One of my greatest joys comes from sitting at my laptop with a hot cup of joe brainstorming ideas for my blog, This Little Lady. It has become increasingly clear to me that blogging is hard work. Most days I spend hours pouring over ways to make my blog more attractive and useful to my readers/ followers. In addition, I spend time focusing on search engine optimization, social media outreach and networking with fellow bloggers and businesses. However, all of this generally takes place after a full day at the office. Some days it seems that I am working all day and night. I have learned that doing so is simply not good for your health. Work life is only successful if it strikes the right balance with your personal/family life. If you are a busy blogger, or business owner, here are several tips that will help you balance work with life better...
Striking the right work-life balance means making compromises. Perhaps you are a parent with a growing business. It will be difficult to spend eight hours a day at home and travel for business to build your brand. However, if you commit yourself to being more productive with your work-life then you will achieve a greater integration of the two. Work-life is not one size fits all. What works for one person may not work for someone else. However, I have learned that prioritizing my goals and increasing my awareness on what I do with my time has been helpful. I personally use a log to try and keep track of my time. I have paid close attention to work and personal activities and have gone on to rate what was most enjoyable, what was required of me, and what was optional. I have been able to cut out and delegate some activities and that has helped me prioritize what is important.
(2) Learning How to Say “No”:
Remember it is totally okay to respectfully say no. This hasn’t always been easy for me to do, however, it wasn’t until I read the book, “Present Over Perfect,” by Shauna Niequist that I learned the value in saying no. The truth of the matter is that you can’t have yes without no. Perhaps a better way to say it is, if you are not careful with your yeses, you start to say no to some pretty important things. I am notorious for my rampant yes-yes-yes-ing. I had to take a step back from my yeses to start to appreciate how valuable no can be. If you are not careful you may be saying no to rest, to slowing down, to connecting with friends and family, to moments of groundedness.
Working long hours can take a toll on anyone’s psyche. You are likely to feel more stressed and exhausted than usual. Trust me, this little lady knows! I can tell you from personal experience that this will make you less productive as a blogger/business owner/person etc. You need to learn to take a break and relax. Taking short amounts of time off will help you gather your thoughts and come up with new ideas. Being able to maintain any sense of balance and have an integrated work and personal life requires healthy dieting, some sort of physical exercise/activity, getting a good nights sleep and perhaps most importantly, finding time in the day to have fun. You can try meditation, yoga, reading a book, etc. I personally find relaxation in taking barre class or meditating in a sea of candles. I am sure this part sounds a bit cliche, however, it is true and we do often need a gentle reminder. Finding time to include friends and family, avoiding procrastinating and learning to disconnect and finding time to relax is so very important, which brings me to my next point.
(4) Disconnecting is A-OK:
This is a lot easier said than done. Technology has allowed us to have greater flexibility over where, when, and how we work today. However, I have found that it has caused me to work longer hours and to blur the lines between my work life and personal life. This is why it is so important that each of us makes a conscious decision to separate work and personal time. After I leave the office I try not to check my e-mail until the morning. When I am home I want to concentrate on the things that make me happy… spending time with my family, blogging, and doing things that bring me joy.
(5) Utilize your Support System:
I have a tribe that I rely on… friends, family, neighbors, etc. My support system includes a variety of people who hold different roles in my life. These people support me in different ways, be it in my personal life or work life. Support systems should include people you look up to, people who share your interests, close friends, helpers, referrals, networks of people who motivate us, etc.
Help can come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, New Jersey SEO Company, provides “solutions that integrate all aspects of digital media marketing including branding, website design, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, conversion optimization, and mobile app development.” NJ SEO is a full service marketing agency that provides effective content strategies for businesses looking to grow. Together with NJ SEO you can build your business and relationships with your clients to be more sustainable and meaningful by engaging them with your brand via social media. Try contacting Matt Anton, who is currently in charge of client strategy and execution at NJ SEO. Matt is very experienced and comes to the table with a background in online marketing. Matt and his team are committed to delivering outstanding results by combining creative ideas with their vast experience. Using NJ SEO means optimizing your own time. Remember it takes a village!
How we live matters and the decisions we make will shape the outcome of our lives. Many of us, myself included, consider our bodies and minds to be collateral damage to get things done. Perhaps it is because of other people’s expectations or maybe we are trying to fill a hole. I operated on autopilot for the longest time, drinking copious amounts of caffeine to get through the day while simultaneously checking things off the never ending list. I would lay my head on my pillow without a real thought or feeling or connection all day long. I was simply thrilled to have just made it through. But that has long changed. And while I am not perfect, today I choose to live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings me joy, simplicity and beauty. I hope you will do the same.
Cover Photo by: Jordan Sanchez