5 tips to balance work + blog without wanting to punch someone, cry or perform other acts of meltdown

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If you burn the candle at both ends, balancing blogging and working full-time, you probably experience the frustration, stress and self-doubt that bubbles up. Here are five tips that help keep me on track and keep me sane.
Create an editorial calendar. As a Type A personality, nothing puts me at ease more than being in complete control. I typically post three days a week and I just use Microsoft Word to plan out my monthly editorial calendar. Nothing fancy. Excel probably works better, but I use this doc to write out ideas and track partnerships. I may only plan a week or two out, but being able to see the big picture for the next month, especially if I have planned campaigns can help me plan days to photograph, publish posts and promote. Oh, and using the cross-through button let’s me electronically cross things off my list.
Just say no. One of the hardest things about balancing essentially two jobs is making time for yourself. I stress myself out by saying yes to too many things and before I know, I have obligations seven nights a week, two weeks straight. My new goal is to leave at least TWO evenings after work free of any obligation. This gives me time to work out, spend more time with my dog and get caught up on school stuff. I really just want to sit on my couch and watch On-Demand and unwind while eating cheese. This is what makes me feel re-energized. What about you?
Don’t forget the ones you love. It’s easy for me to neglect the people I love in my life like Kyle, my grandparents or my mom. I justify in my head why I don’t have time to look up from my computer and have a conversation with Kyle or why it’s okay to put off calling my grandma for another week. It’s shitty. The good thing is that if you recognize this and become self aware, that’s a huge step. Set rules for yourself like leave the iPhone at home during dates or take a minute to fully be present in a conversation with friends. This is a constant struggle for me, but I know when I do this, it’s appreciated and something we should all try to do. Sometimes this boils down to time management or work anxiety and so you have to plan your posts and social out and take time to yourself to not check work email.

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Find or build a network. No one quite gets the balancing act of blogging and work full-time unless they do it too. Make friends online or in person or both to share frustrations, get advice and hold each other accountable. Sam of Samantha Elizabeth is my girl to vent to and make sure I’m doing what I said I told her I’d do. Our goal is to meet often in person and review some of our goals and actually make time to do it. It reinvigorates you to talk about your goals and projects out loud to someone who gets it and cares. I’ve also going to make it a quarterly goal to go out of my way to build friendships with new bloggers. I get comfortable with my current group of friends, bloggers or non-bloggers. Making new friends is exciting and why I loved blogging in the first place. What’s also great about building this network is the ability to collaborate together, do guest posts for each other and support one another. These networks and friendships have lifted me out of dark places and given me motivation to be creative and keep at it.

Define success. It’s easier to stay on track when you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Why are you blogging? Are you blogging on the topics most interesting to you? Is there a way for your blog to help advance your career? Is your goal to blog full-time? I’ve realized for myself that my blog has been the gateway to many connections and job offers. I work in public relations so a personal brand along with writing and photography have given me an edge in the job market. It also helps me do things I don’t get to do at work. I don’t get to photograph style, fashion or food. But I have to remind myself that it’s okay if I don’t have time to post because I just don’t have to. That’s the beauty of blogging for fun. Sure, I make supplementary income, but I feel more in control with not needing any and every job I receive. Each year, you should reevaluate your priorities, set 2-3 measurable goals and determine if you’re putting time where you should be and if what you’re doing with your blog is what you want. Blogging can be whatever you want it to be.
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Questions? You can always email me at kerbuski@gmail.com. Happy to help!
Rings by Katie Dean Jewelry, plaid shirt c/o Aeropostale (last year), iPhone case + headphones c/o Ankit
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  • Daniel J. Hogan
    October 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Getting better at saying No is one of the best things I ever did.

  • Rachel Cossette
    October 2, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    You are the master of post titles lol love this post too btw these are so helpful.