Monday, November 19, 2018

How I Balance My Corporate Career and Blog

I interrupt your regularly scheduled Holiday Gift Guide post to share something a little more personal.

As a blogger, I get asked many questions.  But, there is one question in particular that I get asked time and time again: 

"How do you have time to manage both a full-time corporate job and a blog?" 

I tell you what, finding balance between and my corporate career and training for marathons and being a wife and having a social life is not easy!  Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day to work full-time, post to Instagram, write blog posts, answer emails, finish house chores, cook, run errands, workout, do try-on sessions, walk the dogs, go to happy hour, spend time with my husband, etc. etc. 

The only way I'm able to manage all of the things is to have a to-do list, a routine, a little bit of grace, and a whole lotta coffee.  

To Do List:  I write a to-do list every. single. day.  In fact, I write three to-do lists: 1 for my day job, 1 for the blog, and 1 for personal items.  Lord knows if I don't write it down, I forget it two seconds later.  My lists are in priority order, and if I'm not able to mark something off the list one day, it rolls over to the next day's list until it's completed.  This helps me with time management and to stay organized throughout the week.

Routine:  Having a routine is key!  The majority of my blog work is done on the weekends - which is also comprised of long runs, laundry, errands, etc.  Blog work consists of styling outfits, meeting with my photographer {Shout out to my girl, Rachael, from Vici LLC Photography}, writing blog posts, keeping my Fav Sales tab updated, preparing Instagram posts, catching up on emails, and doing try-on sessions.

I spend every Sunday planning and getting organized for the week ahead.  I plan out my Instagram and blog posts, prioritize my to-do list, meal plan for the week and order groceries.  Yes, I said ORDER groceries.  Shipt has been a lifesaver.  I can order groceries from Publix, Kroger, Target, or Costco directly from my app and they'll be delivered to my house a couple hours later.  This has allowed me to spend the time that I would be spending grocery shopping on my blog. 

During the week, I try to stick to a structured routine, otherwise, it's impossible to get all of the high-priority to-do list items completed.  My ideal week day routine goes a little something like this:

  • 5:30 AM Alarm
  • 6:00 AM Go for a run or take a spin class
  • 7:00 AM Post to Instagram 
  • 8:00 AM Arrive to day job 
  • 12:00 PM Lunch
  • 5:00 PM Leave day job
  • 6:00 PM Cook dinner 
  • 7:00 PM Prepare my "Deal of the Day" and the next day's Instagram post
    • Side Note: You'd be surprised to know how much work goes into just 1 daily Instagram post.  You have to take the photo, edit the photo, link all of the items in LiketoKnowIt, write a caption, come up with 30-ish hashtags, and engage on Instagram for at least 15 min before you post and 15 min after you post {hashtags and engagement help to increase the outreach of your post}.  The whole process takes well over an hour.
  • 9:00 PM Pack breakfast and lunch and layout my workout clothes and work outfit for the next day
  • 10:00 PM Go to bed 

Grace:  Disclaimer - I'm not a robot.  My days do not always work out as planned above.  After reading  Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley, I finally learned that it's not feasible to go-go-go 24/7 and be a perfect employee, blogger, wife, and athlete.  As a type A, over-achieving, OCD, perfectionist, learning to give myself grace was a hard concept to swallow.  But when I finally did, it relieved so much stress and guilt.  

There are days when that 5:30 AM alarm goes off and I skip my run for an extra hour of sleep.  That's OKAY.  Or I have to work late at my day job so dinner turns into takeout.  That's OKAY. Or I just want to lay on the couch with my husband and binge watch Netflix, so my Instagram post for that day does not happen.  That's OKAY.  I have to remind myself daily not to compare myself with other employees, bloggers, runners, and wives and focus on my own journey at my own pace while remaining true to myself.

Blogging is a lot of work, but I love every second of it.  Fashion has been my passion since I was a child, and I'm so thankful to my followers for giving me the opportunity to share it.

I hope this helped shed a little light into what it's like balancing a corporate career and   If you're a blogger yourself, maybe you picked up a couple of tips to help you stay organized.  If you have any tips that I did not mention, please share them in the comments below!

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