I have a full time job. It’s a shift work job that can cover anything over a 24 hour period, 7 days a week. Some shifts are easy, some are difficult. There are weeks where I feel exhausted because I’m running super low on sleep and weeks where I feel full of energy because my rota has been kind to me. One thing is for sure though, it’s unpredictable and completely without routine! One of the side effects of this type of job (alongside feeling like a zombie some days) is that it can be really hard to maintain a solid routine for blogging.
I can’t dedicate a specific time or day to writing/editing/posting on my blog and it can definitely be stressful sometimes! Having said that, I’m not really a routine type of person. Perhaps that is why I do the job that I do. I’m not one of those 9-5 kind of people in any area of my life. I like some unpredictability, it’s more interesting. Plus, I wonder if it is any easier to stay motivated when you have a specific routine. I question this because it seems pretty pressured to have to write at a particular time on a particular day, doesn’t that take the creativity out of things a little bit? All writers will have experienced that slump where the juices just aren’t flowing and if that hits on your specified day/time to write then surely that is equally, if not more, stressful?
With that said, how do I strike a balance to work and blog?
WRITE WHEN I ‘FEEL IT’
Whenever I feel a post idea blossoming in my mind I will grab my notebook and jot down some bullet points, I always carry one with me on the go, so, wherever I am I can scribble something down. I also make sure that whenever I feel like I am capable of putting something together I take advantage of it. So, if I want to watch an episode of the latest box set that has me hooked or I want to check out another chapter of whatever book I’m reading then I have to be strong and write first because prioritising is important! Equally, if I’m not feeling it, then irrelevant of whether I had planned to write then I wont. I find forcing myself to write something will only result in a post that I don’t like or that I’m not proud of.
TRY NOT TO OVERTHINK OR WORRY ABOUT MY BLOG
There have been times where I have been at work and have started to panic about my blog and the lack of content. I might tell myself off for not doing something before my shift or not getting up earlier on a day off to do more but this doesn’t help, it only breeds stress. My job is important and my blog is important but my wellbeing is as well and it can change daily which one needs my attention most. It’s perfectly fine to prioritise as long as I don’t turn lazy!
Talking is so important. When I feel like it’s getting on top of me trying to find a balance I talk to someone (usually my boyfriend). I find that talking about it can help me calm down and realise that I’m doing ok. It’s also really useful to talk to other people because then you can get some advice or even just some reassurance which is so valuable! I find it helps me feel a lot less isolated!
TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS TO SAVE TIME LATER
I never go anywhere without my phone so I never have an excuse to not take a photo. By taking lots of photos that may or may not be useful to my blog means that I have a full selection to pick from when I am tweaking blog posts. This saves so much time and makes it so much easier to put a post together. A blog post may not seem like much work but so much goes into it and it can be really time consuming, so anything to reduce that time is really handy.
LEARN TO SAY NO
This is something that I really struggle with. I hate feeling like I might be letting somebody down but sometimes it is important to say no to something if the time is right to write instead. It’s impossible to do everything and sometimes I forget that. I put too much pressure on myself which only results in everything being far from perfect. Work is non-negotiable, I have to go, so when I am there I make sure I put all my effort into it. Equally, if I am in a blogging mood then it is important to put all my effort into that rather than say yes to something else because I’m worried that somebody may be upset with me.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT I’M DOING
I find I’m much more motivated when I remind myself of how hard I work. It’s important to be proud of achievements and it’s not easy to balance work/blogging/life so every week that I manage it I make sure to acknowledge it. Equally, if there are times where I don’t quite meet my goals I ensure I remind myself that it’s ok, nobody is perfect, and rather than beat myself up over it I will instead use the disappointment as motivation to make the next week better.
Do you have any tips for how to strike a balance when you blog and work? Please share them in the comments if you do!
Thanks for reading!
Until the next time…Jess x