Thursday, 6 March 2014

Blogger Issues: Trying to find that oh so elusive balance.

Balance: A harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements. (6) via The Free Dictionary.
I am struggling with finding a balance between my family, life obligations, things I should do, social media interactions, and blogging. They all seem to cross over and the boundaries are blurred. This is certainly how my family sees it. To them it appears that, writing for the blog, twitter parties, entering a contest, and connecting with friends on social media, are all the same thing. So they have the impression that when I am at my computer I am just playing on twitter" again, and neglected them. To be fair to them, sometimes this is true. I have two teen boys that sometimes I truly am happy to avoid, or put some distance between them and myself. 
Only another blogger will truly understand how much effort is required to write and maintain a blog, or the considerable amount of time required to outline, write, possibly research, take pictures for, proof read and edit each post. It is far more time consuming than I ever imagined until I started blogging. I find as a new blogger the time commitment and the learning curve to be overwhelming, and this often results in total inaction. 
To deal with the time management, and to un-blur some of the boundaries I decided to approach my blog like a job, which I should have done in the first place. I thought the process of doing this would bring me closer to finding a balance that works for me. With the use of an agenda I hoped to schedule in specific times for all the different activities in my life. I also thought by sharing this said agenda with my family, they could see, and understand where my hours go. Just because I am at the computer doesn't mean I am just "playing on twitter" again. 

Schedule Draft One:

  • Write, research, take pictures, edit and publish blog posts. Deal with all things blog related. I have allotted 3 hours a day 4 days a week on weekdays, plus an additional 3 hours on the weekend. Initially I scheduled 5 days on weekdays, but realized that at least once a week something will interfere, or conflict with this. (15 hours) 
  • Schedule the times and days of specific weekly twitter chats I enjoy participating in. There are about 4 or 5 of these. (5 hours)
  • Scheduled free time: for chatting and engaging with friends, participating in a twitter party, entering a few contests, watching TV, or reading a book. I consider this to be the equivalent to my lunch hour and breaks. I allotted 2 hours daily. (14 hours)
  • List and make a timeline for specific life obligations: I allotted 5 hours a day, 7 days a week for this. This includes grocery shopping, errand running, cleaning, meal prep, etc. (35 hours)
  • List and make a timeline for things I should do: I have allotted 15 hours a week. This includes regular exercise, get my eyes checked, clean the garage, etc. (15 hours)
  • Lastly I have allotted 1 hour a day for personal time to shower, brush my teeth, etc. (7 hours)

These all seemed like a very reasonable scheduling of my time. Here is a recap:
Assuming 24 hours in a day (which I do) and 8 hours of that is for sleep. That leaves 16 hours a day. The above schedule would take up 14 of those hours on weekdays, and 12 on weekends. Of the 112 hours a week available, this schedule would take up 91 of them. 

WOW! life is busy, no wonder I feel overwhelmed. That doesn't leave much time for one on one time with my family, or breakfast with a friend. But, going through this process has helped to focus my attention, understand I need to further prioritize what is important, and realize time management is going to be the only way to do all or most of the things I would like to do in my life. Clearly it is going to take more than one draft. Baby steps.

Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about balance.


  1. Very well done, Cathy! As a fellow Blogger....I totally GET all of this! I could have written this myself, lol. One truly does not realize how much work it takes to be a Blogger, and to make your blog a success. That being said, I wouldn't trade it for the world!

  2. I've been asked, "What is the number one piece of advice that I would give to a new blogger (looking to make a career of it)" and I would tell them... Don't. Seriously though, blogging is a lot of work and I'm amazed that you had any time left over. I can't remember the last time I had 8 hours sleep. I love that you are being so true to yourself and your family. I know where my priorities lie, now I just have to make my schedule align with that. Thanks for thinking out loud.

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

    1. Hear you Sarah, that schedule was a goal to work toward. I haven't had 8 hours sleep in years and never have time left over. It was because I was (am) overwhelmed and missing important things in my life that I tried to put a schedule. Even trying to schedule my time there is no real time left over. It leaves a couple hours a week to interact with friends (like yourself) and family. Clear I will need a few more drafts. You give excellent advice, and maybe that is that is the key. Thanks so much for your visits talking the time to read my posts your and comments.

  3. Awesome post Cathy..If only more of us would think out loud.... I never have enough time in a day to do all that I have too.. With a 3 year old, she seems to take up most of my time!!

    1. I hear you Tammy, having young kids is so physically exhausting! You are doing awesome if you eat regularly and have time for a shower from time to time LOL Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. I don't think I could make a schedule like that and adhere to it, there are too many bumps in my day.

    1. I know Catherine there simply aren't enough hours in the day, and life happens LOL It was an interesting exercise though. Nice for my family to have some idea what I do with my time. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Just newly setting up a home-based business, I can so relate to this. Today, I am sitting down and drafting out a schedule something I have been meaning to do for some time. I think once I clarify, set up some goals & a schedule, it will also help me to see what I am accomplishing instead of feeling like, did I get enough done? at the end of the day. Great post!