Two of my favorite things are blogging and homemaking. Though for me, blogging is a choice while homemaking is a necessity. I would say my number one distraction to getting my household tasks done is the internet.
There are so many fabulous ideas, inspirations, and thoughts that has made me a more creative, disciplined and purposeful homemaker. But at the same time a large majority of it can be categorized into not making the best use of my time.
Like so many of you, I constantly battle finding a healthy balance. Some days are great and some are not but I have learned through the years a better system that works for me so that I am not wasting too much of my time online or comparing my life and home with others.
STREAMLINE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING
I look at different social networking sites differently and use them in different ways. My most recent change has been with Pinterest. Earlier this year I decided to give it up for a season because it became an unhealthy place for me to spend my time at. Since then I have came back to Pinterest with new eyes and a new focus. In order to not spend too much time on the site or to leave it feeling discontent with myself and my home, I narrowed down who I followed only to people I was finding the most inspiration from.
I use Pinterest mainly as an idea board for home decor so I choose to follow people who have a similar taste to me or who has a style I admire. It does not mean that all my other friends who use Pinterest do not have good taste or I do not adore them, they just do not fit into the category of my purpose for how I use Pinterest.
I also have become more picky about what I pin. I only pin ideas that are realistic to things I would actually make the time for. Early on when I first joined Pinterest I wanted to pin every good idea I saw (much like how I used to tear out every. good. idea. I saw in a magazine!). But this sucked me in to spending way too much time on it. Ever since I have set these boundaries I actually have less interest in just sitting in front of Pinterest for long periods of time because it now has a purpose and focus and no longer is a boredom time waster.
Twitter and Facebook can be looked at the same way. Figure out who and what you want to be updated on and "hide" or "unfollow" the rest. I hide a lot of people on Facebook because I know it can be a big time waster or comparison game for me so in order to be on it and walk away happy, I had to hide people that I was not investing in on a daily or weekly basis. They are still there for me to hop over and look at their page if I want to see what is going on in their life but to see what they are doing everyday is not necessary for using my time most efficiently.
SETTING PERSONAL ONLINE BOUNDARIES
I recently read a post from Gussy Sews on checking your email and it really challenged me to turn off all my email notifications on my phone. She only checks her email twice a day which I would really like to strive for but I am not quite there yet! But by having my notifications off I am no longer constantly distracted by my phone.
QUESTION WHETHER YOU ARE DRIVEN OR JUST BORED
Gussy shared some great words in her 31 days series (written for those with a handmade business but also great applicable tips on time management and blogging):
"When you are driven, you value your time. When you are bored, you are irresponsible with it."
Decide whether your time online (or anything else) is driven by focus and meeting your goals, or if it is a reflection of boredom.
There are so many times where I have walked away from my computer wondering why I just wasted so much time and full of guilt for not getting the things done that I wanted to get done that day. By having this mentality in the back of my mind, I am able to walk away a little more quickly when I realize this time online is not fitting into my purpose.
MAKE TIME TO BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
It is easy to say blog and then walk away but realistically if you want to grow your blog you have to spend a lot of time online building your presence. My first year of blogging I spent a ton of time building my blog and readership. Because of that dedication and time my blog can be what it is today. But the amount of time I spend online today is much different than when I first started. I am able to spend less time now because of the time I put in back then.
Decide if this season of life allows for extra blog time. And if it does and your purpose and goals line up with building your blog online, spend less time on distractions like Pinterest or Facebook and spend time on blogs! Writing good content and visiting other blogs is one of the best ways to build readership. Figure out what you want from your blog and stay focused.
If you do not have the time you wish you could to focus on your blog, accept this season of life. You can still write your blog on your own time and grow it slower. But know that when your blog is not growing as quickly as other blogs you see, realize those bloggers are spending way more time than you are creating content and networking online. For the majority of us, this is not our full time job!
Be realistic with the time you have to offer online for your specific life and be present in that moment. Do what you can but then walk away and live your life. The more you are living your life, the more enjoyable blogging will be because you will not be relying on it to give you as much purpose or fulfillment.
Write your posts in advance when you know you have a busy day or week ahead. I try to post three times a week regularly so I will write down what posts are written and scheduled ahead of time in my calendar so that in case something comes up I know my blog is automatically posting on its own. I am usually more productive when I sit down for a focused few hours of writing multiple posts at a time and then scheduling them for a later date than forcing myself the night before to come up with something.
I often will get ideas for blog posts and try to jot down a few notes on paper or quickly type out a paragraph as a draft so that I get my idea down even if I do not have the time to write it all out right at that moment. Usually this gives me enough information to come back to but not always. I often find when I am feeling especially passionate about a topic, forcing myself to sit down and type it out right then has produced some of my most thought provoking posts. I also have a notebook that holds all my blog ideas and to do list related to the blog so that I have a place to come back to for ideas.
// For more ideas on balancing blog life and real life, check out my Pinterest board Living a Creative and Passionate Life. I also have a Blogging board that is a great resource for some of the technical sides of blogging.
How do you balance blog life and real life?
Check out all posts from the 31 Days of Creative Homemaking Series here.
31 Days of Creative Homemaking for the Modern Day Woman is now available as an ebook! Click here to find out more about this entire series in an easy to read PDF download!