Work Life Balance: Making Life Beyond the Blog Mission Possible!

bloggers biz planner will give you work life balanceSummer is here, the kids are home and between trips to the pool, play dates, picnics and popsicle breaks, having a healthy work life balance feels practically impossible!

It’s not like the bills are on summer break with the kids, so business must go on.  So we live with one foot in our business and another foot in the family, never 100% connected to either one.

Is all of this worth it?

If you feel guilty that you’re not spending more time with your kids when you’re working and guilty that your businesses is going stagnant while you’re vacationing and having fun with your family, then this post is for you!

Hear my honest answer in this post and learn how, even now, with a new full-time job, I’ve got a better work life balance than I’ve ever had before.

One Unforgettable (Totally Regrettable) Summer of Blogging that Had NO Work Life Balance Whatsoever

I will never forget (or allow myself to forget) last summer, trying to untangle the complexities of wordpress, SEO, and social media while launching my blog.  I spent hours inside, writing, tweaking, and networking, and went to bed heartbroken because I felt like I’d missed out on the kids playing in the pool in the backyard or disappointed them by not taking them to the park.

I kept telling myself that it would all be worth it in the long run, but the pit in my stomach didn’t believe the logic in my mind.  I stayed focused on the philosophy, “Short term sacrifices for long term gains.”  I kept focusing on my why, and I “did the do” as the cliche says but I was so far away from achieving any sort of work life balance that I fought a constant internal battle.

Did my blog and my business grow at rapid speed?  Yes.

Was it worth it?  Honestly, no.

Not when I consider how much time I wasted by spending it doing the wrong things.   I was pure passion diluted by not enough experience to know what things to focus on and what things to ignore.

Business is an experiment to some extent, but if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have done half of the things I did to put my blog on the map.   My focus was on the wrong things, for all of the beginning months of my blog.

I listened to too many gurus telling me to do this, do that, and ended up missing the point of why I was growing my business in the first place…so that we could plan our work around our family and achieve that ever-so talked about work life balance.

I lost sight of the 80/20 rule and spent so much time working on the things that would only give me 20% of my results.  I didn’t track my growth or expenses and I ended up spending more time and money than I should have on things that didn’t really matter.

As you’ve read on my blog, it’s not always been a smooth ride. I’ve overcome many a speed bump along the way, but I’m lucky I learned from them and eventually I found a way to get my life back and it involved doing three simple (not easy) tasks.

A WAHM Schedule that Makes Work Life Balance Possible:

Three Secrets to Getting Control of Your Time & Taking Your Life Back from Your Blog…

Three secrets is a bit of a stretch since each secret involves habits that may take a while to change, but here’s what helped me…broken down into the three main areas I focused on to get control of my life.

1. Set achievable goals and refer to them daily.

I was just focused on “growing my business blog” in the beginning, but I didn’t know specifically what I was doing any given day.  My posts didn’t have a purpose, other than to document what I was learning and share it with others.  I didn’t have a plan in place.

Once I started planning out my posts and activities to align with my business goals helped me to focus I got much better results than I did before.   By also tracking my results I learned which activities gave me more traffic, more opt ins, more customers and more members in my forum.

2. Eliminate ALL unnecessary distractions.

I unsubscribed to dozens of email lists and started to follow only a couple of marketers I resonated with the most.  I cancelled several subscriptions to software and accounts I was not really using enough to get my money’s worth and redirected it into coaching to help me stay focused on my goals.

I also eliminated some activities in my life that were taking away time I could be spending with my family instead and started to separate myself from family time when I needed to focus on working and physically unplugging my computer and leaving my cell phone up stairs when it was time to focus on my family.

3.  Get organized and find a way to keep track of it all.

I’m someone who struggles with strong ADD tendencies, and while they serve me well as far as being blessed with lots of awesome ideas, it’s sometimes a curse as too many ideas can lead to lost focus.  I had to find a way to stay focused on my goals, my blog plan, my business plan, and my family.

I found a day planner that was close to what I needed and really loved how it helped me to stay on track with some things like social media, but it left big voids like blogging and my business.  So I started created cheat sheets and checklists (many of which I’ve shared with you on my blog) to help me create systems out of what I was doing for my business.

The results were astounding and with about a dozen papers clipped to the back of this day planner, I was feeling so much more in control of my schedule and so much more productive.  I was doing a much better job of knowing which things were giving me the biggest results, and therefore I wasn’t wasting as much time on activities that didn’t really matter, and helping me to achieve a healthier work life balance and a happier family.

My Readers’ Cry for Help…

These three things: setting goals, eliminating distractions, and getting organized so I was able to keep track of my activities really helped me to take my life back from my blog without sacrificing success, but I was clueless to the fact that what I was so desperately struggling with was a challenge that was universal to bloggers in general.

After running a survey on my blog asking my readers what areas they struggle with in their business, I discovered that almost unanimously, my readers were drowning in overwhelm like I was.

SBlogger's Biz Plannero I went to work and started to pull together the things from the day planner I was using that worked best for me and all my cheat sheets and check lists and created a daily planner specifically designed for bloggers.

If you’re struggling to find a work/life balance with your online business, this blogger’s daily planner will help you to focus on those 20% of tasks that will give you 80% of your results while helping you to eliminate distractions.  You can read more about the Blogger’s Biz Planner here.

If you liked the post, please “like it” and share it in social media!  And if you’ve got some productivity tips you’d like to share in the comments, please do so!  I love that we can learn from each other in this community!

Heather

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Hi Heather,

    Loved this post for many reasons but chiefly because of your realization about what was most important to you in life and it can never be a business, a job or making money.

    It is a learning journey as you rightly say and the circumstances you attracted was was you had to attract so that you could learn what you have. 🙂

    The biggest productivity tip I can share is to slow down and start doing less giving more quality attention to what you are doing.

    If making money is driving you to work yourself to death then find an easier way to make money in the short term until you have allowed yourself the time to develop into the person you must be to be successful in business. It is a time thing not a ‘doing thing’ so doing more will not accelerate the process. In fact it will seriously impede it.

    Heather I am using your brilliant planner to great effect by the way and I want to recommend it to anybody who is finding it a challenge to manage themselves in the time the available.

    Obviously I think it helps that you designed it with your ADD tendencies in mind since as you know this is my situation too.

    On this subject I am starting to think that many Internet marketers/bloggers have probably developed ADD symptoms anyway so your planner will be perfect for most people! 🙂

    I enjoyed reading about your learning experience here Heather. Thanks for sharing this.

    ~Marcus

    • Hi Marcus,

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the planner! Thank you for the recommendation.

      You’re so right about discovering what is important to us is rarely about money, but for me it was about security for myself and for my family and I thought that by working harder I would be more successful and therefore we would have more security. I missed the point that I needed to be working on certain things in my business and not on others.

      I wonder if being “busy” with my blog was somehow an excuse to feel like I was trying to make it work, giving myself permission to avoid facing the fear of my husband losing his job or something like that? I just wish I knew then what I know now about what things will give me results and which things are just going to take up my time.

      I maybe had to go through the learning curve to really get it, but hopefully by talking about it in the open here, others can avoid the same mistake.

      Marcus, I think having ADD tendencies is the best gift life has given me because it’s allowed me to see possibilities where most would not. And now that I’ve found a way that’s working (at least in this moment of my life) to track my activities and results, I’m feeling much less scattered and distracted.

      Thank you for your awesome comment. I feel so grateful to have had you on this journey with me for most of my blog. You always do a great job of bringing me back to the important things in life, through your friendship and blog posts.

      Thanks for being you!

      Heather

  2. As you say the summer is nearly on us, and as well as the normal kids being off and needing to do somework, recently been struggling with illness (unable to sit at the computer to work for any period of time)but just to add to my summer, we’re on the move again with my husbands job, so need to house hunt, pack etc. Thanks for some simple practicle ideas to help keep the balance, I think I might be needing them. Cheers.

  3. Heather,
    Wow! You’ve definitely touched on the issues I deal with on a daily basis. One day something snapped for me, though. I reminded myself why I wanted to work from home – so that I could be more available to my family. Yet somehow it felt like I had become less available…
    Anyway, I had to remind myself to put them first and that alleviates a lot of guilt when I don’t exactly get everything done. After all, my time with my loved ones is limited. I don’t know how much we’ll get together in this life… so with that said, time to log off! 🙂

  4. Good post Heather, I’m struggling right now with some many things you mentioned because I’m a novice in this bussines. I think that things got clearer once you succeed for the first time, then you have a frame of reference for achieving the same success.

    It is a lot of new things to learn and so muich work…

  5. Prioritizing, scheduling tools, alarms, manageable goals, etc all these can help for a short while. Every day has different challenges, so all I can do is to cope with them.

    I don’t believe that you can have a perfect balance between work and family, because you can’t be in two places at once. As long as your family understands the work aspect, then it should be fine.

  6. “Short term sacrifices for long term gains” have a lesson and gate way for success. This universal truth has a great potential in it.

  7. Hi, Heather,
    I see it wasn’t all that smooth for you, but luckilly, you are now able to balance with work and family issues. I think it is great you are sharing the experience with us and warning us to set goals, not get distracted and get our time well organized. This is a problem that every blogger faces or is currently facing, and it is no wonder that many give up easily, as blogging can be extremely time consuming and can get you away from family and friends.

  8. That is very true that we have to organize and use rules and regulation to prioritize different tasks. I think that this is not only helpful in digital life but also in real life.

    Rather than real life, in my daily online tasks, I am still not able to balance all of them. Time wasting is a greater issue. When times going to end, then I cry to work and try to be over efficient.:)

  9. Hi Heather,

    I want to thank you for sharing this post with us. I believe that almost all online entrepreneur can resonate with everything you said here. And from the three secrets you listed here, I have already done #2 and still continuously working on #1. I feel so glad that I was able to do these, before I finally became so overwhelmed.

    Knowing you, your clever mind, and the quality of the works your produce, I am sure that this Biz Planner you’re offering will be a total success!

    You know Heather, you are so much an inspiration to me. I have been applying and going for interviews for social media positions as well here in Singapore, and your recent employment definitely tells me that I too, can do what you are doing. I must say that the lessons we learned from our home-based biz have definitely equipped us to work more effectively. All the best to you, Heather!

    – Rowena

  10. Heather, you summed it up so very well.

    Many bloggers (and indeed business people) are in the same position… The thing I find with blogging is that there’s always something else that could be done.

    I’m happy to say that as I sit here in my office with your planner in my hand, the possibility of getting more on top of it all seems brighter than ever.

    The blog schedule planner is a brilliant concept and you’ve executed it very well. Great work and thanks…

    I look forward to being as productive as you! 😉

  11. Hi Heather,

    Firstly, I want to thank you for all the knowledge and skills you have passed on to us. I have been working on setting up my own blog for many weeks now and constantly refer to your site on how to do things!

    Secondly, WOW! This planner seems to be the absolute perfect product for me right now – I am in the land of overwhelm big time! I have two small children and I feel I am being neither a good mother nor an organised blogger!

    My first blog due out next week is actually about being overwhelmed with starting a blog – and I refer to your blog in terms of how helpful you have been in the process as a kind of secret mentor. Hope this is ok with you?

    Thanks again, off to purchase the planner now!

  12. Hi Heather, I know that feeling…having one foot in the door and one foot out. It’s so indecisive of me to do something like that. But its kind of like multitasking too. I too have lots of trouble with getting rid of those distractions, but I find that if I just focus myself on one thing, it never ends… And I probably need to take a class on organisational skills or something since I end up having sticky post-its all over the place. 🙂

  13. Hi Heather!

    Reading this post of yours is just like reading about myself and the same struggles I had to contend with in trying to find balance in my work and family.

    Just like you, it would never be worth it to miss seeing my children bask under the sun and laughing and having the best time of their lives while I labor trying to meet deadlines and be swamped with work.

    We all just have to ask ourselves this question from time to time: for whom are you working for?

    Great post, Heather!

  14. Hi Heather, I love your tips in special the number 3 “Get organized and find a way to keep track of it all”. Sometimes, we are overwhelmed and disorganized, then our lifes get very stressful. I always love to have control of my time, then to get this, It’s very important to set a balance between family, friends and work to have a healthy life 🙂

  15. I think that online successful business man that who can create a proportion between his family schedule and business time.On both sides he has to focus.

  16. I like how you took your success and your failure to create a system that works for you and your family. And then to further that, you are helping others do the same by using the same calendars and organization tools. It helps to have someone whose gone through it before for those who are doing it now.

  17. Hi Heather,

    I absolutely love this post. And, I can so relate. In fact, most people are struggling to find a balance in their work and family.

    Now that the summer holidays are here, I don’t want to feel guilty that I’m not spending more time with my girls or feel guilty that I’m not working on my business enough.

    I’m now focusing on increasing my productivity and decreasing the hours I am spending on ‘work’.

    Would love to catch up on FB.

    All the best, my friend.

    Mavis

  18. The balance between your work and family life should be maintained properly. I have seen people who either give 80% of time to work or vice versa. Your tips will help people to make things work and also get the proper balance in their life.

  19. The work-life balance is very essential. You article did provide some valuable tips. I need to identify and get rid of unnecessary distractions.

  20. I have a blog for a mission trip and I’d like to add a widget or badge that displays a thermomter or graph showing how close I am till I have the funding. I’m using Blogger, how can I do this?