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5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

Posted By Guest Blogger 23rd of March 2017 General 0 Comments

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

As a part-time blogger and homeschooling mother of three, I often get asked: “How do you do it all?!”

In the past, I usually ran through a few different answers: I have had a regular cleaner at times; I usually do my shopping online to save time; I rarely watch TV; I have occasional childcare.

But these answers are only a small part of the bigger picture.  Yes, making certain lifestyle choices has contributed to my ability to get things done.  However that in itself would not provide me with the professional environment required to continue my work as a blogger.

The underlying reason I have been able to keep up my blog alongside a very busy personal life is that I aim to maintain healthy work practices.  This keeps my blogging at a level where it doesn’t overtake my life and ensures I keep enjoying it.

 

I did not map all this out until recently when I nearly hit rock bottom as a professional blogger.  It wasn’t because my statistics had dropped or anything else catastrophic had happened (knock on wood).  I was simply emotionally exhausted and drained.

I basically got to a point that I felt so overwhelmed with blogging that I was seriously considering giving it up.  We had moved to a new town and setting up house was taking much more time and energy than I had envisioned.  Article deadlines were constantly creeping up on me, leading to late nights and a lot of anxiety.  Nothing was being checked off on my project to-do list.  My inbox was going bonkers.

After e-chatting with a few blogging buddies, I recognised the need to sit back and really take stock.  I had been through many busy periods during my blogging career.  Study, pregnancy, new baby, a year of travel around Australia.  What was the issue now?  Why was it so challenging?

I asked myself:

  • Was I enjoying my work?
  • Was I maintaining my boundaries?

The answer to both questions was no.  I was not enjoying my work because I felt constantly behind, leading to a little voice in the back of my head saying that it would never be enough no matter what I did.  I was sticking to my post schedule instead of writing what I was passionate about.  I was checking my email on my phone throughout the day, trying to get one or two jobs done here and there, and not staying present with my family or myself.

Were these patterns contributing to a better blog?  Not really.

Did I want to continue blogging?  No way.  At least not like this…

So I outlined the practices I had followed in the past that would help me enjoy my work and maintain my boundaries again.  What a difference it has made to reintroduce these habits in my life.  I now feel that I have a better blog and am able to be a better me.

5 Healthy Work Practices for a ProBlogger

I am sharing my list of healthy Pro-Blogger practices with you in case these points help you create better choices around your work as a blogger.

1. Take yourself seriously

Emails sent in the checkout line are rarely typo-free or complete.  Don’t skip meals or stay up all night tweaking something that can wait until tomorrow.  Do work when it’s working time, in your own designated working space.

Treat yourself like an important employee – give yourself a desk, all the tools you need, and time to regroup when you need it.  If you take care of yourself and maintain your head space, your work will be better and you will be in a better place personally to handle pressure when it comes your way.

2. Guard your work hours

As a work-at-home blogger, it can be tricky to overcome distractions.  I have found that when my work interferes with family time, even 10 minutes here and there, I head down a slippery slope towards resentment by myself as well as my family.

Therefore when I am able to schedule time to work on my blog, I fully dedicate that time to working on my blog.  No cleaning, no cooking, no laundry, but work, as if I were in an office away from my house.  If I find I am getting distracted by Facebook or start procrastinating by doing the household chores, it is time to take a break.  I like to be productive in bursts instead of feeling like I’m spending hours getting “nothing” done.

3. Surround yourself with inspiring colleagues

Who doesn’t like to chat at tea break about what’s going on in the office?  It’s necessary to have colleagues not only for professional development but for a sense of teamwork and mutual support.

My blogging buddies are absolutely irreplaceable because – it’s just a fact – no one gets blogging like a blogger.  I was lucky towards the beginning of my blogging career to be hooked up with some pretty fantastic bloggers who are not only a great sources of information but some of my most reliable cheerleaders.  We share our struggles and our milestones, ask each other questions, let each other know about embarrassing typos and all the other good stuff that happens in blogger Facebook communities.

If you don’t have a blogging group that fits you, find one or create your own.  It can be a game changer to be supported by like-minded bloggers, especially those in your own niche.

4. Choose quality over quantity

No one can do it all.

All the bloggers I have ever met have expressed that there are so many things they would like to do – ebooks, ecourses, better SEO, more printables – but simply don’t have the time.  Being a blogger in itself takes serious commitment, a good amount of planning, a whole lot of time, and often a few tears.

I often have two dozen projects on my list and have to narrow it down to one or two that I want to actually complete.  I do allow myself a bit of time to dream and explore different options, but choosing a couple things to actually finish helps me meet a deadline.  I also constantly remind myself that I don’t have to be everywhere on social media as long as I’m consistently in one or two places where my readers know they can find me.

5. Be true to yourself

There is a delicate balance between writing what you want to say and writing what readers want to read.  No matter what topic you are writing about, you have a voice and a skill set that is uniquely yours.  Your blog is your platform to share a message with the world.  What will your legacy be?  Be true to yourself and write from the heart.  Not only is it more satisfying, but following your passions will keep you motivated to continue progressing in your blogging career.

Remembering these healthy work practices has helped me get my blogging groove back on, and I hope they might help you consider what will lift your blogging work higher as well.

Have you considered healthy blogging practices before?  What are your must-dos?

Chelsea Lee Smith is an author and parent educator who shares personal growth activities and resources for the whole family at MomentsADay.com.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.

  • So encouraging! Thank you

  • I also find that looking after yourself can also do a lot of wonders in your productivity. This includes healthy eating, meditation and exercise. With a clearer mind, I am able to learn more things and able to work longer hours without getting tired.

    • Self-care is definitely part of “take yourself seriously” to me! If we don’t treat ourselves well, we can’t do our best work. Thanks for sharing x

  • Hi Chelsea,

    Loving your tips.

    I:

    – meditate
    – exercise
    – pray
    – get 8 hours of sleep or more
    – have fun with my travels

    daily. Without exception. All help me maintain a clear vibe. So I blog for fun, with love, which ensures a healthy vibe, which ensures I avoid burnout.

    I also ask myself: “Am I blogging mainly for fun?” from time to time. Because if I am not, fear is my prime driver, and if fear drives you, burnout is inevitable. Learned from personal experience. I pushed and strained because I feared running out….of…..everything, LOL. I feared losing readers and money and business, so the fear vibe reflected back to me as struggles and sickness. But when I chose to blog for fun, I felt good, and cool things happened for me on the blogging front and in life.

    Take breaks. Relax. Enjoy blogging. It is no job. It is fun. And if this is not the case you are doing it wrong. All wrong. And if you are doing it wrong, blogging will lead to problems.

    I go zero dark 30 on email every weekend. No email checking on Saturday and Sunday. I also check email only once – in the morning – from Monday-Friday. My great joy/fun is writing. So I write, most of the day. I feel good about checking email but it is not a love or passionate, fun activity of mine so I check for a bit, then I am out.

    Thanks for sharing Chelsea :)

    Ryan

    • Checking in with motivation is so very important. There are so many different reasons for blogging… if we aren’t intentional, we can get sucked into it for reasons that don’t resonate with us. Thanks for sharing x

  • Very true thoughts, you are sharing with your blog …..sometimes we really forget to justify the things what we are doing…….

  • Yes very true,, if we write something with dedication and honesty it will be more clear to readers.

  • DD

    I am new to blogging and for the initial couple months I had a shared office space just walkable distance from home. But after I vacated the space and started working from home, I lost the pace and interest often with unnecessary distractions at home. This whole thing resulted in nearly 45 days break from work. It’s been just a week now that I kind prepared a work station for myself at home with all things that can help in giving that professional environment. This new resolution is driving me for now but just a fear is still nagging if I am going to lose the steam again. Hope it doesn’t happen.

  • Thanks Chelsea,

    I think scheduling a specific block of time to blog is very important. What’s fun about blogging is that you can do it from anywhere – but if you let yourself relax because of the setting you’re in, it’s easy to fall behind.

    ~Sam

  • After reading your article, I feel like I just took a breath of fresh air. Great tips!

  • That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Things got a little hectic in college and I thought I wouldn’t be able to find enough time for blogging. Thanks to your advice I’ve managed to successfully combine studies with blogging work. But do you really think it’s more important to write about what you want or give readers something they want to read about?

    • I personally think there’s a balance, and the balance is dependent on your personality and goals. Obviously we want to write things our readers want to read, but it’s best to find the way to merge those two together as much as possible!

  • Maintaining boundaries is something I really need to work on right now. I have a designated work space but right now I’m working on my blogs possibly at the expense of my social relationships.

    I really like the idea of having a set ‘work time’. I hear its quite common for work at homers to find it difficult to switch off and relax outside of work hours.

    I really found this post helpful, just because you work from home doesn’t mean your business has to take over your whole life – if you’re in it for the long-run then you really need to learn to keep the work-live balance, otherwise you will burn out.

    (I’m going to have a word and tell myself this right now).

    • Great way to put it. Yes, working from home doesn’t mean we have to work all the time we’re at home! Not letting ourselves be home without the pressure of working can really rob your joy…

  • Hey,
    I Agree one must not guide the fake things just for increasing their conversions. Because it will not help you in a long run. Everything on your blog must be tested so that reader can maintain trust.

    Thanks for the amazing Advice.

  • Thank you so much! These are such valuable tips for me, a new blogger!

  • Well said, Hard work, Dedication, Honesty to provide best and real information to readers, Interest in work are the keys of success. Great read. keep sharing.

  • Hey Chelsea,

    Glad to read your wonderful experience and I totally agree with your points. When we feel enjoyment in our work, you know it provide a weired energy in whole body. It always suggest to work in positive path with lot of hardworking and I think it is the best gateway to success.

    I also believe that you should always honest with yourself – it helps to complete you project with dedications. Eventually, thanks for sharing these wonderful facts with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

  • Great post, and some solid advice. I think anyone who’s been online for a few years has had their run in with these.

    Thanks.

  • Hi Chelsea,

    Great tips, I find it extremely difficult to pull myself away from my computer. I need to start working more set hours instead of working all the time.

    I’m one of those people. I can be sitting on the couch watching TV or spending time with the family. All of a sudden I remember that I forgot to do something, so I get up and log back on to my blog to take care of it.

    I need to remember that it can always wait till the next day. Nothing is that important that it needs to be taken care of right then and there.

    Thanks for the friendly reminder.

    – Susan

    • Hi Susan, I have definitely struggled with this as well. Now I keep a list in “Notes” on my phone to write down jobs I dont want to forget. Good luck finding the balance!

  • Nice Chelsea
    Health is wealth. While working as a blogger from your home, it becomes the top priority to save yourself first. Most of the times, I forget meals and even having a bath is sometimes forgotten. it is very necessary to be real.
    Great advice

    • Agreed with you. Best example is of the Techcrunch Owner. Just to make Techcrunch successful he sacrificed his sleep. But now he is consulting to get the normal sleeping cycle again.
      so, yes we should work hard but at the same time health should be our first priority.

  • Hi Chelsea,

    Loving your tips.

    I:

    – meditate
    – exercise
    – pray
    – get 8 hours of sleep or more
    – have fun with my travels

    daily. Without exception. All help me maintain a clear vibe. So I blog for fun, with love, which ensures a healthy vibe, which ensures I avoid burnout.

    I also ask myself: “Am I blogging mainly for fun?” from time to time. Because if I am not, fear is my prime driver, and if fear drives you, burnout is inevitable. Learned from personal experience. I pushed and strained because I feared running out….of…..everything, LOL. I feared losing readers and money and business, so the fear vibe reflected back to me as struggles and sickness. But when I chose to blog for fun, I felt good, and cool things happened for me on the blogging front and in life.

    Take breaks. Relax. Enjoy blogging. It is no job. It is fun. And if this is not the case you are doing it wrong. All wrong. And if you are doing it wrong, blogging will lead to problems.

    I go zero dark 30 on email every weekend. No email checking on Saturday and Sunday. I also check email only once – in the morning – from Monday-Friday. My great joy/fun is writing. So I write, most of the day. I feel good about checking email but it is not a love or passionate, fun activity of mine so I check for a bit, then I am out.

    Thanks for sharing Chelsea :)

    Vincent

  • i am new in this field so i cannot critically review your post ,rather you guided me in good direction to choose quality over quantity and get in touch with inspiring collegues

  • Nice Chelsea
    Health is wealth. While working as a blogger from your home, it becomes the top priority to save yourself first. Most of the times, I forget meals and even having a bath is sometimes forgotten. it is very necessary to be real.
    Great advice

  • Dan

    Yup … if you don’t take care of yourself, your work suffers accordingly. Great tips!

  • Great post and great topic! I find guarding my scheduled work time to be the most challenging. Invariably something tries to sneak up and steal my precious quality creative time! I’ve learned to silence the phone, and other distractions. I just continue to honor my own space and value my craft. Thanks for posting!

  • Love these Chelsea. I had a sudden realisation at the start of the year that I just couldn’t keep going with all social media. I love Instagram but have stopped it, also Twitter. I now just use them to read other people’s stuff out of work hours. What a RELIEF.

    I totally can’t do it all so just need to focus on what works. And sometimes less is more for sure. I also now have a great writer working with me and that’s also a massive relief, she’s great and I love the posts she does. I pay her and feel great to now have a wee team on the go.

  • These tips are very useful Chelsea and tracking time for the tasks is a very helpful way to stay true for how much time exactly we are spending on work.

    With proper time tracking we can make a good balance between in our social and working life.

  • I think scheduling a specific block of time to blog is very important. What’s fun about blogging is that you can do it from anywhere – but if you let yourself relax because of the setting you’re in, it’s easy to fall behind.

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