7 Ways I Maintain a Work-Life-Blog Balance

OKC blogger Amanda Martin shares 7 ways to find a work-life-blog balance
Workout Set (only $30!) c/o Fabletics | Long Sleeve Crop Top | Crop Leggings | Nike Metcons

If you want something, you gotta work hard to make it happen. But I'm gonna be honest.......I've been working myself into the ground lately chasing my dreams and I am exhausted both mentally and physically. Of course it pays off eventually, but the pay off isn't always overnight so it can be tough to keep pushing yourself without seeing those immediate benefits. Needless to say, with so many things going on, I've had to really focus on maintaining a work-life-blog balance so that I don't burn myself out! I recently saw a quote that said, "I cannot pour from an empty well" and it really resonated with me.

I have a full time job that often includes nights or weekends, I teach fitness classes several mornings (5:30 a.m.) and evenings (6:00 p.m.) a week, plus I blog, which is more a less a job in itself (but a fun one, of course). In between all of that I try to find time to be present with my husband, visit my out-of-town family, spend time with friends, meet with blog partners, workout, clean the house / do chores, run errands, travel and maybe find some time to relax if I'm lucky. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong, I know how blessed I am to have so many amazing opportunities. What I'm getting at and what I've come to learn is that sometimes I can't do it all and that's OK.

finding work life balance with Amanda's OK

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK wears a Fabletics workout set

OKC blogger Amanda Martin in Fabletics Threshold Crop Set

With such an insane schedule, I constantly get asked, "How do you do it???" I'm definitely not a pro by any means, but I think it is SUCH an important topic to keep at the forefront of your mind so I'm listing 7 ways that I maintain a work-life-blog balance below!

1. Leave Work at Work
I'm talking about both actual work and the mental stress of work! I'm reeeeally good at not reading work emails or doing actual work when I'm not in the office (lol, does that make me a bad employee?) but I have been guilty of bringing home work stress, frustrations, etc. and that can have a negative impact on relationships at home. It's OK to get something off your chest sometimes, but once it's out, leave it be and move on. Don't let the crappy things that happen in the office ruin your time off! I once got very worked up over an email I received while on vacation and it ruined an otherwise wonderful afternoon of patio hopping with friends. Don't let that happen to you!

2. Utilize Schedules, Check-Lists and Priority Lists
I have a Day Designer, google spreadsheets for all of my collabs, a a google calendar that lists all my due dates, blog post ideas, Instagram schedules, etc. Having it all laid out in front of me helps me know what needs to be done and when I need to do it. Knowing what posts take priority depending on when they are due helps me know outfits need to be shot at certain times. I would never be able to keep all that info in my head alone, so having it written out in multiple places keeps me on track. I use the same strategy at work and at home when doing weekend chores. I'm a HUGE check-list kinda girl!

3. Plan Ahead
I am a Type-A person through and through. It's weird to be a creative and a type-A, but I am! I plan out my blog content a month (or more) in advance and plan out my Instagram posts a week in advance using the Planoly app. I really like schedules haha. Knowing what is coming up and knowing that it is ready to go takes so much stress off my shoulders during the week. I'm never going into the day thinking "oh man, what am I supposed to post today?" and scrambling at the last second. This helps me be efficient and intentional with my time. Did I mention I'm always on time? Haha.

Since I work full time and am often tied up in the evenings with teaching or events, I pretty much dedicate an entire weekend day to shooting & editing photos, writing posts, linking products and planning out my week. It's nice to get it done all at once, but it does take away from my "life" balance, though, so I'm still working on perfecting that. If I give myself the weekend to relax, I end up staying up late on weeknights to get stuff done and am always so tired the next day. Clearly I'm a work in progress haha.

4. Be Present 
As a blogger, I'm always tied to my phone. Posting, editing, linking, engaging.....it seems SO important in order to grow but sometimes it is just as important to put the phone down and be present. Recently I took a trip to Colorado with my husband and friends and instead of being blogzilla like I am on most trips, I chose to put my phone and camera down and actually take in the vacation and enjoy conversation with the people in front of me. It made such a huge difference and honestly made me less stressed! Posts and comments and stories can wait......sure, your Instagram might not get as many likes or views as it would otherwise, but I think the benefits far outweigh that. Sometimes when traveling or with friends/family, I just take 30 or 45 minutes to myself in the mornings to get blog work done and then ditch it for the rest of the day. Worth it!

This is one of the reasons I'm not overly present on Instagram stories. Between all of my jobs and activities, I don't have a lot of time to sit and watch/listen to people's stories and I reeeeally don't have enough alone time to talk to my screen unless I'm in the car haha. Working in an office limits that quite a bit. Sure, I wish I was as funny and engaging on stories and Kathleen Barnes or LCSteele but at this point in my life, I don't have the time for that, and that's OK. Real life > stories.

5. Don't Take On More Than You Can Handle
I'm preaching to the choir here. I have definitely hit my limit (and then some). Since New Years, I have been learning to say "no" when I think something will add too much stress to my life. Sure, I've passed up some good collabs and opportunities but I've also realized that doing more than I can handle leads to burnout...and fast!

I recently went from posting three blog posts a week to one or two and it really helped me 1) re-evaluate what content was actually worth posting about and 2) not be so stressed trying to get it all done! No one really cares (honestly, no one probably even notices...) if I miss a blog post. I also have stopped trying to post every single day on Instagram because it just isn't worth the effort. I am just as successful if I post five days a week instead of seven and I'm probably the only one who even notices the difference!

6. If You Start to Resent Something, Stop 
A lot of people say that if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life. That is true...to an extent. Sometimes, if you work too hard or too much, what you love becomes a job and it isn't fun anymore. If that starts to happen and you start to resent something you once enjoyed, it's time to stop or pump the breaks. If your side-hustle is only causing you stress, take a good long look in the mirror and ask yourself "is the pay-off really work the extra stress in my life?"

7. Take Time for Yourself When it is Needed 
Like I said at the beginning, sometimes you have to realize that you just can't do it all all the time, and that's OK. I'm not superwoman and you aren't either. It's important to realize when your body and/or mind needs a break. If you're exhausted and stressed, is it more beneficial to work out or to rest? Will that workout cause you to be more stressed or will it clear your head? The same applies to going out with friends, going to an event or even posting on Instagram. Sometimes you just need a break! Whether that is a night, a whole day, a weekend or even longer! After taking time off, I always feel more refreshed, more creative and come back with a fresh outlook and a clear mind.

Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK Blog shares tips for finding work life balance in blogging

Oklahoma City blogger Amanda's OK shares how she maintains balance in her life between working, blogging, and working out

Do you have any tips on finding and maintaining a work-life balance? As much as I love my side-hustles, sometimes I miss only having one job. But I'm so thankful for what I've built and excited to see where the future takes me. I'd love to hear any tips you might have so that I can implement them into my crazy work-life-blog schedule.

Whew! That was wordy. I guess I had more to say than I originally planned. If you made it this far, thanks for reading, it is so appreciated!

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