trying to grow your blog and make money off of it. If you want your blogging to be a business you have to treat it like a business. I’ve been wanting to make that leap but haven’t had time due to my job(s). Slowly trying to make the switch!
    Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted…Chipotle Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger RecipeMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:34 am

      Same here. I want to put more effort into mine, but I also want to be able to make enough money to support myself. So I think that I may find myself putting in a lot of time on both things in the future until I can figure out which one I want to be my full time investment!

  6. May 27, 2015 / 9:58 am

    Okay so this seems counterproductive but here’s my thing: I need to exercise (run, specifically) every day to keep balanced. It’s my moving meditation. My reset button. But while running keeps me balanced, it’s actually my OCD tendencies that help me make sure I fit that run in each day. It’s a vicious cycle, but hey. It works for me.
    Suzy recently posted…Woozy Wednesday: Picture EditionMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:39 am

      Yeah girl, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m glad you have a system that can work for you!

  7. May 27, 2015 / 10:20 am

    Love this!! I know that early on in my blogging “career” (HA!) I really felt like I couldn’t take any breaks and had a hard time finding a good balance. But I think in the past year I’ve really decided that sometimes taking a break, even just for a day, is the best thing that you can do for your blog AND your life. It’s like hitting the reset button. Also, I seriously need to get on this whole coschedule thing!!!!
    Stephanie @ My Freckled Life recently posted…I have a Pitch Perfect Problem {Weekend Recap}My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 11:43 am

      Yeah, I totally agree with you. Sometimes taking a break helps to recharge me and then I’m all set to go again! You do need to try it! It helps!

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      I never tried that but I’ve always heard good things!

  8. May 27, 2015 / 11:16 am

    I think we can all totally relate (I know I can for sure!). I feel so overwhelmed by blogging a lot of the time even though it is my favorite thing to do. But sometimes we have to put it aside in the name of balance. Good luck on Friday! I can’t wait to hear all about it!
    Lauren @ ihadabiglunch recently posted…Roasted Tomato Quiche ProvencaleMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:05 pm

      I wish there was just unlimited time and money so that we could all do the things we love to do

  9. May 27, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    Instagram can be my daily downfall. There are so many fun pics to catch up on!! The worst is when my screen goes to “sleep” and I have to start scrolling through the news feed from the top. First world problem? Sigh.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Yoga soul snack: taking the risk to BLOSSOMMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:06 pm

      Haha I know. I’m worried about following a million people because then my whole life will get sucked away!

  10. May 27, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    I struggle with being okay with not posting. For example, this weekend was literally insane and I had zero time to write or even think about writing. Yet, I want to be consistent. I want to be a better blogger. I want it all. Basically, I have zero balance and need to bookmark this post and make some changes.
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…Life UpdateMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:07 pm

      I want it all too! Then sometimes I get overwhelmed with everything and can’t do any of it! Maybe I should read this post again…

  11. May 27, 2015 / 2:19 pm

    Social media right now is my downfall. While it can sometimes be a good thing, I fond myself spending too much time there even when I justify that it’s for “business purposes”. You are going to rock the exam on Friday! let me know what you think, I am considering it as well!
    Lindsey recently posted…Cardio Core Crusher WorkoutMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:09 pm

      I know, I always feel like I am slacking off by being on social media even though it’s part of building relationships and expanding.

  12. May 27, 2015 / 2:27 pm

    I am PRETTY good at doing this, but recently things have been CRAZY HECTICCCCC – I am actually looking into getting an assistant because whoa baby I need some help – I need to have some LIFE too! ha ha.
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Whoopee! It’s an “Oreo”!My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      Seriously. Get at it.

  13. May 27, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    It can be so tough to balance life and blogging right? I always feel so guilty when I miss posts as I want to post consistently but sometimes life comes in the way! I recently cut from 4 to 3 posts a week which has definitely helped in the quality of my posts! xx
    Jasmin Charlotte recently posted…JC Updates: 10 Happy Things #12My Profile

  14. May 27, 2015 / 11:38 pm

    All very good tips and ones that we can review from time to time. Sometimes everything goes as planned but other times life becomes chaotic and we need to step back, take a deep breath and read these tips! Taking a break is really important for me– I have three kids and when they are out of school this summer, they are my number one priority. Blogging will be taking a back seat and my posts will be more simple. I wouldn’t miss beach days, water balloon fights and immature shenanigans for anything in the world.
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted…8 Tips for Keeping Your Family Hydrated this SummerMy Profile

  15. May 31, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    great tips and reminders for us all! it is work, and just like a real job, we need to take a break from it in order to keep focused. Phew, that’s hard
    lindsay recently posted…Cotter Chronicles – Volume IIMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      June 1, 2015 / 12:19 pm

      Isn’t it though??

    • erinsinsidejob
      November 26, 2015 / 9:50 am

      Thanks Zara!

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