Pursuing Your Passion While Still Working 9-5
I’m a firm believer that we make time for the things that matter most to us. Although, it’s difficult to make time for blogging when you’re still working a 9-5 job, it is possible. Grab your calendar and a pen/pencil, and read my suggestions below.
Mark Weekly Tasks On Your Calendar
If you work 9-5, write that down. Also, jot down your commuting time each day as it’s difficult, and illegal, to write while driving. I work from home, so I wrote, 8-5, Monday – Friday.
What else do you have to do each week? Help the kids with their homework after fixing dinner? Write that down as well. Do you workout at the gym, go for run, take a basketweaving class? Write all of it down on your calendar. I wrote prayer on Tuesdays at 6:30pm and Bible study on Wednesdays at 7:00pm. I also marked time down to write my bible study lessons.
Now, be honest and write down all the times you check your personal Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Write down how long you sit in front of the television. Write down how long you sit on the phone chatting with your girlfriends.
Let’s not forget that we need sleep. So make sure you write down resting times. I know some of you are getting discouraged already. I hear you, “Aretha – I’m simply too busy to work on my blog.” Stay with me for a second.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Go back through the items you wrote down and circle the ones that are absolutely necessary, the ones on which there is no compromising. Underline the ones that, while aren’t a priority, you probably need to get them done. Place a star by those that aren’t a necessity, but you enjoy doing them (Checking Facebook, watching television, etc). I spend a LOT of time scrolling through social media, so I placed stars next to those.
Carving Out Time
Now that you’ve placed stars beside those items that you don’t need to do, but enjoy doing, we’re going to start there. How many of those items did you mark? Cross out half of them and replace them with “Work on Blog”. You thought I was going to say get rid of all of them didn’t you? All we’re trying to do is carve out some time. You still have to enjoy life. Now, depending on how serious you are about growing your blogging business, you can always cross out all the items with a star and write in “Work on Blog”. It’s totally up to you.
Carving Out More Time
Now that we’ve gotten rid of the things that were stealing your time and replaced them with “Work on Blog”, let’s find some more time on our calendar.
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier and meditate so that ideas can flow.
- Go to bed 30 minutes later and commit that time to working on your blog.
- Pack your lunch and then spend your lunch hour eating and working on your blog.
- If you commute alone, buy a digital recorder (or use the recorder on your phone) and record your blogs while you’re driving. You can type them later. The recorder can be used any time you’re alone. I recommend alone because it’s rude to whip out your recorder while at dinner with friends.
- If you have a vacation coming up, spend some of your vacation time building your blog business.
- If you commute on the bus, make sure you take your notebook, iPad, or computer with you every day. This is valuable planning, outlining, or writing time. As a matter of fact, your notebook should be with you just like your cell phone or wallet. You never know where you’ll be when inspiration hits.
- Weekends, or your days off, are great opportunities to get house work done and work on your blog.
- Write while waiting for your kids outside their schools. I make a point to arrive at my daughter’s school 15 minutes early just so I can write in my notebook.
- Work on your blog while your kids are doing their homework.
- Work on your blog while dinner is in the oven.
Since starting my blog, I’ve “sacrificed” a lot of my personal time. My full time job is a priority, as well as my church work. My children, husband, and home are priorities as well. I will not compromise those areas. However, I spent a lot of time on social media and I always took LONG naps Sundays after church and some days after I logged off my work computer (I’m a cancer survivor and I still experience a lot of fatigue).
Working on my blog has energized me and I don’t nap like I used to. In addition, I go to bed later and wake up earlier to work on my blog. I carry my notebook everywhere I go and have even started taking my iPad with me (I stopped using it for a long time). The time we sacrifice now will pay off for us and our readers in the long run.
As you look at your calendar now, have you been able to carve out at least an hour each week to work on your blog? If so, GREAT! If not, keep working at it. If your blog matters to you, you’ll find the time to work on it.