By Lauren | May 12, 2015 | 0 Comment
I get asked all the time how I manage everything I do, and still have time to take a breather and have fun every now and then. On top of working full-time, I do freelance work, run two of my own blogs, plus regular guest blog for other blogs. I’m a busy person, and although it seems like I always have a million things going on, I still manage to juggle it all and still make time for friends, family and the things (outside of work) I love to do. But just because I manage all these different things I have going on, doesn’t mean every now and then I don’t feel overworked, exhausted, and on the verge of a minor breakdown.
So when you’re at that point of feeling overrun, how do you pick yourself up from it and keep on trudging through? Here are some tips that get me by.
Prioritize what is the most important things on your to-do list to get done. How I usually prioritize my ever-growing to-do list is first off by what things I’m doing that are paid. Not all guest posts and writing I do I get money for, so the opportunities I have with people and companies that are paying me, always come first.
My next priority is my own blogs. I enjoy writing for my own blogs the most, and never want to lose sight with keeping up with my personal blogs, because I’m too busy writing for other peoples blogs.
Lastly, things that aren’t paid, I prioritize by what means the most to me in my career. For example: I really want to make it in the travel writing industry, so my travel writing opportunities always are ahead of writing other articles.
Remember, at the end of the day, it’s impossible to take on everything with 110% effort, so sometimes prioritizing is a must when you have too much on your plate.
There is no possible way you’re going to be able to juggle everything in your life, whether it is work or other priorities, unless you can manage to organize yourself and time better. Everyone has different things that work best for them when it comes to being organized. For some people it’s using an agenda, for others it may be setting reminders or a calendar in their phone, and for some it may sticking post-its everywhere around their house, find what works for you and stick to it. It’s crucial to be organized when you have a lot on your plate, and really is one of the only things that will keep you sane.
Learn to say no
I am sometimes terrible at this but I’m trying to get better. Learn to say no to opportunities that just don’t fit in line with what you are doing and what your ultimate goals are. When I first started freelancing and guest blogging, I used to say yes to almost everything that came my way, as I couldn’t really afford to say no and it was a great way to build my portfolio. As I started to get more opportunities coming my way, I realized that I was going to have to start and be more picky about what I agree to do. On top of balancing my full-time job, it just wasn’t practical to say yes to everything.
How I picked what I’d say yes to was based on what I felt would be the most valuable to me and my portfolio, and also what I felt like I’d enjoy working on the most. Since I do freelance writing and social media work outside of my 9-5 job, I don’t want to be working on projects that just don’t excite me. For example: I was asked to work on a writing project that was creating content around the financial industry, since I’m not in the financial industry, nor have any interest in it, I knew this wouldn’t be a project I’d enjoy working on, so I kindly turned it down.
When choosing guest blogging opportunities, since many didn’t pay, I took a look at the blogs and companies that were asking me to blog for them and determined if they were in line with myself, and if they would provide me with enough publicity that would in-turn be worth the time I put in for free. For example: If a blog reached out to me like Ten Thousand Coffees, I know that they are a big industry name, and would garner a lot of traction, versus a small blog that nobody has ever heard of. Therefore it be evident on which blog would overpower the other.
Make time for fun things
It’s easy to lose site of things in your life that you actually get enjoyment from that aren’t work related. I for example, love to write, so sometimes it doesn’t feel like work to me, even though it is. So making time to do things outside of “work” really is something that will help keep you sane, and keep you from feeling to overwhelmed. It’s important to shut-off work mode on a weekly basis for things like fitness and working out, time with your friends and family, or maybe just taking a day to watch your favourite TV shows. Making time for those things that don’t involve too much brain power is what is going to keep you level headed and happy, so don’t lose site of them.
Take a step back
Last but not least, if you are feeling overrun and stressed out, take a step back and take a look at everything you have on your plate. What is the route of your stress, and what could you do to make it less stressful? Maybe it’s talking to your clients and readjusting deadlines or projects, maybe it’s cutting back on how many guest blog posts you are doing for free, and making a better calendar that’ll give you more time to focus on the paid opportunities you have. Sometimes there is a simple solution right in front of you and you just need to take a moment to take back and acknowledge everything on your plate before you can actually make a change.
The most important thing to remember when you are feeling overworked is that you are not God, you can’t balance everything, and it’s really okay to turn things down or reevaluate what’s the most important to you in your life. There’s no point in breaking your back to finish a million projects a week, when none are giving you value in return.