Blogging 101: Finding Work-Blog-Life Balance

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I had drinks last night with my very talented girlfriend Erin of The Sparkle and we got to talking about work-blog-life balance. With full-time jobs on the go, effectively full-time blogs and some attempt at a personal life too, figuring out how to maintain some balance and upping productivity is so crucial. Without further ado, I wanted to wrap up this month-long Blogging 101 series with my absolute favourite tips on balance! Read on to get all the tips, to download your free print out and more! Don’t forget to catch up on Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3 if you haven’t read them yet too 🙂

{ setting boundaries }
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This one’s a big one for me. At the end of the day, while you may have externally created boundaries in place for work, no one will set boundaries for your blog or life but you, and this is where things get tricky. So many of us (myself included in a big way) put taking care of ourselves on the back burner in favour of appeasing others or meeting other demands. I detail this all in more depth in that visual above, but one of the most amazing things I’ve done for myself is setting my gym appointments. Like a doctor or dentist appointment, I treat this alone time at the gym as a non-negotiable commitment. I wouldn’t keep my doctor waiting wondering where I am, so I treat my gym days the same way…this is absolutely necessary time I need to sweat out some stress, relax and take care of my body! Exercise helps me work, blog and live more effectively.
Another big one that I learned this year? Saying no. While so many brands have great opportunities that sound like they’d be a lot of fun to take part in, with my busy schedule, I won’t be doing anyone any favours if I overload myself and end up resenting the partnerships that are time-intensive but not really delivering in terms of return. This totally depends on where you’re at in your blog career and what you value most, but my main three are exposure, monetary compensation and creative collaboration. For example, I’ve done features that have involved a lot of time and effort but that I knew would pay off big in terms of traffic; alternatively, I focus on projects that pay well (as long as they’re in keeping with my personal aesthetic, of course) or that offer me an opportunity to really have fun and get creative with friends (for instance, working with Jen and Erin on a fun holiday-themed shoot recently!).
{ you gotta keep ’em separated }
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So important! Visually separate the facets of your life and you’ll be able to time manage and focus on each more effectively. I mean, imagine if you were looking for a blog-related contract buried under a bunch of personal inspiration snaps or work docs? Such a waste of time! Click on the visual above to download this desktop background – from now on, you can drag your files appropriately to each mint area!
{ get productive }
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One of the most important things I learnt was that while it makes me seem neurotic, writing down my days down to the half hour actually helps me feel less anxious and worried than if I decided to just wing it. The more I plan, the more I can work through my to-do lists (using my highlighter system, obvs)!
Oh and while I know most people prefer recording things digitally these days (those crazy kids!), while it’s a bit archaic, I like to print out iCalendar months and carry them around tucked into one of my Poppin notebooks. I do one for my editorial calendar, one for events and then I have a series I keep at work (social media schedule, due dates, etc). This system’s obviously a bit flawed (if I lose one, I’m totally screwed), but it’s what works best for me and I just can never be bothered to type things in on my phone!
As always, this week’s Blogging 101 tips are available as a full PDF – you can click on the link to download the whole package!
As a favour, I also would hugely appreciate if you’d fill out this super quick, two-minute-long survey so that I can get a better sense of how you liked Blogging 101, what kind of content you’d like to see in the series in the future and a few more details! Thank you so much in advance for filling it out!
{ Resources }
Marie Forleo

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Leave a Comment


  1. 12.5.13

    I'm like you, Alex…I prefer the "old-fashioned" method of writing things down over the various digital options!! And if all the notebooks and day-planners I see whenever I'm in Chapters is any indication, I don't think we're the only ones!! 😉 Lists, lists, and more lists!! That's what works for me!! If I write it down, I stop worrying that I'm going to forget it…whatever "it" may be!! Thank you for another great edition of Blogging 101!!

  2. 12.5.13
    Heidi said:

    Great tips! Thanks xo Heidi

  3. 12.6.13
    Jackie said:

    This has been such a great series. I'm no where near you in my blogging career, but I am looking to build mine, so these tips are really informative and interesting.

    Thanks again for sharing 🙂
    xoxo Jackie

  4. 12.6.13
    RedRoom said:

    This post was really helpful to me. Thank you.

  5. 12.6.13

    i totally agree about writing down your schedule! this is such a great series, alex! so helpful to many just starting out and even those that have been around the blogging world can learn a new tip. x

  6. 12.6.13

    This is all really good advice, I definitely treat my gym time like a doctors appointment and very rarely will budge on that one. It's important to be flexible with your schedule but with things you know you absolutely need you have to be committed.
    I write down everything I need to do in a day too when I'm super busy, if I only have a few things going on it's not so bad but I am definitely one of those people who plan my week in advance. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one!
    It's awesome to see what kinds of things you do to juggle everything, you have a ton of stuff going on!

  7. 12.6.13

    This is a great post – I struggle with balancing all of these every day. Thanks for putting it in writing… we all need a little direction sometimes.

    – Rebecca

  8. 12.6.13

    Love this series and LOVE those shorts!!! 🙂

  9. 12.7.13

    This is such a wonderful series! Thanks for outlining the essentials we all sometimes forget. Have an amazing weekend! <3

  10. 12.7.13

    This post was super helpful, I've been trying to find a balance lately and was looking for posts on it, then I saw this in my Bloglovin' feed. I really need to start using the planner that I made a while ago so I can be more organized.

  11. 12.9.13
    Sabrina said:

    Love this! I'm just starting out and it's nice to see from your perspective how you balance things. Will have to check out more Blogging 101!

    Thanks =)

  12. 12.12.13

    These are wonderful tips and so important to remember as you're reaching for your goals. Your goals may be important, but having that personal time with yourself and the ones you love are equally, if not much more important as it nurtures your relationships and keeps them strong. Thank you for sharing!

  13. 12.18.13
    Gabrielle said:

    I love this Alex!
    I just filled out your survey.
    I like how your blog evolved during the past few months. Great job!

    Gabrielle x

  14. 4.21.14
    Marvin323 said:

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