How do you separate personal time from blogging / social media time?
The age old question -How do you do it all?
Last week on the blog we looked at motivational tips to help your blogging focus when things get overwhelming or maybe you aren't seeing the results you would like to be.
This weeks blog is going to dive deeper on the subject of work life balance and achieving harmony within your blogging content creation and keeping up the enthusiasm.
Some of the most frequent questions around this I get asked are how to keep on top of life while you are creating a blog business, if you fall off of the social media bandwagon how to get back on track after messing up your posting schedule and how to get it all done, tips to help with time management.
So let's break it down
For most of us we fall into one of the below categories;
New blogger, maybe a hobby blogger looking to turn it income your income stream and you’re building an audience, building momentum and juggling another job alongside writing your blog or maybe a family, new baby etc
Blogger who has gone full time in their blog business and now are trying to juggle all the other stuff as well as keeping up the momentum and getting more specific around what you really want to do and who you want to work with and how you can create more ways to bring income into your blog
Have a full time business, supported by your blog and you’re outsourcing things but it still takes a lot of work a lot of hours from you to keep the ship sailing AND you have those tasks you can’t outsource that you are still responsible for and have to work out how to balance each and every day.
And this means, we have lots of balls in the air at any one time so to speak.
I'm going to share how I make each day work for me, work for my business, keep my family sane and alive and nurtured and with everything they need as well as keeping all the other bits and pieces that come with running a family home and life!
And these are methods that not only have I developed and evolved to suit me and my work life situation, I have passed them on to hundreds of my clients and people I work with to help them beat back the overwhelm, the stress, the worry that comes with feeling like you HAVE TO DO IT ALL.
So, here goes
My 5 step method for beating back the overwhelm and getting it done!
I know that you have responsibilities that no one else can take over. Whether its children, relatives, friends who you support or your own health, your own wellbeing. And no one else can take over this, these are the things that cause problems if we let them slip.
For me, I call these my non negotiable priorities - and they change from day to day so maybe on a day when I have great childcare, I know the kids are taken care of and they can come off of the top of the non-negotiable list of things for me to do because they are sorted I don’t have to think about what they need for a few hours.
So, an example of my non-negotiable list might look something like this:
Nourish myself for an hour
Prepare meals for the next 3 days
Get a blog post and LIVE video out into the world
Kids have school work to get done
2 client calls
Spend 2 hours quality time this evening unwinding
What are the MAIN priorities for today?
And I have stopped even doing this in advance, yes so I LIVE by my scheduler, I break down my tasks and my processes so I can jump in and out and do bits and pieces as and when I have the windows of time BUT on a daily basis the second I get up - I ask myself:
What are the things that without fail I want to do today, for me for the kids for work what are the REAL priorities that if I don’t do them, the consequences will have major repercussions that don't work for me and my values or my boundaries or my bank balance!
So step one is getting into the habit of moving all the noise all the clutter in your mind out of the way so you can really get to grips with what is the priority for that day right there in that moment right now.
2. Step 2 Micro slice everything!
Breaking your tasks, your to do list down into the most Micro of pieces means that when you have the smallest window of time to work on your business even if its 5 minutes, you can check out your scheduler and chose a task that you know you can do in that 5 minutes.
So for example, getting out a blog post, the process breakdown might look something like this…
Create caption for social media 1
Create caption for social media 2
Create caption for social media 3
Create Pins for Pinterest
Upload to Website
So it may seem like a TONNE of tasks there BUT that is the process I go through every time I put out a new blog post, so knowing if I have 5 minutes I can create a headline, if I have 10 minutes I can get my research done, If I have 15 minutes maybe i’ll make the pins for Pinterest.
It also means as soon as you are at the point where you can get someone on board to help with the admin side and lighten the workload so to speak the tasks are already broken down and very easily to delegate.
The bottom line is that for me to have an hour or more free to spend time uninterrupted creating a blog, is a very rare occurrence.
I have to work these tasks around my children, my business and my life so breaking them down not only means I can offload them to my team for help if I need to quickly and easily, but if I have 10 minutes and can crack on with getting stuff done, then I can easily tick off a box or two and feel that surge of pride that I have accomplished something rather than sitting in the overwhelm of not knowing where to start.
I love this selection of TED Talks around working smarter
3. Celebrate the wins!
Now that you will be breaking your tasks and processes down into micro slices its time to do the same for your celebrations!
Success comes in many forms, and whatever stage you are at in your blogging career and journey celebrating the small things, may sound like a cliche but it really helps to get stuff done!
As I said with my tick list, that instant gratification that comes from ticking off a small task on that list is enough motivation to make you get on and tick off an other.
Every small thing you do, every time you get out a post or get on a live facebook video or just engage on one of your blog comments, that is a small step in the direction of you achieving your goals and as such you need to put on one hell of a party each and every time!
1 . Keep a folder of when someone leaves you a review or a positive comment or tags you, shares your stuff mentions you in a group - anything that helps you build awareness of your business AND makes you feel good, needs to go in the folder!
Take screen shots, print it out and create your very own brag book - to help pick you up when things don't quite go how you would have liked.
2. Sometimes it's not obvious that we have achieved anything feel like you've had a super non productive day and this is a thought pattern we need to flip round so you see the productivity, the small steps towards success in everything you do.
So even if you struggled to get a comb through your hair but your social content is set up on auto-schedule - then celebrate how productive you've been to organise that so you could have a day off.
Or maybe you had a blog to write and the kids had to have a bag of crisps and watch the TV for a bit longer today so mommy guilt is setting in, you kept them alive! You made sure they were happy and looked after AND you took that small step towards your dreams in the process.
Celebrate that and let go of anything else.
4. Boundaries and saying no!
So for me, one of the biggest assets in building my businesses has been cracking down getting to grips with my own boundaries and really having a them solid and firmly in place. They don't waver. Yes I evolve them and let them grow and change from time to time as I do but they remain firmly in place to help me keep myself balanced.
Letting your boundaries down constantly, saying yes to people who aren't going to help you on your mission or to have impact they just take away your focus and resources this is super dangerous when you’ve got it all going on.
You know what your priorities are each day, from step 1 we have figured out your non negotiable list.
So in knowing this how can you keep strong in making sure you don't waver on making those things happen?
So a great example, maybe yours kids have a super late notice bake sale and they want you to make something, respectfully SAY NO! Unless you have chance to run to the store and pass off Betty Crockers tray bake as your own respectfully say “Thanks for asking me, that doesn't work for me right now so I’ll pop the next bake sale in my calendar to make something for you!”
Take notice of what comes up in you when you say no;
Are you feeling guilty for your kids?
Are you feeling like people at school will judge you for not being able to whip up 5 dozen cupcakes overnight?
What is the feedback here, write it down and address it when you have some time - but right now your boundaries are telling you this is going to interfere, it's going to, cause you problems in getting your nonnegotiable priorities done today and that is not acceptable.
Don't cause yourself conflict from taking down your boundaries, listen to what comes up in you and acknowledge it write it down and work through it when you have the space to do so but right now in this moment, the only priorities that matter are the ones on your non negotiable list.
Check out this quick video from Sarri Gilman Good Boundaries Free You
5. Give yourself a break
No matter how much some of us would love to think we are made from the same cloth as superheroes; We are mere mortals.
We need time to process, we need time to create and be inspired and love and laugh and live.
If every minute of your day is filled with stuff that isn't lighting you up - but making your break down, then that is never going to help you build a sustainable profitable business or life your own life to the fullest.
Yes building a business requires work and consistency and strategy and dedication but break what is non negotiable down into micro slices of each task and then every single step you take will be one step closer to achieving your big goals your big dreams and staying firm in your boundaries will be what helps you feel good while you are on the road to getting there.
Celebrate the wins AND give yourself what you need.
Take some time to figure out what you need as much as you need air each and every day, it could be you cant function without 5 mini meals a day ok you feel better eating often, or maybe you need to have some yoga time and a gallon of water before you can tackle any work related stuff. It could be that without fail you need to Netflix and chill every evening at 9pm for an hour to unwind.
What is it you need?
This can be a really difficult question for some of us as we get swept up in the well I need more money or when my life is like this then I can do this everyday - instead of putting those hurdles in your way bring it back to right now. What do you need every day to feel whole, full of light and completely you?
I love this video Laura Vanderkam about How to gain control of your free time