Being able to balance a 9 to 5 job plus blogging has been a daunting task for me since I started blogging. One word described my process. EXHAUSTED! Working a full time job on its own can be stressful and tiring. As soon as I was coming back home from work I was taking on my blogging job. I was struggling to get content done, I was struggling to keep a work-life balance, I was struggling to stay motivated to even blog and most importantly I found myself not being able to put as much time into blogging as much as I would want to, even though I was spending hours doing "blogging things" at home. Until one day I realized I was doing it all wrong. This is how I changed my Blogging Work:
Set a Space for Working
Working from the couch is the worst thing you can do. I was doing this all the time. Margot would jump on me for cuddles so I would pause my work and cuddle with her. Or Kamiran would be watching TV and then I would get distracted and watch TV too. It would take me 2 hours just to create a blog post. It was a disaster. I was getting no work done. As soon as I decided to complete all of my laptop work at my desk that's when magic happened. I am now able to complete my posts much faster and I have tons of time left over. I also find my content to be more focused and well prepared when I sit down at my desk.
I never designated work hours for my blog. I was just doing blog work whenever I was at home which left me with no time to spend quality time with Kamiran, Margot or even having friends over. As soon as I switched this habit my quality time spent at home with Kamiran was much better, and honestly even for me there is a sense of relief that I do not have to spend all of my days doing blog work. I now have set hours I designate on my blog during weekdays. Usually 1 hour each day after work so between 7-8pm. My biggest work day for the blog is Saturday morning between 9am to 3pm when I get most of my work done so that I don't have to worry about it during the week.
Social Media Batch Scheduling
What has saved a lot of my time is scheduling posts. Sorry guys, but in most cases bloggers do schedule their posts in advance and some pictures you may see on Instagram may not be real time. Although I try to keep this to minimum for Instagram posts in the case of Facebook, Pinterest and in some cases Twitter I am always scheduling posts. I spend about 2 hours each Saturday scheduling posts on my social media channels for the week. A tool I love using to schedule my posts on Pinterest is Tailwind. It is about $170 per year, but for me it was totally worth spending the money on it. Before I used to spend everyday pinning. Now, I just spend two hours each weekend to schedule all of my posts for the coming week, or sometimes I spend more time on it and I schedule an entire month's work. I have a referral for you want to try Tailwind FREE for a month. Just use this link. ($15 credit)
Invest in a Photographer
When you are working full time you are not able to shoot at any time of the day. It usually has to be either after work or you have to do all your photoshoots the weekend. Nothing beats having an Instagram husband or bestie to take your photos for free, but there is also a downside to that. For the most part Kamiran has been able to take my photos, but he also has a very different schedule than me. I also found myself feeling lazy sometimes to shoot even though I was fully capable of doing so. This was a bad way to go on blogging. Finally in February I decided to work with a professional photographer on an ongoing basis and the results have been much better. There is no more "I am feeling lazy to shoot today". I know that comes Sunday, my photographer is waiting for me to meet and shoot. I don't feel guilty anymore for waking Kamiran up early mornings to shoot when he has his late night conference calls and most importantly, my photographer edits my photos which means no more spending hours editing my photos.
Ever since I became a blogger, I try to utilize my time as much as possible. If you commute to work by train or subway, writing blog posts during my morning and evening commute on the subway has saved me lots of time. No, I don't carry my laptop with me. I just use the Notes on my iphone to write my posts and then I simply copy and paste into blogger.
*Photos By Laura Clarke Photography
For those that are trying to balance both a full time job and blogging is there anything else you do to keep a balance in your life?