Finding work-life balance as a full-time blogger is not easy but it’s important to take the time to relax and step away from your blog from time to time to avoid blogger burnout.
Spring is in the air, which means a fresh start for all of us and I want to share my journey to find work-life balance with you! I’m not the poster girl for balancing blogging and life. There are many days where my husband goes to bed before me and I’m still working on getting a video up or writing a new blog post or where we have pasta with store bought tomato sauce because I didn’t have time to cook something besides baking cakes all day.
But one of my goals for this year is to find ways to balance work and life better! Don’t get me wrong I love this blogging journey even if it means that I work over 60 hours a week, don’t have the weekend off, and take my work on vacation with me. I love my job and I’m so happy that I made the jump to being a full-time blogger but sometimes it feels like the blog is my life.
It’s hard to step away and don’t look at social media every 5 minutes or check your email constantly because a reader could have an important question. My job is never really done, there is always something that I could do, edit photos, research SEO, maker E-Books, film more videos, find the secret to getting 1,000,000 pageviews. But it is important to step away sometimes and do something fun, spend time with loved ones, or just take time for yourself. Here are my tips for finding balance while hustling and ways to love your journey!
WORK-LIFE BALANCE TIPS FOR THE FULL-TIME BLOGGER
1. Make a schedule: Knowing what to do next is my number one tip to stay sane. Having a schedule helps me the most. If I don’t plan my week, I won’t get much done. Make a plan what you want to get done this week, which posts you want to get up and which sponsored posts that are due. I also like to add my housework chores for the week to my list because if I don’t schedule it I don’t do it. Then make a to-do list. Ideally, you want to write your to-do list for the next day in the evening so you can start your day with a plan but I often do it in the morning. Try to make your items actionable, don’t write ‘publish a post’ but list all the items that need to be done so you can better estimate how much time you’ll need. Don’t add too many things to your list! I aim for about 5-7 tasks, this number is doable for me but if you have children you might need to adjust. It’s also important to eat your frog first, that means start with the thing you don’t want to do. This will make everything else easier. Try to stick to your schedule and your to-do list but don’t stress, sometimes life happens and you need to be flexible. Having a schedule and prioritizing the most important things makes moving tasks around easier. This brings me to my next tip, staying ahead!
2. Stay ahead: The key to staying on schedule and being flexible while producing great content consistently is staying ahead of schedule. My goal for the next months is to stay at least one or two weeks ahead on the blog. This not only helps my stress level but it also gives me the ability to not have to publish something immediately. If I don’t have a post ready for the day I get super stressed and I feel like I can’t focus. This not only makes me feel bad but it also makes my work frantic and I can’t produce quality content. Getting ahead and staying ahead is not easy, you either need to stop publishing for a week or do double the workload for a week or two to write more posts but it’s so worth it. It makes you sleep better and it will help you grow because you can produce better quality without feeling stressed!
3. Take a break from Social Media: Social media is such a time sucker. If I would spend half of the time I spend on social media each week on writing post I could publish five times a week! But it’s so hard to step away. I always feel like I’ll miss something important if I don’t check my Facebook groups every hour and browsing through Instagram and Facebook is probably my most used way to procrastinate. But to get work done I need to stay away from social media for periods of time during the day. If you aren’t disciplined enough to just don’t go to Facebook there are apps like stayfocusd which help you restrict the time you spend on certain websites. Limiting your notifications also helps! But getting distracted by social media is not the only problem for me.
4. Stop comparing yourself (in a negative way): Online jealousy is a thief of joy. If you’re prone to comparing yourself to others, social media can make your life really hard. Pageviews, likes, video views, followers, and repins – it’s so easy to compare your work. But being jealous doesn’t get you where you want to be! Instead of feeling bad try to find a way to make this easier for you. Be gentle and kind to yourself and don’t put your comparison triggers right in front of you 24/7. Perhaps it helps you to unfollow certain people in your niche that make you feel jealous or take a break from your newsfeed and log out of Instagram if you don’t use it for work. Don’t be angry with yourself, it’s ok to feel this way. Celebrate your own successes! Be proud of your first 1000 pageviews day, your first paycheck, or your first video even if it’s shaky. Remember this is not a sprint it’s a marathon. There will always be someone with more pageviews or more viral videos but that doesn’t mean that your work is less awesome!
5. Get some exercise in: Whether it’s going outside for a walk with your dog, walking around the house, doing some yoga, or hitting the gym – exercise reliefs stress! Get away from your desk and do something even if you think you don’t have the time. Set a timer and take a little 5-minute break every 50 minutes, do some stretches and you’ll feel better immediately. Some days I feel like I’m in the zone, I forget everything around me, and work non-stop for hours. And then I feel exhausted, my neck hurts, and my eyes are tired. What helps me the most is going for a quick walk, only 10 minutes and I feel less stressed and calm. It’s super important to look after yourself while working hard! You’re your biggest asset and your most important employee.
6. Stop working after dinner and relax with a glass of wine: Allow yourself to step away from working in the evening. Set a time when you want to be done for the day and stick to it. Spend time with your family and talk about something other than blogging. It’s hard for me to stop in the evening. There is always something that needs to be done and I often work till bedtime. Most days my husband is already in bed and I feel bad for not spending time with him. So I’m trying something new this spring. My goal is to stop working at 8 pm and do something together with my hubby. Our favorite thing to do is take a walk around the neighborhood and then snuggle on the sofa with a glass of wine while watching Netflix without being on our phones or laptops (which is so hard for me but so worth it). We love to try new wines and pretend to be experts but I think we have to learn a few more things. Our favorite white wine at the moment is the Morning Fog Chardonnay from Wente Vineyards. Since we tried it for the first time last year we always have a few bottles on hand. It’s a perfect wine for warmer spring days that tastes fresh and is perfectly balanced – not too sweet and not too sour, exactly how we love it.
My next work-life balance goal (which makes me really scared) is to ban my phone from the bedroom! Wish me luck!
Trying to find a better work-life balance as a full-time blogger can be difficult. Sometimes we have to push ourselves, try new things like outsourcing work or asking for more money but by loving the journey and finding our own way of doing things we can grow bigger and stronger. My friends from Wente Vineyards recently launched their “For the Love of the Journey” initiative which serves as a way of sharing their story and what they believe in. As they say, “We don’t make wine because we have to, we do it because we love to.”