Sometimes life can feel like a balancing act. Having to figure out the perfect way to balance your work like, home life, social life, spiritual life and (most importantly) your sleep life can feel overwhelming at times. And I am not immune to that either! When I started seriously blogging in January last year, I quickly realized that I needed to work on managing my time better. With my full time job as a 3rd grade teacher, as well as the responsibilities that come with being married and owning a dog, life is already busy. But I decided to make it even harder on myself by picking up as many hobbies as possible (at least that’s the running joke around my family and friends). I run this blog, have my Etsy shop, and have recently picked up photography. The good thing is that I love all of it, so I don’t mind the stress and business my job, hobbies and home life bring me!
Over the past year, though, I have learned through trial and error what helps and what doesn’t help concerning time management and balancing everything going on in my life, especially my blog. And lucky for you, today I’m sharing it all!
Use a Calendar
I can’t stress the importance of writing everything down! I keep a calendar on the wall above my desk at home where I write down my blog post ideas for the month, as well as important things going on, such as birthdays, social events and date nights. I use my Google Calendar for work, which I can access on my computer or my phone. I love having a bird’s eye view of the upcoming month, so I can prepare for it and keep track of everything going on.
My priorities in life in order are my walk with God, my husband, my family, my full time job and then my hobbies. I am so bad about putting my blog, Etsy shop or photography in front of the things that are more important. Isaac is a huge help when it comes to making sure I’m not stressing over something trivial to the point of a breakdown. It takes some discipline, but I’m slowly learning how to decide what I need to focus on that day. Sometimes that means setting aside a weekend to work on my blog or paint. Other times that means setting aside my hobbies to visit family and friends. It’s all a matter of remembering what your priorities are and not putting one thing over another when it shouldn’t be.
I have found that when I carve out time in the morning to sit in silence and read the Bible, journal and pray, life just makes more sense. I’m grounded, and my focus is on what it should be: glorifying the Lord. When life gets stressful, and I start feeling overwhelmed or like I’ve lost my balance, this reminds me that I am here for so much more.
I am the walking definition of a Type-A personality. I am organized, a planner, hate change, and always thinking ahead. So when I say I need to plan, it’s no joke! I try to be about a week ahead with my scheduled posts, and typically blog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tuesdays and Thursdays are set aside for replying to comments and relaxing a little bit more. The weekends are always busy for me, which is why I try to not plan on blogging then. It also frees me up to spend time with family and friends without the weight of my blog on my shoulders.
This goes hand in hand with planning, and it’s something I’ve been doing since middle school. I LOVE to-do lists. You have the instant gratification of crossing things off your list (especially when you write it down after you’ve done the task ;) ), and can keep track of everything going on. I tend to divide my lists up into these sections: blog, Etsy and home. I have a separate one at work for things I need to do throughout the day.
I hope these tips help you balance life a little better! If you have a tip you’d like to share, please leave it in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you do to stay organized and manage time.
I think that though I need to improve in other areas too, my biggest problem is that I haven’t made time for a CONSISTENT quiet time in years. I still talk to God, read scripture verses, etc, but I need that consistency back.
Consistency is key for me! I make sure to always leave myself 30 minutes in the morning to read my Bible, journal and pray. It definitely changes how I approach the day!
My planner is my life line! It has everything in it, and makes my life so much easier!
YES! Planners are the best, and I have such a problem with buying WAY more than I need haha. I’m a sucker for cute binders and notebooks!
To-Do lists…and then praying OVER my to-do lists are the two biggest ways I balance life.
I love that you pray over your to-do lists! I need to start doing that. :)
I use all of these, but my children tend to like to get in the way. Life happens and sometimes I just have to go with it.
I totally get it! I don’t have any kids right now, but I know that everything’s going to change once I do. Flexibility has to be your middle name, right?
Wonderful tips! It is so easy to get our priorities skewed, but as long as you aim to strike balance things will work themselves out. I too am a planner, both personally and for a living, so I often over think everything and try to be perfect. That is my biggest challenge. Thanks for the great ideas!
I do the same thing! Something I’ve really had to work on is being okay when my “perfect” plans don’t pan out the way I had wanted. Flexibility is something I have gotten so much better at over the years
Planning and using to-do lists are a definite MUST for me! Being able to see everything all laid out then allows me to prioritize my tasks accordingly!
I agree!! When I can see everything in a list, I feel like it’s so much easier to get everything done. And it’s so satisfying being able to cross stuff off :)
You and I are so much a like. Type Aers for the win! Planning, calendars, and quiet time are essential.
It must be the educators in us! My life would fall apart if I didn’t plan and keep track of everything in my life.
This is a great list. I used to think I could handle it all and I was very wrong. Buying a planner changed my life complete. I feel so much more organized now!
Isn’t it crazy how one little change can help so much?! I know I wouldn’t be able to survive if it weren’t for my planner and to-do lists!
Quiet time is so important! And agreed, a planner/calendar changes everything!
Isn’t it?! My whole morning is thrown off when I don’t have that moment in the morning to read my Bible and pray. It helps prepare me for the upcoming day, and gets me focused on what really matters.
Great tips! I get so much more done and feel more peaceful when I’ve got a plan and work it.
Me too, girl! My anxiety goes WAY down when I know what to do and when I need to do it.
To do lists are my love language!
Yes!! I live on them. :)
I agree with all of these. Great post!
Thanks Jazzmine! :)
Type-As unite! I am exactly the same way. When I don’t plan out my week, I feel so overwhelmed and can’t get productive. I love your tip about quiet time. I really don’t have enough of that. But when I do, I love it. Thanks for the advice!
Go Type-A! Quiet time is so beneficial for my mind and body. It helps me wake up slowly, and keeps me focused on what really matters.
I agree and practice all of those. I’m really glad you mentioned quiet time, because without a centering practice, no amount of organization is going to create calm.
I agree! I need to be centered before I can even begin tackling my to-do lists. Thanks for stopping by :)
trying to find that balance has been a huge struggle for me..but over the past few months, im finding that it is so important to say no, prioritize, and focus on quality rather than quantity!
The importance of quality over quantity is something I’ve had to learn the past few years. Sometimes it’s better to say “no” when it means I can do a better job on what I’m currently working on.
Great tips! I just started using to-do lists with my planner and that has definitely helps a lot. I also have to find time to exercise a few times a week. It helps me to receive stress and stay balanced.
Yay for exercise and planning! I can tell how much more anxious and tired I feel when I don’t workout for a few days… It’s amazing how just getting active can change so much!
These are all so important! My life has been far from balanced lately and it’s quite stressful. My planner and to do lists are life savers some days. I don’t know what i’d do without them.
I feel like life is a constant balancing act… One moment we think we have it figured out and the next moment we’re thrown for a loop and have to adjust. So don’t stress about it, but plan and remember to focus on the things that truly matter. :)
You sound so much like me! These are great suggestions (I am always planning and list making). As a parent to two, it can be hard some days! I also think coming to grips with the fact that things will sometimes not go as planned is important. I am guilty of majorly stressing when that happens….
Girl I’m SO bad at getting stressed out! I honestly don’t know how working parents are able to do everything they do… Y’all are rockstars! I’ve been really working on my flexibility and being more easy going, because I know when I have kids someday, everything’s going to change. :)
I love that you set aside Saturday to focus on yourself! That is so important, and I’ve found that I can get more done throughout the week when I have a day to recoup.
I’m glad you agree! I need that structure in my life, for sure.