I used to work in women’s media. Self-care is my thing, and I could write circles around pretty much anyone about time management and taking care of yourself. But let’s get real: if you ask me how I balance full-time work with blogging, freelancing and a social life, my honest answer is “not well.” I am constantly stressed out, even though those of you who have been following for a while know I vowed to take more breaks last year. I’m sti ll learning and growing — that’s life! — but I want to do better in 2019. That’s why I asked 16 incredible bloggers to share how they handle time management. I had only one request for my contributors: You have to be busy AF. I wanted to hear from the moms, the full-time workers, the moms who are full-time workers. Let’s just say they blew me away with their responses.
Gentry Adams, Girl Meets Bow
“I try to schedule out my day to have space for everything! I wake up between 4:30-5:00am and finish up my post for the day, schedule social media, engage with other blogs I follow, etc. When I get home from work & the gym or nighttime social engagements then I edit my photos for the next day, put together blog posts, set up links, and get everything prepped for the morning! I also “batch” as much as possible- when I do photos I do 10-12 outfits at a time so I have a cache of content to pull from for posts and social!”
Lena, Happily Ever Adventures
“I work about 50 hours a week at a demanding job with a long commute. I set aside time to blog almost every morning before work, every evening after work, and weekends. I establish what my top 1-3 priorities are to get done that day so I can focus, I set up my to do list with time slots (so that I know what’s actually realistic to get done and I can use it to keep me on track), and I often use the pomodoro method.
I don’t really believe there’s such thing as a work-life balance when blogging full time AND a full time 9-5. I think it’s something that you love and so you’re willing to sacrifice other things for it. If I wasn’t having so much fun, I wouldn’t be able to keep up this schedule.”
Noozhat N., HauteNooz
“I work during the week, and prep everything for my posts during the weekend…that includes scheduling posts! I use a calendar to spread them out so I know exactly what goes up when, so I have to do minimal work when I’m actually posting…But even with all the prep, it still takes about 1-2 hours of work in the evenings! Blogging is a lot of work and it means I rarely have a free weekend, but nothing worth having is easy!”
April Marquardt, The Blue Hydrangeas
As a full-time physician and mom of four it is extremely difficult. My blog is a family affair and that helps. And I compartmentalize everything. Work is work, time with the kids this time with the kids and the rest of the time is blogging.
Courtney Nawara, Phyrra
“I use Google Keep to create checklists, Google Drive to share and manage documents with clients, Google Hangouts for video calls and screen sharing, and finally Google Calendar to coordinate. It helps me keep my full-time day job and my blogging organized.
By doing these things I was able to just publish a book, as well as stay organized with work and my blog.”
Samantha David, Style By Samantha
“I balance through productivity hacks and getting the most out of every minute of my day! Also learning how to completely disconnect to not feel like you’re working around the clock is key.”
Lee Taylor, LegalLee Blonde
“For me, the key to balancing blogging with my career as a lawyer is content planning! I have my blog post ideas scheduled at least a month in advance. That way it’s easier to see ‘the big picture’ of my tasks well in advance so I can shoot a lot of outfits at once, or e-mail a bunch of brands at once, etc. … oh and I do most of my content planning while in a bubble bath with a glass of wine haha. I love it because it helps me relax and not get burnt out!”
“Planning is key. As a travel and lifestyle blogger who travels at least once a month, it’s important to plan itineraries and brand partnerships well in advance in order for the workload of your day job to feel seamless with your blogging business. I used to write it all down in a planner, but I find that Google Calendar has been my app of choice since I can easily edit my plans on the go (you can color code your events, too)!”
Kristina Hendley Sapel, Medicine and Manicures
“I work as a PA at an urgent care full time so I carve out time to blog after work/on my days off. Use my WP mobile app to start posts on the go. I try to be strategic when planning outfit/home decor shoots. Focus on quality over quantity. It’s hard but can be done!”
Kara Ferguson, Politics of Pretty
“I work full-time as a digital marketer for a healthcare services company. Blogging has been my side hustle for almost seven years. I dedicate at least 10-15 hours a week to my blog and I’m able to produce 2-3 blog posts per week, in addition to keeping in touch with my readers on social media. I try to spend my weekends taking photos, writing copy and planning social media posts so I can relax during the week after a long day at work.
The further I plan ahead/schedule posts, the easier it is to balance blogging with my full-time job. While I try to be consistent, there are times when the balance is off and I spend more time working and less time blogging. I used to be really hard on myself about that but now I’m more accepting of it. If I don’t feel inspired, I don’t post anything on my website. I started blogging because I enjoy writing and fashion/beauty and making money off it was just a bonus so I always remind myself of that when I feel overwhelmed between blogging and my full-time job.”
Lauren Elliott, Simply Elliott
“As a mom of a toddler with a full time job as a BCBA, balancing work/motherhood/marriage along with blogging can be challenging! Balance means setting boundaries for me: from 9-5 M-F I am in my Clinical Director role & devote my time to my staff & the kids we serve wholeheartedly. Outside those hours, I turn work off. Same thing with blogging, I devote time to Simply Elliott after my little one & husband are asleep or during the rare nap when the husband is doing yard work or something else handy around the house. Otherwise, I am in full mom & wife mode so I don’t miss a precious moment with my little family!”
Rowda Baker, The Style Initiative
“I balance it with work by doing blog stuff on the weekends or after work!”
Tif Fannin, Bright On A Budget
“I’m an in-house attorney, blogger, and mom of two. It’s a constant cycle of balancing and rebalancing the different areas of your life, much like a tilt-a-whirl. You quickly learn how to multi-task and prioritize a million different things at once. And while you try to have a schedule of sorts (working 9-5:30, family time until 9, blogging from 9-11), you are most successful when realize flexibility is key and can quickly adapt to change.”
Jenna Ricciardi, Glitz & GlaMOM
“I use many tools to help me stay organized. My iCal keeps track of all our events and appointments (color codes by category ). My Filofax is my editorial planner where i map content weeks in advance. I work around my kids schedules, wake up before them to work, go to bed after them to work.
Rashee Gupta, Mrs. Gupta Squared
“I balance blogging with a full time job by planning as much as I can in advance. I am all for living in the moment but when you have two businesses, a family, and a full time job, planning is crucial to not only running everything successfully and smoothly but also to be current and up to date. You HAVE to plan to be successful!”
Maria K., Little Tree Vintage
“I make a schedule to keep myself on track!”
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.