This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5.
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Full-Time Counselor, Full-Time Blogger
At this point, I like to say I’m working two full-time jobs: one as a college counselor in China, and another as a travel blogger. My blog has gotten to the level that people assume I don’t have a day job, but my $10,000 in student loans and expensive apartment in Beijing makes it impossible to quit my job right now.
I’ve come to terms with my situation, and I’m okay working in an office for another year, but managing both a full-time job and my blog is really difficult! With the admissions season fast approaching, my work as a college counselor is piling up. This makes it very difficult to manage everything. I think you’ll all remember last fall when I started having panic attacks and lost my sense of hunger for a solid two weeks!
Staying Healthy and Sane
This year I’ve focused a lot of my energy on health and wellness. When you work full-time at an office, it’s easy to let things slide: hitting the gym, cooking healthy food, and sleeping enough become more and more difficult. Instead of going out salsa dancing, I’ve been sitting and drinking multiple beers at a bar. After a long day of work, sometimes cracking open a bottle of wine sounds perfect when really I should be drinking water or tea.
I’ve started doing yoga in the evenings if I don’t hit the gym in the morning. I do deep meditation breaths when I get stressed, and encourage myself to go out and be social or explore when I have free time. I also started going salsa dancing every Monday, which is an excellent workout and lets me blow off steam without drinking too much alcohol.
For me, staying healthy is the only way to handle blogging with a full-time job, and not go crazy.
My 20 Minute Success Plan
For me, I always try to get some blogging work done at my day job (Shhhhh don’t tell anyone). Even if it’s just answering a few emails, or editing a post, I like to get something done so that I can actually relax when I get home in the evenings. If I work all day and then come home to more blogging, I think I might actually go crazy!
Today Natalie challenged me to create a daily success plan that takes 15-20 minutes.
After taking a while to think about it, I decided that every single day I’m going to take 20 minutes to work on my blog with zero distractions. I’ll pick a time at work during the day when I have no students coming in, and I’ll turn off everything not related to the task at hand.
I have Facebook and WeChat on my computer and often have friends and coworkers messaging me. Well, I’ll be clicking out of these distractions, and blasting my “focus” Spotify playlist to get things done. For twenty minutes I’ll work on one task with no distractions. If for some reason I’m in the zone, I’ll up the time to 45 minutes.
At the beginning of the day, I’ll set my task. It might be clearing out my email inbox, answering and replying to all of the important emails that pile up. Maybe it will be writing or editing a blog post. If I’m especially tired that day, I’ll do something mindless like scheduling Pinterest pins.
I might also take this time to work on something technical. I need to finally figure out how to redirect my blog posts so that there’s no date in the URL. I may create a media page with all of my publications or maybe work on improving my page speed.
If things go well and I don’t have much work to do at my office job, I’ll repeat the process another two or three more times. I think this is the only way to actually get things done now that my college counseling job is getting busy. I don’t have time to goof around on Facebook anymore!
Overall, managing a full-time job with a blog is difficult. But if you focus on efficiency and your physical and mental health, it can be doable. Personally, I know I’m lucky that I can squeeze in a little blog time at work. If you work away from a computer, I know this may not be possible for you.
For those of you who work full-time and have a blog, how do you manage it? Let me know below!