This month’s Blog Bar linkup topic is work life balance. I am fascinated by time management and look forward to learning from everyone’s posts. Actually, I prefer the term work life integration because I don’t ever think there is a balance between your professional and personal life. The amount of time I spend in or out of the office changes daily and there are times when the two overlap. I find myself thinking about a client during dinner, coming up with a campaign idea in spin class, or checking my email one last time right before bed. Here are my work life balance tips or work life integration tips.
Work Life Balance Tips
When I was a paralegal I realized how important work life integration is for me because I treasure the ability to control my schedule. In the busy law firm, it was hard to make plans because I never knew when work demands would require that I stay late or through the night or take a weekend shift. These days I work late or leave the office for a social event and then get back on the computer later on, but such episodes are few and far between. For the most part, I have control over the time I spend in the office.
While my “day job” is as a content strategist, I view my work life as comprised of personal undertakings as well. Managing my blog and writing freelance articles are projects that I take seriously and, while I love writing, the work itself can take up a lot of time. Here are a few strategies that have helped me manage blogging, freelance writing, being a content strategist, and (luckily) having time for friends, family, fitness, and trying new things.
Choose a Day:
I write almost all of my blog posts on Sundays and schedule them to go up throughout the week. I like scheduling my content ahead of time so that I can get together with friends, go to networking events, try a fun gym class, go to a museum, and work on pitches, freelance writing, and career profile questions and outreach throughout the week.
I immediately enter deadlines, events, gym classes, and plans in my Google Calendar. I use a separate Google Calendar as an editorial calendar for my blog and find it really helpful to plan for upcoming content. It also helps me make sure I have reserved a space for my monthly and weekly series.
Wake Up Early:
My new mantra is “Wake up an hour early to live an hour more.” It can be really difficult to get into the habit of getting out of bed between 6:15 and 6:30 a.m. every day but it gets easier and, in time, becomes a good habit. Due to my early morning routine, I find am more focused, happy, and alert when I get into the office. I also have time to have breakfast and lots and lots of coffee. I love to work out and especially enjoy trying new fitness classes. If I don’t go to the gym in the morning, it is likely that I won’t get there at because I almost always have plans after work.
I wish I were someone who could listen to a podcast or watch the TV while working but I know that I can’t. I get distracted really easily. I listen to relaxing music at work, mostly because we have an open office and would otherwise be distracted by overheard conversations and meetings. I am much more productive if I’m fully focusing on one thing at a time. My one exception is that I often write when I’m on the subway. I’ll write blog and article ideas in the Notes App and have even written outlines or entire articles or posts over the course of a few rides.
Make Time for What You Love:
It is imperative to make time for the pastimes and people you love. I get to the gym every day, see family members weekly and friends as often as possible. I make time for all that I enjoy even if that means waking up early in the morning or staying out a little later than I’d like. I tend to write about my experiences in and around NYC and living an active and adventurous life helps my writing greatly. My interest in trying new restaurants, fitness experiences, parks and shops has spread to family and friends as well. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to blend my work life, avocations, and time spent with those who are important to me.
As Dolly Parton once said, “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
What are your work life balance tips?
Read what other people from the linkup have to say!
The B Bar // Rae Loves // Sarah Hartley // Carrie Loves // Soak and Simmer // The Not Quite Adult // White Cabana // PreppyPanache // LiskaMonet // Alyssa J Freitas // Rossetto // With Love From Ellie // Cake & Lilies // Feathers and Stripes // Leigh Clair // White Oak Creative // Life Modifier // Perfect Enough for Us // Random Little Faves // Jacque Of All Trades // Business Betties // Girl for Granted // Alicia Tenise // The Yuppie Flies // It’s Droolworthy // Something Good Blog // Elana Lyn // Forth Chicago // Emilie Lima Burke // Manifest Yourself // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heard // It’s Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram //Victoria McGinley
Images: With Love From Kat