Summer 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.
o 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.