One of the questions I get most frequently are along the lines of 1) how I balance blogging + work 2) whether or not I plan posts to keep The B Werd content consistent and 3) how difficult is it?
- I won’t say that I balance them well enough in any way. I do the best that I can with both given the circumstances at any particular time. 2. I don’t plan my posts or use a content calendar, although I hear they’re incredibly helpful. The B Werd is a creative space for me, so I expand on topics as they come to me. 3. It’s really hard. Enjoyable? Absolutely. Rewarding? Incredibly. But it’s hard. No other way to put that. This is how I get things done –
A career and a brand are two major time consuming responsibilities. Neither can be taken lightly and if they are, you can easily lose your grip on both. I love my job and want to do well at it, but I also love the work I’m doing with The B Werd. There are big projects I work on for my job that take up a lot of my time and can’t be afforded the lack of my attention. There are also times I’m on a really good wave with the blog and want to handle everything coming through the door. Balance looks different every single day. My focus truly switches sides like a see-saw. I handle what’s going to effect me immediately first; doing what I have to do, then what I want to do.
Quit Feeling Guilty
If you don’t get a post out, if you sleep through your alarm, if you don’t make it to your 7 pm boot camp session… It’s OK. I’d beat myself up if I fell asleep without crossing everything I had planned off of my to-do list, only to wake up feeling burnt-out while trying to pick up where I left off the day before. I handle what I can and sleep like a baby at night. Unless I die, everything I didn’t get to yesterday will be waiting for me when I wake up and I’m perfectly fine with that.
Schedule What You Can
Because I work in PR, I never know how my day will go. It’s not safe for me to assume I’ll have 30 minutes in the morning before I get to work to publish a post or choose the best Instagram photo. I schedule what I can using Hootsuite and the new draft feature on Instagram. If Sunday is the only day you get downtime, use it to put your posts in queue so your days run smoothly and your online presence isn’t missed.
Work When Work Works for You
Not everyone is a morning person. I’m not a morning or a night person, I’m always sleepy. But I’m particularly useless after 9 pm on a weeknight. I started waking up an hour earlier (at 5:30 am) to have more room in my schedule and not feel pressed at night to stay awake creating mediocre content or sending emails with errors. Whether you allow the time for it in the morning, afternoon or evening, it’s incredible to see the difference an hour makes in your day. Find the time you’re most efficient and capitalize on it.
Focus When it’s Time
I work in an industry where I’m constantly juggling a handful of things. Details for an event, trying to coordinate a meeting with 15 different execs, making edits to a press release, and then my phone will ring causing me to take 15 minutes to remember what I was just working on. It’s not always possible to only work on one thing at a time, but when I get the opportunity to I take it. My best content has been created when I allowed myself an hour of focus without distraction. That means phone on the charger, clicking out of all the extra browsers I have open and not wandering aimlessly on Instagram.
Track your Time
Every single day, I was running out of time. I didn’t have enough time to complete things I thought I would when I woke up that morning. My days felt like world winds and I needed to know why before I could solve the problem. I started timing my tasks. How long was it really taking me to get a good workout in? Or complete a blog post? More time than I was allowing myself. Once you have a real idea of how much time tasks actually take, you’ll get much better at estimating how much you’ll be able to accomplish in 24 hours.
Don’t Quit Doing Things You Like
In the beginning, I cut out doing a lot of things that I enjoyed so that I’d have more time to do dreaded but necessary tasks. I wasn’t being fair to myself. If there are things you love outside of the work that you’re doing, do them. If I want to excel in my career and my brand, it takes a lot of me doing what I don’t like, so I understand the sacrifice. The only way to not get burnt out is to make sure I’m doing what I do like every now and then.