When I created The Blissful Balance, I had one thing in mind: the balance between a healthy lifestyle and my favorite indulgences. I was blogging about achieving a blissful balance; eating a big bowl of spaghetti with no guilt, going for a run without obsessing over how many calories I’d burned, just living life and enjoying its’ simplest pleasures. Two years later, I’ve witnessed myself struggling to balance a few other things in life. The biggest balancing act I’ve had to learn is how to balance ‘The Blissful Balance’ with a full-time job.
This is a tough one. So many aspects come into play when balancing work with blogging. You have to leave room for exercise, cooking, family time, a social life, SLEEP. Just like with many things in life, you will learn as you go. You’ll find what works for you, but today I’m hoping to provide you with some tips and insight on how to find your balance.
Here’s what works for me:
spare time is blog time
I wake up really early almost everyday to exercise before I start my day. Additionally, I do my best work in the morning. Therefore, I am waking up even earlier to get blogging done before exercising. Depending on how busy my work day is, sometimes I will work on the blog while I eat lunch (if I can afford to take a break from work). Then, there’s always the after-work-hours blogging. The toughest of them all. After staring at a computer screen all day, it can be very difficult to get yourself to continue laptop-ing (new word). It’s all in your control and depends on what your goals are.
I recently read Will Write for Food by Dianne Jacobs (highly recommend!) and in the book, Dianne mentions one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum. Lindsay was a school teacher before becoming a full-time blogger. She would work on the blog in the morning before leaving for work around 7AM, then test recipes and do photoshoots after school. Having a sister who’s a school teacher, I know what a busy life that is.
use your weekends
I reserve my Sundays especially for blogging. Well, I try to limit it to Sundays (for my sanity), but I almost always end up popping open my laptop on Saturdays. I use my weekends to plan, recipe test, photograph and write for the upcoming week(s). My goal is to always be at least one post ahead of myself. I know it can be tough to work on the weekends, but you’ve got to make sacrifices for something you really want. Plus, if you don’t absolutely love blogging, then why are you doing it? For me, it makes no difference what day of the week it is, as long as I make sure to give myself breaks. I love blogging, so it never feels like work.
plan, plan, plan. plan plan plan plan…plan
I cannot say it enough. Okay, maybe I said it too many times, but PLANNING makes such a huge difference! Once I began viewing my blog as a business, I began treating it like one. I use this as a planning and organizational tool, and write out my monthly editorial calendar. It helps me stay on track and assists in giving myself deadlines. I work much better with a deadline! If you have goals for your blog, then stop viewing it as a hobby, but as a second job. You would never slack or ignore work you had to do at your day job, right?
get out of the house
Get out of your house and work on your blog somewhere else. When I go somewhere else to work, like a coffee shop for instance, I tell myself what I’m going to get done, and that it needs to be done before I leave. This is a mind game and tricks yourself into thinking you have a time constraint on something. If you work from home all the time, you’re more likely to push it aside and be distracted by something else.
let’s phone a friend
I reached out to a few of my bloggie friends to get their perspective and tips on how they balance their blog with a 9-5. Here’s what they said:
“Whenever possible, I try to utilize my lunch hour at work to write a quick post that I review and set-up to post once I get home. Using my lunch to write for myself really helps to break up my work day. Plus it never hurts to return to the blog with fresh eyes a few hours later to make sure I’m still satisfied with what I wrote.”
– Emily Ruth Weir of emilyruthweir.com
“For me, balance is about making time for my needs and the needs of my husband. While I’d love to spend every evening glued to my computer working on new content, it’s terrible for my relationship! I have to be conscious of where I put my focus and I have to stick to a schedule that includes time focusing on each of my priorities. My solution has been to take a “working” lunch. I have an hour in the middle of the day that I use to eat lunch and work on new content. I also keep my planner on my desk at work so I can jot down ideas as they come to me. The balance is hard, but if you love what you do, you make it work. Having an insanely supportive husband helps too.”
– Pragati Gusmano of simplemedicine.co
“I have five main tips that I go by…
– Colleen O’Connor of keepitrealclean.com
“Scheduling Facebook posts in advance has been helpful. I usually only pin on Friday – Sunday, as I find those are when I get the most repins, and will usually do it while I eat breakfast to save time. I also try to batch-test recipes and photograph in a large chunk of time, i.e. Sunday afternoons, especially when I can get good daylight. And I think every single post on Insta is a “latergram” — I usually take most of my pictures on the weekend and then post them throughout the next week. ”
– Alexandra Maul of madetoglow.com
“So even though I’m still fairly new, I’ve quickly learned that scheduling and planning is an absolute must if I want (quality) content to get out. I work full time + travel that sometimes carries over to the weekend (like the end of this month for example). I’m planning recipes about a week out, and will do anywhere from 3-6 recipes on the weekends. Giving room for some failure (yup), photog setup (still learning) and a little bit of writing/prepping the post. Mostly writing 1-2 days before hand, and finalizing the post if necessary the night before. It helps that my husband and I don’t mind having separate schedules sometimes, and he knows the mornings-midday on the weekends are when I need to do most of my blogging work. I use Hootsuite to schedule Instagram and Twitter, and Buffer for Facebook.”
– Ashley Hovey of fitmittenkitchen.com
Join the conversation:
Bloggers: what tips would you add here?
Readers: how to you balance work with life?
What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working or blogging?
What’s the best method of relaxation for you?