Balancing Blogging & A Full Time Job

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So yesterday, on my instastories (before a did a little dance in my bathroom to one of my favorite songs), I asked any watchers if they had any topics they wanted me to write about. It’s actually pretty hard coming up with intriguing content every week. I try hard not to fall into the “this is my outfit and that’s all there is” blog posts because that get’s boring real fast. At least once a week I like to write something meaningful not the typical blogger fluff while force feeding you something to buy. I’m running low on ideas being that I’ve been writing my literal ass off the past 3 months (I’ve lost about 5 pounds) and trying to save really good articles and content for Fashion Steele NYC Review Magazine coming out January 1st. I got a few replies on instastories and one watcher suggested that I write about blogging while working full-time and how I manage it all. I thought that was an excellent idea and it dawned on me that I never actually discussed this topic. #EPICFAIL. But nonetheless here we go…how I balance blogging and a full time job.

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Photography by Rose Lazard
Editing by Monroe Steele
Location: Harlem, NYC

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Occupations
1). Full Time Doctor of Physical Therapy & Director of a Private Physical Therapy Practice, overseeing one front desk assistant and one PT aide and seeing anywhere from 15-25 patients daily 41 hours a week.
2). Part time fashion, travel & lifestyle blogger at Fashion Steele NYC, producing 2-3 articles weekly 20-25 hours a week.

Priorities
Numero uno to balancing my full time job and my blog side hustle is knowing what my priorities are. My full time job is my bread and butter. It’s the occupation I spent 7 years and countless loans in school to obtain. It’s what pays my bills and affords me the lifestyle I have. My Full Time Gig always comes first. Anything I do blog wise has to be done outside of my normal work hours. I don’t compromise on that ever. If a brand really wants me, they are usually willing to work with my schedule.

Time Management
Being very Type-A also helps me maintain some sort of balance between my full time job and blogging. I write all my blog posts content on the weekends. I also shoot all my looks on the weekends (yes, I shoot about 4-5 looks every other Sunday). I mass edit my photos and already have the actual posts written before the photos are taken. I keep a notebook of article & blog post ideas and topics and it’s my go-to when I have writers block. I plan my instagram photos in advance (they are already edited and have captions) usually a day before I post them. I usually do a few instastories in the morning before work. Then once I’m at work, I rarely post anything, unless its something pre-recorded during my lunch break. I then try to do a few more instastories when I get home from work. All of my posting pretty much takes place early between 6am-8am or later 4pm-9pm depending on the day.

Saying No
This one was very hard for me the first few years of blogging. Anyone who reached out to collaborate I felt the need to say yes. But now with such limited time, I only say yes to the things I really want to do. I don’t go to many events during the week because I’m pretty exhausted from my full time job. But I try to do at least 2-3 events a month just to stay out there and make connections. I say no a lot more than I say yes now and I don’t feel bad or guilty about it. I always try to respond to all inquires though, even if that’s to say no. You never know when things will change and you may still need that person or contact in the future.

Calendars are Life
I have a huge calendar that I write down all my blog deadlines and events on. I include shoot days and block time for writing posts. I also have a google calendar on my phone to remind me of blog deadlines and events. Those two calendars have saved me. You want to make sure you’re staying on track and don’t become that blogger who always turns projects in late. That’s a quick way to get blacklisted in this small blogging community.

Time For Me
When I took my job as Director of my Physical Therapy Practice, I made it clear that I wanted to be home no later than 7:30pm and that I would never under any circumstances take work home. Once I walk out of the doors to the clinic and lock them behind me, my work is done. A lot of my peers in the physical therapy & medical field aren’t so lucky sometimes treating 20-30 patients a day and then going home and writing a note for every patient. I refuse. It’s a small thing but it’s been a huge blessing. I feel like I have an entire life outside of just being a physical therapist. I also make sure to make time for me. Time when I’m not working, time when I’m not blogging but when I get to sit and be still and read and just do something fun for me.

These are a few things that have helped me maintain some sort of normal life balance. It’s not a perfect formula. There are times when I’m blogging less and working more and vice versa. There are times when I barely have time to eat and feel as if I’ve taken on too much. It’s in those times that I become the number one priority and taking time to regroup, refocus and caring for myself seems to set everything back on track again.

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xx
Monroe

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18 responses to “Balancing Blogging & A Full Time Job”

  1. Busayo says:

    Nice tips, thank you for sharing. Planning ahead is definitely a good thing to haggle a full time job and side hustle. You look good as always

  2. Faith says:

    You are superwoman! Loved reading about how you balance it all. It seems so much but you appear to do it effortlessly!

  3. Ash says:

    Thanks for a peak into your world and great advice!

  4. LATOYA says:

    Great insights. I have a poorly maintained blog. I’m a teacher and I have absolutely no work life balance.

    • monroesteele says:

      Hi Latoya,
      You can always turn your blog around. But if teaching is your priority and it is what it is. It’s very hard as a teacher to not take work home with you. But you have to know your limits and stick to them for your own sanity. Try to set a goal for yourself like posting once every two weeks. Start some sort of routine and stick to it that way your readers know when to come for your new content. It’s as simple as starting with a routine. Good luck to you and thank you for reading.

      xx
      Monroe

    • Lee'a says:

      Same here! I was doing FT work, PT school and PT blogging and even my own scheduling tactics seem to get overwhelming. I just felt like I couldn’t keep up with the rest of the blogging/social media world and started drowning. My untouched blog quietly haunts me every day, so I appreciate seeing a post from someone who’s work life is completely outside of her blogging world and tips on how to create balance.

  5. Dominique says:

    Amazing post as usual!
    I usually don’t comment, but I have to givr praise ( on a human level ) when it’s due. You make it seem so easy while working hard behind the scene.

    • monroesteele says:

      Thank you Dominique, I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comments. It’s definitely a balance game.

      xx
      Monroe

  6. Sharon Joy says:

    Thanks again for a great blog post. I always enjoy your sharing your experiences. You consistently show the life behind the curtain is filled with hard work and smart choices.

  7. Tiyunna J says:

    Um so glad I pulled over to read this! I’ve been literally turning the other chick to blogging part time or at all, because I had no true balance as a fulltimer and mother. Your post shines light on one key thing Priority.. understanding the what’s first and making routines stick! Thank you for sharing this! Love your style and I’m officially a genuine fan of your hard work behind the scenes! You it look effortless.

  8. Crista says:

    I love this. I’m a full time pediatric occupational therapist working two therapy jobs so I know the struggle trying to balance work and blogging. I’ve definitely done some of your tips but not consistently so I’m not exactly where I’d like to be in my blogging career. Any tips on how to stay consistent? Also, I tried subscribing to your email list but ran into a few issues. Can you add me to it? Again, thanks for this post—-I’m happy that you’re so successful in both your careers. It motivates me to do better with my goals as well.
    Xoxo,
    Cris

    • monroesteele says:

      Hi Cris,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. The only thing I can say is to make it a routine. Make a schedule and stick to it but don’t beat yourself up about it if you can’t stick to it. It’s about making a commitment to yourself. The same way you commit to a job, or a spouse or a responsibility like paying the rent each month. Just do it. That’s how you stay consistent. Just start and if you’re passionate enough about it, it won’t seem like work or extra time and you’ll be eager to do it. I’ve included a box on the main page of my blog at the bottom where you can simply put in your email to subscribe. You can also follow via Google+ either Monroe Steele or Fashion Steele NYC to have posts delivered to your email.
      Best
      Monroe

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