If we haven’t met before, my name is Emma. I’m glad you came across my blog Emma’s Edition and hope you can find some value or relate to me somehow! And if we’ve met on Instagram or in real life, welcome back! I’m writing to you today to tell you what it’s really like to work full time, blog as a side hustle, and go to school part time. Juggling my social media accounts, blog, and real life has been a big learning experience this fall. So I’m also going to be sharing with you some tips to find balance in your life.
Let me first say:
Don’t let the curated Instagram and professional blog photos fool you.
I’m not a full time blogger and my blog isn’t there yet to match a full time salary I need to live comfortably. But my blog is my creative outlet. I truly enjoy writing, taking photos and bringing advice and perspective to you guys. Because blogging brings me so much joy, I do spend quite a bit of time on creating new content, partnering with brands, and learning about how to be a better blogger.
Secondly, I actually work full time for the Boeing Company as a project manager.
I’ve been with the company for almost 3 years in finance and project management roles. While aerospace (my profession) and fashion/blogging (my passions) are different as a night and day, I enjoy being in both worlds. My background in business has immensely helped my blog grow and develop. And my blog has equally helped me become an effective communicator and more creative at work.
And finally, I’m a graduate student at the University of Washington.
I’m working towards my masters of communication in digital media. I’m only taking one class on the weekends to ease into my program – which actually really helps me balance everything out. I’m hoping to develop my skills for my passions and accelerate my career. I would love to work in the digital marketing team or air show planning team at Boeing. And one day, I’d also love to start a social media consulting business to help other brands and bloggers with their marketing and social media strategy.
These are three of my major priorities which I balance my workouts, my dog Boone, my boyfriend, family, and friends with.
So the truth is I’m busy, you’re busy, and we all know it isn’t easy. Whether we’re balancing our families with our careers or school with working full time and blogging, we are all balancing and juggling priorities.
A few of you guys have reached out through Instagram and asked “How do I balance blogging, working, and school part time?” So I wanted to share with you guys how I go about finding balance in my life.
5 Tips to Find Balance In Your Life
1. Identify your priorities – and review them monthly or quarterly
There are a million ways you need or want to spend your time. It’s important to first understand and identify what is important to you. I would recommend identifying 5-7 priorities a week or even a month. If you have 10-20 or even more priorities on a list, chances are you may not even get to all of those priorities.
So personally, I identify my priorities for school, blogging, and my full time job. I also have priorities to take care of my dog Boone and spend time with my boyfriends, family, and friends.
2. Spend your energy on those priorities
It isn’t enough to just say “school is a priority”. I personally have to take the time to complete my readings, homework, research and projects. If blogging is a priority to you, take the time to create new content, go to events, and become a better blogger. It’s important to put your intentions out there and flow your energy into them.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
A key to balance is to focus one doing one thing at a time really well. You won’t be as efficient if you’re trying to multitask because in reality it actually slows you done. You might also get stressed out switching from one thing to another and then back to the original thing you were working on.
So when I’m at a work, I’m focused on getting my projects done and scheduling follow up meetings to continue projects. And when I’m at the dog park with Boone and Brandon, I focus on being with them rather than scrolling through my blog email. I’ve found that I’m happier when I make the time and then take the time to be present.
4. Use a Planner
I highly recommend writing out all your events, assignments, and meetings in one place where you can view them all. I use my planner to record my daily and weekly to-lists to help keep me organize. When I sit down to write out my tasks, I take that moment to prioritize what I have to do that day.
Some of my friends use apps on their phone, while I prefer to physically use a planner. Whichever you prefer, I’d recommend to get in the habit of writing out your priorities so you see them in real life and understand what you have to get done.
5. Say No
If you identified your priorities and you’re spending your energy there, it’s easier to recognize what’s going to further your goals or develop your skills. There are always going to be fun events and opportunities in your life but they may not be aligned with your priorities. Even if these opportunities are aligned with your priorities, you may have to decide if you can spend your time there or elsewhere. My advice is don’t be afraid to say no and be mindful of your time because it’s your most valuable resource.
As my school schedule becomes more demanding, I’m having to say no to more blogging events. I truly wish I could attend the events around the area, but I have to say no while my school work demands more of my time. You have to say no sometimes to keep yourself sane and put energy in your pressing priorities.
6. Communicate to your friends/family/significant other where you are at in your life and your plans for the future
One of the most important pieces of advice I can share with you about balancing your priorities is to communicate your priorities to your support system. Everyone has expectations of how much time you should be spending with them. If you’re starting a master’s program or a more demanding job, you are going to need to spend your energy there. It’s important to let your loved ones where you are at in your life – especially if work or school start to take up more and more of your time.
I always let me family know I love them, even if I can’t come home to see them every week because now I have class on the weekends. But they know that just because my time is more limited, it doesn’t mean I love them any less.
What are your tips to help find balance in your life?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Holly Phan