A balanced life is a rare prize that most of us cannot seem to find time to pursue. Finding time to find time- ha! Who has the time? But the truth is, in today’s world of perpetual wi-fi and 4g, we can no longer expect balance to find us. We are left to instigate our own harmony between work and play.
Time-off , downtime- whatever you want to call those moments when you are truly at peace, your phone far from your itching finger tips and your laptop closed down in another room- THOSE times- those times are what we are going to talk about and most importantly, learn to reintegrate into our ever-so-fast-paced lives.
I’ve created a general list of my top Three Essential’s toward making time for a real life. These are a great start toward finding more balance and peace for yourself, your family and even for your work. After all, a happy blogger creates better content.
1. Create Work Hours- Start times & End Times
One of the greatest challenges of self employment are the hours. Across all fields, free-lancers often struggle with the call of duty even at odd hours of the day. When you are your own boss and the weight of every client falls on your shoulders, it can be hard to shut your mind off to the work load. But there’s something so physiologically comforting about set hours- particularly that ending hour of your work day. Knowing that you logged a full day of work allows a sense of accomplishment rather than a sense of nagging guilt. You can feel entitled to your day being over when you know you accomplished a full work-day like anyone else would.
While I understand there are exceptions to this (sometimes you need to add a 30 minute evening social check-in etc) but I challenge you to make that a part of your everyday schedule so that it’s not invading the rest of your life. If you need those 30 minutes, schedule them in for the same time every evening, so that you can log off and go back to your “real life”.
2. Schedule Time for Yourself & Your Family- And make is sacred.
This part is important for bloggers in particular, because of the 24-7 demand to be online. Snapchat, Periscope and now Insta-story seem to weight us down with gilt anytime we put makeup on and try to spend a moment alone.
“Why waste a perfectly good hair day NOT online”, we think to ourselves.
A bloggers life is made up of never-ending deadlines and snapshots of what we’d like to call life, but sort of ends up being a never ending day on set. What kind of life is that? Especially for those who surround, love and would like to spend time with us? So my challenge is to schedule 2-4 social media-free hours into each and every week day. And when you schedule this time- make it sacred and make it truly inaccessible to work. This means, putting your phone and laptop in another room. It might mean wearing sweats and not doing your hair or going on a long hike where wifi is spotty. It definitely means saying no to clients are pushing a deadline to the next morning for the sake of our over all sanity, health and wonderfully balanced life.
3. Go completely makeup Free and Wear sweats all day- Once a Week
No this is not a joke. And don’t wear cute sweats- I mean it! Because curling up in bed in some super sexy lacy thangs and then taking selfies for 3 hours does not constitute real life. What I mean by this is, get rid of every source of pressure to take photos. Put your ugliest comfiest sweats on, don’t do your hair or even put concealer on. Put your bloggers mail pile in a cabinet and lay down at a park or binge on TV or read a book.
Look at someone else in real life and talk with them over an ugly cup of coffee.
This is what balance looks like. And after a while, you’ll even remember what it feels like too; Enjoying food, beauty and conversation without the tainted perspective of “where is the best light” and “don’t drink your coffee yet!”.
I know these tips may sound simple, but the true challenge is implementing them and creating space for real life to make its way back to you. Content creators are incredibly gifted and see beauty all around, yet sometimes we spend so much time capturing it that we lose sight of embracing the original inspirations. We lose out on a really wonderful, non-photogenic life.