Believe it or not, not every blogger is a “professional” blogger. Most bloggers have a 9-5 that they either love or hate and blogging is a community that they’ve grown to adore and are super passionate about. HOWEVER…I am no longer a part of that club. And oddly enough I find it even harder now to create a perfect work/life balance because everything is considered work for me.
Even as I type this I am sneaking away during our annual family Christmas vacation so that I can blog (my boyfriend is waiting not so patiently in the living room so that we can play spades). Because in my eyes, there are no days off. But in order for my life not to end with weekly visits to a therapist’s couch, it’s important for me to figure this out. While this post is for anyone struggling to create work/life balance, it’s also to remind me of the things I know I need to do in order to be productive.
1. Critique yourself
If your 40-hour week has transformed into something like a 60-hour week with no breaks, you owe it to yourself to recognize that first…this is a problem and second…it’s time to fix it. Get to the bottom of where the majority of your time is being spent during your work day to allow for increased time management and productivity.
2. Create a schedule
I swear by my calendar. If it’s not in the calendar it’s not getting done. Also, if you find yourself wasting the majority of your time managing your inbox or in meetings, it may be time for some restructuring. This is where my PRIV by BlackBerry saves my life. Besides not having to frequently charge my phone (it’s got like, 20 plus hours of life in this baby) it’s also equipped with the Blackberry Hub, a unified inbox for consolidating all of my messages into a single app. Praise him! So in addition to putting events on the calendar, I schedule time for me to dig deep into my inbox and conquer it with the end goal being “ZERO unread messages.”
3. Avoid interruptions
Listen! I am so guilty of this. I take a call, I stop for lunch, I scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and then Facebook one last time and before I know it it’s midnight and I’ve only checked off two, maybe three, items on my list. Become intentionally militant about creating a distraction-free workspace. Here’s what I do: close out all unnecessary tabs on my browser, activate that “do not disturb” on my PRIV by BlackBerry phone (a favorite feature of mine), and put my headphones on to zone out. But don’t be like me and forget you turn this feature off and then think something is wrong with your phone. SMH!
I’ve learned that I cannot sweat the small stuff. We all have a habit of turning our to-do list into World War III and it’s us against them. But when we really think about it, it’s just not that serious on any given day. Simply focus on meeting the deadlines and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet a few of them. Life happens!
HOWEVER! When you do make those deadlines and you’ve mastered your to-do list, it’s totally ok to treat yourself! Go shopping for a new pair of shoes or eat some cake (extra frosting) for breakfast. Or if you’re like me and you’re on a “no shopping ban” browse through the Priv by Blackberry’s Android ecosystem with access to over 1 million apps. It’s the next best thing to shopping!
6. Know when you’re done
Stop spending your evenings in the office reworking things until they’re perfect. Establish a clear definition of the end result –when you’ve reached it, check out for the day and phone a friend. Or text one. Another great feature on my PRIV by BlackBerry is the super responsive touchscreen. Plus, gone are my typos thanks to the slide up keyboard feature and quite amazing spell check. Anyone been longing to just be able to push a button or two on their phones? No, just me? You lie! *smiles*
So, I ask you…
How do you find balance in your life? Whether you are a blogger, a mommy, an entertainer…I wanna know what keeps you sane. Chime in via the comments section below!
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While this post is in partnership with PRIV by BlackBerry, you beauties know that all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make my blog possible!