Happy Friday, lovelies!
I hope you enjoyed the holiday week 🙂 This post has been a long time coming and surprisingly, one of the questions a lot of people tend to ask. Having a career and a blog can be daunting so read on to for my best kept secrets on how to balance blogging and a full time job!
I’ll be completely transparent… balancing a blog and a full time job can be very difficult (but not impossible). When I started, I was a full time substitute teacher working a long term job and I was constantly driving an hour each way everyday. On top of that, I was teaching music after school for five hours a day four nights a week and was traveling in and out of town each day. I had also just opened an online clothing boutique and was doing some freelance art murals and tutoring. Needless to say, I stretched myself thin and left little time for anything else outside of my work. I am not joking when I say that I literally worked from sun up to sun down every single day…including the weekends. Yet somehow, I was still able to find the time to shoot photos and post consistent content on the blog and actively grow my social media. It definitely was not easy and looking back, I honestly have no idea how this was humanly possible. And for the record, I don’t recommend working to this extent haha! With that being said, it’s safe to say that over the years I’ve learned a few things about balancing blogging and a full time job along with the time management skills it takes to make it work.
How to Balance Blogging and a Full-Time Job
Make a Schedule
This is SO important! I cannot function without a schedule in place because it just gets too overwhelming. Right now, I have a schedule set with 30 minute increments, but I also have an even more detailed schedule (if you can believe that). I literally have every single thing listed out and color coded – meals, appointments, tasks, showers, gym classes, etc. I even have breaks scheduled in because I know I will work straight through them if I don’t. I have it printed out and tacked up on my bulletin board next to my computer to keep me organized and on task. I think it’s really important to not only make a schedule, but to actually stick to it (it’s harder than you think). I tend to spend more time on certain tasks than others, so I’ve started setting a timer and it’s worked wonders. Also, I should mention that I try not to get on my phone unless it’s to post to social media or to do something that requires it because it can be such a time suck – one minute you’re writing your blog post and the next thing you know you’re scrolling through some stranger’s Instagram account for an hour without even realizing it haha!
When you work full time (or even if you don’t), batching comes in handy. This is where you dedicate one block of time to a specific activity. For example, I like to batch edit photos, blog posts, social media editing and scheduling, and researching. I schedule all of my meetings on the same day (if possible) as well as any type of site maintenance or skill development. I also have specific days for flatlay photography and outfit shoots. Since I’m not full time quite yet and my husband works during the week, we shoot on the weekends. There are also certain tasks that I do everyday just to keep things moving, but I find that dedicating specific days to larger scale projects is much easier when you work outside the blog.
Delegate Tasks and Schedule Ahead
If you work full time, it might be easier to delegate some of the day to day tasks like social media posting, emails, photo editing and post optimization to an outside source. This definitely saves on time and allows you to spend more on the things that you like doing. Right now, I actually do everything myself so I don’t have anyone that I delegate specific tasks to, which is why I cannot stress how important a detailed schedule is.
Scheduling ahead is also super helpful! Editing photos, writing blog posts and scheduling social media content are all things that can be done ahead of time (this is where batching comes in handy). I like to stock pile my edited photos because those tend to take a while. Blog posts differ because I feel like I have to be in the mood to write about certain topics. If it’s more general, I’ll schedule it ahead of time but if it’s something more personal, I usually write it a day or two before. I do have a running list of blog post ideas that I refer to if I’m in a creative slump and that definitely helps save some time! Also, while I don’t schedule my Instagram posts, I do know that there are so many apps out there that do. I am very involved in my Instagram and love to engage with my audience on a more personal level so I prefer to do it all myself, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about scheduling too! Aside from Instagram, I do schedule some of the other social media shares as well as my Pinterest pins (and sometimes IG stories) and that has worked out great so far.
Make Lists and Create an Editorial Calendar
Google docs is seriously my best friend! I have a document for everything! Aside from my schedule, I also have various calendars, documents and lists to keep me organized and on task. As a blogger, it’s crucial to have an editorial calendar and I actually have two haha! I have a more general calendar where I can visually see each month at a glance. I usually put important dates and deadlines on this one as well as ideas for future posts. The second calendar is much more detailed. Here, I lay out specific post ideas, outfits, deadlines and all of my Instagram posts. As for my lists, I feel like I am constantly writing things down (my husband will attest to this haha!). It can get overwhelming to remember everything so I list everything out to ensure that it gets done, even simple things like paying bills and running errands.
Prioritize Your Time
If you’ve read the story of how I started my blog, then you know just how important it is to me and how hard I had to struggle to get here. Fashion is, first and foremost, my biggest life passion. I live and breathe it. It’s everything to me so when I make career decisions, I always prioritize my end goal: this blog and the business that I create from it. With that in mind, I think there comes a time when every blogger has to choose between certain things because there is simply not enough time to do everything. As the blog grows, it demands more and more of your time and if this is your end goal, then you have to be prepared to give something up. For me, this meant that I had to give up a few of my jobs and the majority of my income at the time. First, I said good bye to the jobs that I didn’t necessarily need, but that were taking up valuable time: my boutique and all of my freelance work. After a while, the blog demanded even more of my time, so I started subbing less and less over the span of three years. Aside from the blog, I now only have my other business of 12 years and life is so much more manageable.
I had to learn some hard lessons through this. I learned that there is just not enough time to do everything and that I shouldn’t push myself to point of exhaustion. I also learned that I was missing out on important life events because I was too busy with work. I never wanted to live like that…so I set boundaries and prioritized the things that were most important to me. As an influencer, I am on my phone A LOT so I made a plan: no phone when the hubby is home. We hardly get to spend time together since we have different schedules, but when we come together in the evening, that’s our time. We have a dinner and Netflix date every night and it is SO nice to take a break from work and just be in the moment. I think that it’s really important to set these types of boundaries and make simple rules for yourself that are easy to follow.
Learn to Say No
This is something that I’ve had to work really hard on because I am such a people pleaser. You have to remember that when you say yes to something, you say no to something else. You can’t always have it both ways and you end up having to give up something up. This is especially hard when you are blogging and working full time. You want to be everything to everyone and you want to do everything possible. If you have to give up certain opportunities or can’t attend events because of your full time job, it’s okay! Only do as much as you can handle and if that means that you can’t write as much as you’d like, then it’s perfectly fine. You never want to overwhelm yourself with too much work because it will most definitely show.
Also just a simple reminder to make time for yourself 🙂 It can be so exhausting to blog and work full time so just make sure that you also schedule in time to just relax and take a break.
Do you have anything else to add?
Let me know below!
Welcome back to the link up!
This week’s most clicked on look is…
This is the perfect summer outfit! I love the button up dress with the chic structured handbag!