This is a guest post by Amanda Tradwick. For many, blogging represents a way to make money from home in order to free up time to spend with family or to pursue personal goals. Often, blogging becomes a full-time endeavor, sometimes taking up more of the day than the typical 9-to-5.
Working from home means being able to work at any time; and it can become hard to define boundaries and to strike the right balance between work and family life. Here are a few ways that you can establish better work life balance while working from home as a blogger:
#1. Set a Schedule
When you work in an office or other professional setting, you have distinct work hours. You know when you have to arrive and when you can leave for lunch and to go home for the day. When you work from home, you decide when you work and those hours can spread out over the day.
Establish distinct working hours for yourself to set firm boundaries for what is “work time” and what is “family time.” When it is work time, don’t allow yourself to become distracted by household chores or family interruptions. When work time is over, don’t do any work, not even for a few minutes. Don’t check e-mail, don’t browse your traffic stats, don’t respond to reader comments and don’t write down ideas.
#2. Create Separate Spaces
Your physical space can help you draw the boundaries between work time and family time. Instead of working on your laptop anywhere that happens to feel comfortable at the time — on your bed, sitting on the couch in front of the TV, outside in your garden — set aside a designated work space and do all of your work there.
You will form associations with this space that will help you focus on your work when it is time to work. Having this dedicated space will also help you to see your home as your home and not just various places to set up shop and do work.
#3. Set Realistic Goals
Working for yourself requires a lot of hard work, and the more ambitious your goals, the more there is to do. Running a blog requires more than just writing blog posts. You also have to take photos, perform SEO research, promote your blog, respond to reader comments, build community with other bloggers and much more.
Your to-do list can become quite long, and your motivation to try to build your site quickly can lead you to take on too much of it in too short an amount of time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in a day. Set distinct goals for yourself — daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly — and plan a realistic schedule for yourself. You will continue to work towards achieving your goals without trying to take on too much andbecoming overworked.
#4. Take Time Off
We all need a break. Even executives at top companies have most weekends off, as well as vacations. Those who work for themselves often feel that time off is a luxury that they cannot afford. After all, there is no company vacation plan. However, taking time off is important to maintaining balance, as well as to giving you the needed time to rejuvenate and find new inspiration and motivation.
Working for yourself can be one of the most rewarding endeavors you can undertake, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Working from home can consume your time if you let it, even though many turn to work-at-home opportunities to find greater freedom with their time. Following some of these tips for maintaining work life balance can help you ensure that you don’t lose sight of that goal. How do you balance your work life while blogging? Do share your views!!!