How to Balance a Full-Time Job and Blogging without Losing at Both

How do you balance a full-time job and blog on a consistent basis?  I have been blogging at Lead Grow Develop for only a short time but had a Parenting blog for a while.  Often, it can be challenging and sometimes even discouraging.  There are strategies I use to be able to balance not only the full-time job but the blog where I post 3 times per week, the social media sites and a family.

 

I think the best place to start in determining the success of being able to create this balance is to ensure that you are truly passionate about blogging.  Why did you start blogging in the first place?  If the reason behind the blogging is strong enough, it will help you get through the most challenging times when you find yourself behind your posts or engagement on social media.

 

I started my Lead Grow Develop Blog because it was a way to express myself in writing.  It was a way to write down what I learned and unscramble all the strategies that were floating in my mind.  I turned it into a blog and not just a personal journal because my wish is that if I can help inspire, educate or entertain others with my posts, than that will mean I have succeeded with my Blog.

 

That is my why that I keep top of mind when I am struggling with time.

 

[bctt tweet=”“When the WHY is strong enough, the How becomes easier””]

 

Once you have your Why, focus on the how.

 

Here are 8 ways to help you balance a Full-Time Job and Blogging without Losing at Both:

 

1. Develop a Routine

The first thing I tried to do was develop a routine where I tried to fit in my blogging schedule and social media engagements in between my time with my family and work.

 

My blog posts are typically done on Saturday and Sunday mornings, with an occasional late Friday nights.  I am an early riser and while my family is still sleeping, I try to take advantage of my quiet time to concentrate on my posts.  This includes research, my blog outlines and media files.

 

When I decided to start my blog, I set my clock to wake up 30 min. earlier and catch up on social media before my breakfast.

 

I also try to invest 1 hour at night after the kids are tucked in, to work on my blog either by engaging with other bloggers or researching my next posts.

 

2.  Know your Priorities

I set out a schedule during the work week where I divide my time between my job, my blog and my family.

 

On a typical work day, my schedule is similar to this:

5:30 a.m. – Social Media

6:00 a.m. – Breakfast

7 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Work time. This means that my priorities are centered on work.  Except for the time that I pick up the kids at school or summer camp, my energy is focused on what needs to get done during the day for work.

7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Family Time

9 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Blog Time

 

There are times when my work load at my job is higher than normal and I have to work longer into the evening.  This means that I might skip blogging for that night and try to invest more time on another night.  I put my job as a district manager ahead of my blog during the work week.  Since the company I work for pays me to get results and because of my values, I need to put that first.

 

Sometimes there is a family event that occurs which might change my schedule for the day or week as well.  A good example is vacation time.  During my vacation week, my family gets 100% priority.

 

I am lucky to love what I do.  As a district manager, my ultimate responsibility is to get the sales numbers for my district.  At the core of how I get those results is through the development of my store managers, who in turn need to develop their team.  My about page talks about how my passion is focusing first on self-development, then developing others.  I have the benefit of doing that as a full-time job.  The advantage is that my job actual fuels my creativity for my blog and my blogging gives me ideas for my job.  It is a pair that works great together.

 

Know your priorities which should be centered on your responsibilities.  Put your responsibilities first and you will ensure that your job and family won’t get penalized by your blogging.

 

Keeping my blog up to date is a passion of mine.  So despite all the energy my job might take from me during the day, working on it actually energizes me.  I have a clear goal of where I want my blog to take me, primarily reaching out and inspiring others.  This gives me the motivation I need to keep focus in doing what it takes to keep it updated on a regular basis.

 

3.  Have a Great Planning System

We need to wear several hats; parenting hat, employee hat, friend hat, entrepreneur hat etc.  This can get overwhelming if you are not organized or have a great planning system.  Having a system both for my work and for my blog keeps me organized.

 

The first step is in ensuring you are planning what you want to get done during the week, month and even quarter.  Set your goals for the week and then task accordingly.  I like to keep a note-book for any thoughts that might pop up.  I then use a simple calendar app, called Errands to manage tasks that I need to schedule.  I have an app for my personal iPad which I use for my blog and family errands and the Errands app on my work iPad that I use for work related tasks. I like it for its simplicity, but there are several other productivity apps that you can choose from.  The important thing is to have a planning system, even if that means good old pen and paper.

 

Try to schedule when you will research, write and proof-read your posts.  Even schedule your time on social media and engagement on other blogs.  This will ensure you are not missing any steps.

 

4.  Maximize Downtimes

When I went on our family vacation, I woke up 2 hours before anyone else.  I used this time to write and research my next blog posts.

 

Some bloggers use their lunch hour to reflect, research or even write notes for their blog posts.  This is a great idea and if you can work it in your day, awesome.  It does not work for me since I don’t typically take a lunch break.  I either use my lunch time to connect with my store teams by eating with one of my managers, or actually eat in the car in between store visits.  I know the latter is not ideal but it allows me to maximize my day giving me more freedom for my evenings.

 

5.  Minimize Distractions

This can be a difficult thing to accomplish.  When you schedule your time to write your post, it can be easy to get distracted by an incoming email message or by one of your social media accounts.  Researching your blog subject can even lead you down a road that takes you away from your post.  I still have difficulty with this.

 

If you decide to set time aside for your post, eliminate any distractions that will slow your productivity.  Close your emails or any other sites that might deter you and Write…Write…Write.  Set a timer if need be and focus only on your post for the predetermined time.  On Saturday and Sunday’s I use the timer method at the start of the day because I know that once my kids are up, distractions will be abundant.

 

6.  Small Steps vs Big Steps

If you cannot allot a huge time investment for your blog at once, schedule smaller time slots in your week.  If 3 hours on Saturday or Sunday mornings is not realistic, then maybe 30 minutes per day is more doable.

 

[bctt tweet=”“Sometimes the small steps can get you to your destination faster than waiting for when you can take the big steps.”- Elita Torres”]

 

It can even be beneficial sometimes since you tend to be more refreshed.  Writing your post then rereading it after a break can give you a better perspective on what you wrote.

 

7.  Be there

I wrote a blog post on the importance of living in the moment.  I think the same concept applies here.  Whenever you are investing your time, wherever you are physically present, BE THERE.  If you are at work, devote 100% of your energy to your work.  If you are with your family, be 100% present in the moment and if you are working on your blog, be there.

 

We now know that multi-tasking is not the best option in terms of productivity.  The best way to be productive is to devote your time and energy to the task at hand.

 

8.  Don’t be hard on yourself

[bctt tweet=”“Sometimes even despite the best intentions and the best planning, you don’t get the desired results. Don’t be so hard on yourself. “]“

 

Just take a few moments to analyze your strategy, modify your plans if necessary, but keep going.

 

You had an hour on a Saturday morning and planned to iron out your next blog post but only got the first paragraph completed?  Don’t get discouraged, just reschedule the remainder of your post for another time.   We tend to be our worst critics and this can get you demotivated.  Realize that even the most successful people in the world meet obstacles.  The key is to keep going and don’t give up.

 

What strategies have worked for you in keeping a balance between your work and your blog?

 

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[1] Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 222 •

Elita Torres

I have over 20 years experience as a leader, first as a General Manager for several Big Box retailers with over 100 employees, then as a district manager overseeing an average of 23 stores. Currently, I am a Sales Director overseeing 4 Districts. My passion for leadership and personal development has led me to share my journey in a Blog. Find out more on http://www.leadgrowdevelop.com/about/