9 Tips for a Productive Blog-Life Balance

Blogging can be addictive. The rush from when you get your first comment, the excitement when you post something that pulls in a lot of traffic, connecting with new friends online, and the thrill of a whole new world of possibilities. When you start blogging, it may unleash something in you where you want to blog day and night, where you want to do it all, at least that's what happened to me. Blogging was so exciting, I would literally wake up in the morning and start my day, and continue throughout the day until I fell asleep. At first it was a passion, then it became a duty, then I was starting to burn out. It became apparent that I had no sense of work/blog/life balance.

Having good work/blog/life balance is vital if you're planning to be in it for the long haul. Being as most successful bloggers are in it for the long haul, figuring out how to succeed and not burn out will certainly require a bit of a balancing act. So how do you do it? Believe you me, it didn't come easy, and it's a never-ending process of keeping in touch with how things are going. Is my husband upset that I'm tweeting on our evening walk? Was my boss upset that I missed a deadline? Was I upset because I haven't had a weekend for months? These are all questions to ask yourself when evaluating if you're on the road to burnout.

I remember when I decided it was time to make a change. Planning the IFB Conference by myself for the fourth season, and being awake at 4am to start answering emails and writing posts crying at the computer, my husband woke up and shut the computer. “No more, you have to get help.”

From there, I got help, a few people to assist with the conference. Then I started taking days off. Now, I make a plan to take weekends off and close my computer after 8pm. Life started to change. I wasn't get as much done, but all the important stuff still got done. I started feeling better, more refreshed, and more focused when I was working and generally, I was happier. Still life throws a curve-ball every now and then, and we all have to deal with them. But there are a few tips and tricks to getting priorities straight and getting balanced.

 

  • Establish a routine- This is the biggest challenge especially since the web is on 24/7. Some easy things to do is set a time when you post, and establish windows for Tweeting, Facebooking or whatever you use for your social media. Say if you post at noon, but you can't tweet during the day, schedule tweets for the day, and spend an hour dedicated to your social media channels in the evening.
  • Designate times offline- Pick a day of the week where you are offline. Whether it be a Sunday or if you decide you don't spend time online in the evenings, draw that line and stick too it. Don't worry, everyone will be there when you get back!
  • Delegate, team up…  you don't have to do it alone– Your blog might be taking over your life, maybe team up with a buddy who wants to blog as well, and tag-team? Brit & Whit, Bag Snob and Kingdom of Style are all examples of bloggers who partnered up to divvy up the responsibilities.
  • Just say “No.” Nancy Reagan had it right… you don't have to say “yes” because its offered to you. Whether it's crack cocaine or a seemingly interesting blog opportunity, it's ok to hang back and say no if you're overwhelmed. You'll do a service to your readers if you stay focused on creating content that makes them come back, not every opportunity will bring you an opportunity to create better content. So be smart about what you say yes to.
  • You don't have to get it all done– The world will be there in the morning. You don't have to do everything today. Become a master of priorities, and if it doesn't get done today, no sweat, tomorrow is a brand new day!
  • Enjoy what you're doing- If you're not enjoying what you're doing, everything takes so much more energy. If you're not enjoying blogging, your readers will know. So stop take a breath and evaluate what brings you joy and focus on that. It may not be the most intuitive, but it certainly does work! You want to have fun with blogging, and if you're going to grow it shouldn't be a chore, because then you'll just have a full-grown-chore, and who wants that?
  • Evaluate your time management– Just because you're busy working all the time doesn't mean you're getting a lot of work done. Be honest with yourself? Is spending five hours on Twitter yielding you results? If spending one hour on Twitter yields you the same results, then it's time to think about cutting out those extra four hours and using them to get some much needed “you time”.
  • Organize your editorial calendars- Create editorial calendars and stick to them. This will help you stay on track and cut down your time figuring out what to post for the day. Editorial calendars aren't just for your blog, you can use the same principles or Twitter, Facebook and hey, even your Pinterest. Just outline what you are going to post on each platform while you're creating your editorial calendar. It'll help you stay focused and narrow down the time you spend figuring out what to do.
  • Exercise- There are studies about how exercise increases endorphins and helps you focus. This is pretty much my experience when blogging. When I'm exercising, things are a bit easier, I'm a bit chipper, more focused and better rested. This all helps in bringing life balance together.

 

Most all, ask yourself, “Am I happy?” Finding balance is all about your happiness, what works for someone else may not be your vision of happiness, maybe you need the challenge. Maybe you're energetic.  But most of all, if you're happy you've probably found what's working for you, so take it easy, and don't stress over finding the right amount of balance.

 

Photo by sheff via Shuttershock.com

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18 Responses

  1. Daniel Dunt

    What a great, helpful post!

    I haven’t managed to shut off my laptop at 8pm yet, but I’m getting there. My laptop now goes off at midnight, and I try to grab an hour in the morning, before logging on, where I will sit down and have breakfast, and maybe even watch a little television. Plus, I’ve been meaning to join the gym, so knowing that it will increase my focus is a bonus!

    Reply
  2. Stefan

    Hay,
    sorry that I ask this question under this post but how is this “You might like:-widget” called? Or isn´t it a widget?

    Greetings from germany
    Stefan aka SpeedTutorial

    Reply
  3. Nessie

    Hello I love your blog, great work! I have just started my own fashion blog though I don’t have many followers yet 🙁 Please follow my blog and I’ll follow yours back 🙂 xx

    Reply
  4. Valentine

    Great post!

    It’s nice to see that I am not alone…
    I sometimes get lost into the internet jungle..!
    Time management is really hard, especially when you are freelance..!

    Reply
  5. Ashley

    Such a great post – very useful as is it so easy just to get sucked into the buzz of blogging!

    Reply
  6. TheStyleKaleidoscope

    This post is so true about blogging becoming addictive. Try to avoid feeling like you need to get things done on it all the time, or that you’re behind with it if you’ve just started from scratch. It might take months until you’re happy with the look of your blog/content and it’s useful to step back from it anyway.
    I am used to working on small projects in my day job, so each phase of the blog was just like a piece of work for me. Once one bit was done I could move onto the next. If you try and do several things at once none of them will get finished, and one thing at a time helps you focus and not lose enthusiasm for it. It ain’t a race!

    Reply
    • Heather

      Its so true that blogging isn’t a race, and even if it were the turtle wins in the end! Pacing yourself is so important.

      Reply
  7. SAIDAH

    When I first started I would be up all night and day with my labtop open and plugged into the charger! I started to notice that I was spending soo much time blogging that I would be out with the husband, and thinking about my next post.
    I have definitely slowed down.

    Reply
  8. SAIDAH

    When I first started I would be up all night and day with my labtop open and plugged into the charger! I started to notice that I was spending soo much time blogging that I would be out with the husband, and thinking about my next post.
    I have definitely slowed down.

    Reply
  9. Kat

    This was a nice “pick-me-up” post and I really appreciate the encouragement. Sometimes us bloggers dig ourselves into a hole and just give ourselves too much to do. I appreciate you shedding some light and being insightful!

    Thanks for this post, really!

    kat
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

    Reply
  10. Barbara

    I definitely needed this post. The internet providers here in Nigeria have forced compulsory downtime on me but I must say that it has given me time to focus, I feel refreshed and I can re-evaluate. When I get my home internet back on it won’t be the same.
    I must say though that blogging for my office and myself including my regular job description ain’t easy at all, lol. Good part is I get to take all the credit and put it in my resume.
    Thanks for this post again Jennine.
    Barbara
    http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  11. Zie Darling

    I found this at the most perfect possible time. I’m in the middle of a burn out & desperately trying to find balance in my life. So thank you for the tips! I think they’ll help alot! :}
    -Zie

    Reply
  12. Gurpreet KANG

    I think the best point is -enjoy what you are doing! which is very true! you have to enjoy what are you working on in order to motivate yourself to succeed! 🙂

    Reply