Our social media reach, blog stats, jobs, locations, homes, family, and friends are all gifts. We have reach that falls in beautiful places whether we have a million followers or ten followers. It is important for us to be thankful for the influence we do have and to be thankful for all the those things that we try to balance – family, friends, jobs, skills, dreams, homes, etc. That does not mean you can’t have ambition, it just means that you always cultivate gratefulness.Second important note, no one can do it all. I’ll talk about this in more detail later, but no one can do “it all.” If they look like they are, you are just not seeing all the things that they are neglecting. We make time for the things we think are more important and let other things fall behind. I do not do it all. I may work full time, blog 5 days a week, consistently post on instagram, and spend time with my husband, my friends, and my family BUT I don’t do a lot of other things so that I have time for what I chose to do.
If you are entering this new year with big goals for your blog, I am on your team! I will cheer with you, encourage you, pray for you, and be real with you. I know you want to do it all (so do I) but you can’t. But I will share with you how I do get things done.
The most important thing you need to do is set priorities in your life. So many other bloggers email me and assume that I do it all. I’ll tell you right here, right now that I do not! Our laundry is like never done. The basket is usually overflowing, then I’ll randomly wash it all but leave it all on the couch and run down to the basement for the next two weeks to get random outfits and new underwear. I also don’t do a lot of cooking. I make quick meals a couple times a week, we tend to do sandwiches or cereal a couple nights, and then eat out the rest of the time. Some people love to spend time in the kitchen and it gives them life but I am not that girl. I also value tidy over super clean. So everyday I pick up around the house but we only deep clean once a month or every other month. Those are just a couple things that I have chosen other things over. To me (and Bruce) it is more important to spend time with people than to stay on top of laundry and it is more important for me to rest after work than stress about dinner. You may want to make laundry and cooking part of your priority list and that is wonderful! Just know you need to chose what is most important to you.
If you are not actively choosing your priorities you will be stressed all the time. And you may be neglecting the things you value most because of other responsibilities that “feel” more important. Maybe you need to make a list of “all the things” that you want done if you were to “do it all” and then prioritize that list. This will help you physically see all that you do, and help you put direction to making time for the most important things.
After you have started to prioritize your tasks, making plans is important to staying on track! I work 32 hours T-F. Those hours are already scheduled and I make sure that while I am there, I am getting my work things done so that I do not ever feel pressured to work late or at home. It is easy to add the already scheduled things to your list – work schedules, children’s schedules, classes, appointments, etc. It is harder to schedule the other things sometimes (like rest, family time, and blog time). Bruce and I have several evening activities that are scheduled out (like Bible Study every week, events, dinner parties) but we also schedule date nights and “nights off.” We know that life can get so busy so fast so we make sure to have one evening of down time. We plan a night to have no plans. Also, as a blogger, it is easy to get sucked into working ALL THE TIME. To help family, friends, and my husband still stay priorities, I have scheduled time to blog. As a planner, all this comes more easily to me but I know a lot of non-planners who still need to make loose plans so that they can get things done.
Maybe cleaning was lower on your list, so you deep clean the first Saturday of every month. Or maybe you even hire someone to clean your house once a month. Maybe you value laundry always done so you make a point to watch the football game at home so you can do the laundry every week during the game. Maybe you work full time and blog, so you set aside Saturday from 8 am – 1 pm to get all things blog done for the upcoming week. Set plans, so that you can make sure the things you value get done.
SCHEDULE AHEAD POSTS & SOCIAL MEDIA
This is huge for me and will be huge for you if you are a blogger who also has a life! I try to schedule all most posts at least a week before time. I set aside a day for post writing and will crank out 2 -4 posts during that time. Most blogging platforms have a way to set your posts go live at a certain time. So you may be sleeping or at work when the post goes live and you don’t need to do anything else about it! Also, there are ways to stay active on social media without being on social media all day. Buffer, Hootsuite, and Coschedule are all social media schedulers that I have used. Now that I am on WordPress CoSchedule makes the best option for me because I can schedule while I write my post, but the other two are great options as well.
TAKE TIME OFF
I mentioned this in the planning part but if you want to be productive when working, you need to rest when not. Have you ever noticed that when you feel like you have all the time in the world to get things done, you never get anything done? It is because procrastination is in all of our hearts whether we embrace it or not. So many things will distract you and you will reach the end of the day wondering what you did the whole time. When you take intentional time off work (NOT on istagram, working on blog posts, answering emails, playing with social media, reading other blogs, ect) you can enjoy the other things in life and then go into your planned blog time with zeal and determination!
This one may be the most important of them all. You need to give yourself (and others around you) grace. As much as you prioritize, plan, and schedule ahead life will happen. Sometimes unexpected things will require your attention, sometimes you will need a nap instead of doing laundry, sometimes your kids will throw up and you will be holding sick babies instead of blogging. If you push yourself so hard toward perfection and if you get down on yourself for not following your plans, you will only be disappointed & discouraged. Grace is what will keep you going and prevent burnout. Grace is what will keep your joy. Grace is what will carry you though the craziness of life with contentment at your core.
So maybe this list isn’t what you wanted to hear. Maybe you wanted someone to tell you perfection is possible and that you too can be super women if you just follow this list of 10 thousand things. But if you did ( and if you didn’t) I hope this was what you really needed to hear. I hope that you are renewed because no one can do it all. That your confidence is boosted because you can chose what to spend your time on. Lastly, I hope that grace is a word that speaks to your soul this year – that even when plans fail or you feel like a failure, that grace would step in and sustain your zeal.
How do you do it all? – I’m curious! Also, be sure to check out my Blog Tips for more blogging tips, tricks, and advice!
Photo by: Stellar Propeller Studios