I wrote a post not too long ago all about how I balance a full-time job with blogging and other projects – it’s something I get asked a lot so I thought it could be useful to some to provide a little update on how I tightrope along this line. Working full time and trying to balance a ton of other things on the side is definitely not an easy task – you may think you’re superwoman (I’ve definitely thought I am in the past), but after a long day at work and a big dinner that throws you into a food coma, you easily find that you need to be a bit smarter with your time to really reap the most of of your “extra-curricular” activities. The weekends really become two days to truly cherish – finally you have time to tick off the growing to-do list that you’ve told yourself to get to all week before you fall asleep at 9pm. Being likely pretty tired and pretty fed up from a long week, it’s easy to spend your weekend doing a whole lot of nothing – chilling tf out to put it in more simple terms. Sometimes, that’s needed. I went into this current weekend with high hopes, and now its 20:24 on a Sunday and all I really have to show for my weekend is a half drafted guest post and a yet-to-be-edited pre-planned Instagram post for DAME. Maybe a few e-mails too. It happens. But here are some ways to make at least the majority of weekends as productive as possible.
First and foremost – soak up your much needed rest
I can’t function under two accounts: 1) I can’t really do much if I’m hungry. Food is literally at the the center of my life and if my stomach isn’t happy then I’m not happy; and ii) I can’t function if I’m tired. At work, once the clock ticks late enough, it’s as though my brain switches off. I can definitely still churn out a few bits and pieces of work, but if you’re looking for some good quality focused work past a certain time – I’m really not your girl. This is why, as much as I’d love to be one of those people that springs out of bed on a Saturday at 7am and goes for a run, I never set an alarm on the weekend (unless I have somewhere to be), I really just lay in until my heart’s content, even if that’s 12pm (although I must admit, my body is so accustomed to waking up early that it’s usually an 8-9am-er for me unless I’ve had a night out). Rest is important – none of us are robots. Plus, it’s better for our health. For my blog, I really need a lot of brain power to write up what (I hope are) thoughtful posts (I spend much of my weekdays doing just a few hours if that of admin as well as planning as that’s all I have the energy to do) – and for that, I need rest, and a good amount of it.
And whilst we’re on that topic…
Don’t be too hard on yourself
I went through a strange period this year where I thought I had to be working on side hustles 24/7. I literally couldn’t concentrate properly on anything, thinking there was something else I had to be doing at all times, and when I went out (for example) for a friend’s birthday, I actually felt guilty. I remember jokingly saying to Levi that it’s “not what successful people do”, but actually, a part of me genuinely started to believe this. Luckily I was able to gain a bit of head space and learned that I just needed to live and more importantly, I learned that I needed to live my own personal journey. There’s not rule book on “how to be successful”, and there’s no reason to eat yourself up for being a normal person and enjoying time with your friends on the weekend. For example, this weekend, I really didn’t get too much done. Levi just moved into a new flat so I spent some time helping him buy some shiz, we watched the AJ fight, on Sunday I grabbed sushi with my good friend and then I had a really fab full body workout in the gym. I ate wings when I got home, and now here I am, writing up a post for next week before I get too tired. But I’m not going to hate myself for not getting tons done – sometimes you just need time to relax. I’ll get back to it next week.
Avoid working from home
Sometimes on the weekend I have lots of plans, I’m out and about and travelling all over the city. Sometimes, I spend most of my time locked up in my own little den only coming outside into civilisation to run to Tesco’s in sliders and stock up my fridge. I’ve learned over time that when I do the latter, I struggle to have very productive days. I end up napping, on the “weird” side of YouTube, and being stuck indoors all day really kills my mood. It’s crazy how doing so much of nothing can actually be pretty tiring sometimes. Because of this, sometimes I just get dressed up and “did up” to go to tap away in a coffee shop for the day. I usually plan other things like the gym around this, and set myself a little schedule. Honestly, coming back from one of those days (e.g. X amount of hours in Costa, and 1-1.5 hour gym session following that), I actually do feel like superwoman. They’re my most productive days by far.
Have a fellow side-hustle partner
As you can probably guess, I spend most of my more productive and “side hustle” focused weekends alongside Levi. He likes to get stuff done, I like to get stuff done, so together – we get stuff done. Sometimes we’ll work at the flat, sometimes we’ll take on a coffee shop together. We also both love the gym so we split out time for this too along with cooking or grabbing ourselves breakfast/lunch/dinner. Having a fellow grind-partner is great as it keeps you from 1) getting lonely and 2) getting lazy. I know a lot of bloggers that spend their weekends working away with other fellow bloggers – this way you’re working with someone who totally relates to what you’re doing and it’s also a great way to “infuse” your knowledge.
Plan out your to-do lists
Everyday I get to the office and I scribbled down a to-do list of exactly what I have to get done that day. There’s no better feeling than putting my pen (or fingers, given it’s 2018) down at the end of the day and seeing all those crosses besides all the things I wanted to get through. I do the same on the weekends just this time, I keep my list in my “notes” rather than on paper. This weekend my to-do lists for each day blended into one but a few things I wanted to do involved: i) going to the gym (check), ii) finally setting up my Mercari account (check), writing up two blog posts (one is a guest post that is coming soon – check!), and do some work around other projects (let’s call this a semi-check). It keeps my mind organised and gets me focused on what actually needs to be done.
I hope this is useful for all of my fellow “side-hustlers”. Personally I’m someone that likes to keep very busy – I can definitely relax and lie in bed but after some time (i.e. a few days) I really start to feel super bored. Actually, I think that is the natural state for most of us and as much as we all complain about work, Mondays and look forward to Fridays, we’d probably all be fairly bored without it (not to mention broke too). So although I have to be stringent with my weekends sometimes, it gives me the means to pursue a few passions of mine that really keep my sane.
And with that – here’s to a productive week!