No one told me that the joy of finding of my “why,” of discovering my purpose in life, would soon be replaced by intense overwhelm. Don’t get me wrong: it’s wonderful to know why I’m here. But it’s been another to balance that purpose with my existing responsibilities, especially since the two tend to conflict.
I’m writing this blog post after weeks of not having the time (or energy, frankly) to do much blogging, spend time with my community on social media, or work on planning the next phase of building my business. This past few weeks have been a really busy time for me at work, and it’s been hard to make time for anything else. Stress at work has made it really hard for me to manage my daily routine, find time to work out, or feel motivated to do anything outside of dealing with my job. Needless to say, things have been pretty difficult to manage, and I’ve been totally worn out.
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For those of us who are working a full-time job to pay the bills while we pursue our purpose in our “free time,” it can be so difficult to balance our jobs with our passions. This is especially true if we have semi-demanding full-time jobs or jobs in which we serve leadership or management roles. We can’t just drop everything and give 100% to our side projects, and that’s so frustrating. Frustrating enough to make us feel overwhelmed, unhappy and uninspired. For the past few weeks, I’ve been experiencing a pretty intense lack of inspiration, one that’s kept me from doing the creative things I love (like blogging).
If you know for a fact that you’re going to have to keep a full-time job as you build your business, then the secret to surviving that transition is going to be your ability to balance your work life. You can’t allow yourself to spend so much at your full-time job that you end up burnt out and unable to work on turning your passion into the business you want (and vice versa–you can’t be so absorbed with building your business that you end up shirking your other responsibilities and losing your job before you’re ready to leave!).
So based on my own experience over the past few weeks, here are a few strategies for finding balance in life between your job and your passion. If you have another strategy that’s worked for you, please share in the comments!
Finding Balance in Life Between Your Job and Your Passion
// Continue to make time for yourself.
My mistake the past few weeks was not making enough time for myself. I allowed stress from work to completely exhaust me and keep me from following through with my morning routine. Because I was too tired to wake up early in the morning to meditate, be present in the moment, and exercise both my body and soul, I burned out really quickly. I wasn’t thinking creatively because I wasn’t giving myself the space to disconnect from work and focus on me. We work full-time, and that means that sometimes we’ll need to prioritize our work over our passions, but we should always make time to check in with ourselves and preserve our abilities to be creative. Without doing that, we won’t have the mental capacity to work on our businesses, and it will take us a lot longer to rebalance our lives.
// Plan ahead for periods of imbalance.
As best you can, try to plan ahead for periods of potential imbalance. Have a huge deadline at work next month? Are you launching a new product to your community in a few weeks? Then now is the time to start prepping for that imbalance so that you don’t completely neglect your other responsibilities. Prep blog posts in advance and schedule them for days when you’re going to be busy with your job. Or, if you don’t have time to write new posts, there’s nothing wrong with sharing older posts on social media (use Buffer, Hootsuite or CoSchedule to schedule your old blog posts to show up on your social media feeds). If you’re planning a huge product launch, or an event or workshop for your business, schedule it for a time when you know that your full-time job will be less demanding. The more advance planning you can do, the easier it will be to balance your job and your business.
// Prioritize and schedule your tasks.
When you have to split your already limited time between your passion and your full-time job, you’re not going to be able to do everything you want to do, especially when things get hectic. As part-time entrepreneurs, it’s up to us to decide what are the things that absolutely have to get done, and prioritize them accordingly. This is not the time to multitask! Instead, create a two-column list; on one side, list immediate priorities for your job, and on the other write out the priorities for your businesss. Then schedule each task in your calendar and do each one one at a time. Trust me–after the month I’ve had, I know for a fact that multi-tasking is no way to balance your full-time job with your passion.
I finally feel like I’m living a more balanced life. Not because things have slowed down at work, but because I’m learning new ways to find that balance. I wish I was at a point in my life where I could just quit my job and pursue my passions full-time, but I’m not quite there yet. So in the meantime, I’m trying to get better at making time for myself, planning ahead, and prioritizing.
Do you struggle with finding balance in life between your job and your passions?
What are some of your strategies for balancing your full-time job and your business?
Let us know in the comments!
Photo Credit: THE NEW BLACK