How do I juggle my 9-5 job and blogging life? This is a question I get asked quite a bit. I personally don’t find it too much of a struggle to manage both. I’m fortunate that I love my full time job as Marketing Manager for a video technology firm. And I love writing for Willow Lane and all the other fun bits that go along with being a blogger – the social media interactions, the events and meet-ups, the brand collaborations etc. Willow Lane is like a really amazing hobby and I am delighted every day that I get to blog about my life and my loves.
Of course there are times when I get tired and grumpy and I wonder am I doing enough? I think the feeling of ‘guilt’ is a common feeling amongst people these days. Guilt that we’re not working hard enough, that we’re not the best daughter/sister/mother, not ‘fun’ enough etc. We’re always pushing ourselves to do better and often we’re our own worst critic.
To help me keep stress at bay and balance my 9-5 with my blogging and my personal life I plan things out and I make sure to keep perspective and have fun.
PLANNING IS MY FRIEND
I’ve mentioned before that I like to plan. Writing down notes and scheduling things helps keep me focused and my thoughts and ideas in line. I’m always thinking ahead, which is often a good thing but I have to keep remembering to be present and to enjoy being in ‘the moment’.
I have a large notebook in which I jot down all my Willow Lane blog ideas, and then I have my file-o-fax for scheduling daily activites. In work I keep a detailed work diary and for my personal life I keep a ‘to-do’ list on my phone and I’m always updating my phone calendar with events, appointments etc.
I do quite a bit of blogging prep at the weekend. I’ll spend the daytime making the most of the daylight and capturing photographs and then in the evening I’ll write up my content. I spend most weeknights updating my social media accounts and reviewing the blog posts I prepared during the weekend. I’m also out quite a bit at events after work.
REALISE THAT SOME THINGS HAVE TO GIVE
Just as much I like to plan and stay on top of things week to week I also know I need to remain flexible enough for last minute plans and unpredictable goings-on. This keeps me on my toes! Life would be pretty boring if everything went according to plan. With blogging last-minute invites can land in your inbox, work can be particularly fast-paced; and then of course there are my other personal commitments.
I think it’s important to realise that you can’t do everything and that some things will have to give. For me I spend a lot less time watching TV and films and reading books than I used to. I’m either concentrating on my 9-5 work or I’m focusing on the blog and to be honest I don’t have the brain power to then pay attention to TV or a novel.
ENJOY PROPER DOWNTIME
Often I have to be forced to put down my laptop and/or my phone. I’m always ‘on’. At blogger events it’s ‘normal’ to be glued to your phone but in the company of friends and family this is considered rude! I suppose a lot of people would think it’s unhealthy to be in-front of a screen for the majority of your day but I think for a lot of us it’s the norm.
What helps me unwind is hiding away in my dressing room for a while, doing a big of light exercise, listening to music and just generally having a tidy and sort through my stuff. Lazing in a warm bath with a candle flickering is lovely too! I also love meeting up with friends and family for coffee/lunch at the weekends and having a nosey around the shops. Not only does this make me feel more ‘connected’ to the people I love, it also helps me loosen up and relax, and in this state I’m more likely to get inspired for work and blog-related activities.
I’d like to finish off by saying I have alot of admiration for those bloggers who are parents and also manage a blog! No mean feat.