Work/Life Balance: An Update

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone: I’m always a little stressed out.
If for some reason you don’t know, I manage a full-time job and, what it feels like, a full-time blog. Not to mention, my commute isn’t that pretty either, and sometimes it can take me up to an hour just to get to work.
I love my day job and I love blogging, so I’ve been able to deal with both over the last few years. However, work/life balance has always been an issue. Here are a few things I’ve done over the last few months to help me get on track.
  1. Create Blog "Office Hours"
    About a year ago, I would just blog whenever I could. My schedule was a little erratic and sometimes I found myself staying up until 1 or 2 am just to finish. The older I get, the less I’m able to function on a small amount of sleep.
    Every Saturday morning, I look at my schedule and I dedicate 2-3 hours at some point during weekend to finalize my editorial calendar for the week and write out as many posts as I can and schedule out several social media posts. 80% of the time, this is Sunday evening. Don’t get me wrong, I often need to finish up some posts during weeknights, but knowing what I want to write about and having materials prepped makes the content creation process a lot smoother. I can’t blog every day, so weekend prep is crucial.
  2. Learning how to say "no"
    One of the growing pains I’ve experienced as a blogger is that the longer you’ve been blogging, the more brands want to work with you. It’s incredibly exciting and I’m very thankful for that, however, about a couple of years ago I was taking on too many collaborations than I could handle and there were times that I actually had to start sending pieces back on stepping down from sponsored posts cause I just didn’t have enough hours in the day. Not cool, friends. Not. Cool.
    If you notice you’re getting offered collaboration opportunities often, you’re going to reach a point where you can’t accept every little opportunity that crosses your path. It might even be something that you’re interested in, but if you’re at a point where your editorial calendar is booked for 1.5 months, you might want to hold off on signing on for a collab if you know you won’t be able to turn it around in a reasonable timeframe.
  3. Working With a Photographer
    I love, love love working with a photographer. Yes, I pay them so that’s overhead costs on my end, but it saves me a ridiculous amount of time. I usually shoot at least 4 outfits when I meet up with a photographer in one day, and they edit photos so I don’t have to. I only shoot outfits every ~2 weeks, so if I’m too busy one weekend or if the weather is terrible on a weekend, I’m covered.
  4. Set Email Hours
    Emailing takes up a ridiculous amount of time a day. Unless something is time sensitive, I only email people back twice a day. I’ve noticed that if I linger on my Gmail all day long, people tend to reply faster, I’m tempted to reply everytime I get a notification and I don’t really get anything accomplished. For lot of collaborations I do, it’s completely ok to not respond for a couple of hours. Don’t feel tempted to reply like lightening, unless it’s super time sensetive! It can wait a little bit. 
  5. Treat Yourself
    Like I said, sometimes blogging and working full-time and commuting really stresses me out. I’ve noticed it with my skin (I get breakouts) and in my neck and shoulders (I get terrible knots!) Not to mention, because I’m still recovering from carpal/cubital tunnel surgery, I actually have to massage both incision sites daily to avoid scar tissue buildup.
    I had the opportunity to try out Zeel, an on-demand massage service a few weeks ago, and I loved it! It’s basically Uber for massages. You download the app, select what kind of massage you want, and someone actually comes to your home/apartment and performs a massage. How. Freaking. Cool. They just launched in D.C., and this is perfect for a girl on the go like myself.
    Above is a photo of the massage table being set up in my apartment. Yes, if a massage table can fit in my tiny apartment, it can fit in yours!

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