Balancing a blog and a full-time job has been tricky at times. There are days where I'd rather be working on a new blog post and then there are days I'd rather be working on new dog enrichment programs. But, I want to succeed in both areas, so I've had to work on prioritizing one or the other at times, and not get bogged down in the attempt to do everything all at once.
I'm all about having a plan. It's the reason I have a planner, multiple Google calendars, to-do lists everywhere, and reminders on my phone. Making a plan allows me to prioritize the main tasks that need attention on any given day. This also helps me focus on what I need to, rather than getting distracted while trying to complete projects. In order to prioritize my blog while I'm looking at a full schedule, I make a plan for fitting it in. I focus on blogging during the days and times I'm not at my job and I schedule all of my blog work the same way I would schedule a workday. I block myself out and during that time, all I focus on is content. I also keep a detailed list of what I need to get done for the blog each week. That way I can see how much time I need to dedicate to content. Each week is different, but being able to plan my week around not only my 9-5 but also my blog makes me feel better about balancing the two.
I used to struggle with consistency when it came to blogging. I would get stressed about a busy week at work and the next thing I knew it had been weeks since I wrote a blog post! I get in my head a lot when it comes to blogging. It's something I'm working on but I get frustrated with myself when I don't prioritize the blog. Enter my content planning day! Since I rely so much on having a plan, and since I struggled with prioritizing the blog when I didn't have a plan, I shifted my process. Rather than planning content for a single week, I started planning content for an entire month. Mainly, I plan my blog posts and my Instagram posts with the occasional Tiktok or reel. I use a Google calendar (color-coded of course) so I can see it whether I'm using my laptop, iPad, or phone and I make sure to add everything I'm planning to post. Sure, sometimes these get moved around or changed but giving myself a few hours at the start of every month to make a content calendar makes it so much easier for me to know exactly what needs to get done and where my priority needs to be. Now, I can plan to focus on 1 week of blog posts at a time, while still having a month of posts in the back of my mind. Plus, I'm able to have some consistency in my posts and some continuity throughout my platforms this way!
Another area I've really had to work on when it comes to being successful at blogging and my 9-5 is eliminating distractions. It's so easy for us to grab our phones when a message comes through or check our email "just to see what our inbox looks like". I'm the worst about this. I'm one of those people who would much rather respond right away and clean out her inbox than wait and do everything at an easier time. I also am the worst about checking my work email when I'm not at work. So, I've had to get strict with myself. When I'm at my 9-5 I mute all social media notifications, put my phone on do not disturb and I don't open my blog email. When I'm working on content, I make sure my phone is on do not disturb and I close my work email (typically I leave the tab open). If it's a really busy day, I'll even delete certain email accounts off of my phone so I completely eliminate the distractions. It makes it so much easier to keep my focus, plus I'm able to prioritize what I need to without feeling like I'm missing something.
Overall, balancing a full-time job with blogging is tricky but it's not impossible if you are committed, organized, and willing to put in the work. I love blogging and I love my full-time job, so for me finding a way to balance them makes me feel like I am doing what I love twice over every single day! Share your side hustles and passion projects below! I'd love to check them out!