I am struggling with finding a balance between my family, life obligations, things I should do, social media interactions, and blogging. They all seem to cross over and the boundaries are blurred. This is certainly how my family sees it. To them it appears that, writing for the blog, twitter parties, entering a contest, and connecting with friends on social media, are all the same thing. So they have the impression that when I am at my computer I am just playing on twitter" again, and neglected them. To be fair to them, sometimes this is true. I have two teen boys that sometimes I truly am happy to avoid, or put some distance between them and myself.
Only another blogger will truly understand how much effort is required to write and maintain a blog, or the considerable amount of time required to outline, write, possibly research, take pictures for, proof read and edit each post. It is far more time consuming than I ever imagined until I started blogging. I find as a new blogger the time commitment and the learning curve to be overwhelming, and this often results in total inaction.
To deal with the time management, and to un-blur some of the boundaries I decided to approach my blog like a job, which I should have done in the first place. I thought the process of doing this would bring me closer to finding a balance that works for me. With the use of an agenda I hoped to schedule in specific times for all the different activities in my life. I also thought by sharing this said agenda with my family, they could see, and understand where my hours go. Just because I am at the computer doesn't mean I am just "playing on twitter" again.
Schedule Draft One:
- Write, research, take pictures, edit and publish blog posts. Deal with all things blog related. I have allotted 3 hours a day 4 days a week on weekdays, plus an additional 3 hours on the weekend. Initially I scheduled 5 days on weekdays, but realized that at least once a week something will interfere, or conflict with this. (15 hours)
- Schedule the times and days of specific weekly twitter chats I enjoy participating in. There are about 4 or 5 of these. (5 hours)
- Scheduled free time: for chatting and engaging with friends, participating in a twitter party, entering a few contests, watching TV, or reading a book. I consider this to be the equivalent to my lunch hour and breaks. I allotted 2 hours daily. (14 hours)
- List and make a timeline for specific life obligations: I allotted 5 hours a day, 7 days a week for this. This includes grocery shopping, errand running, cleaning, meal prep, etc. (35 hours)
- List and make a timeline for things I should do: I have allotted 15 hours a week. This includes regular exercise, get my eyes checked, clean the garage, etc. (15 hours)
- Lastly I have allotted 1 hour a day for personal time to shower, brush my teeth, etc. (7 hours)
These all seemed like a very reasonable scheduling of my time. Here is a recap:
Assuming 24 hours in a day (which I do) and 8 hours of that is for sleep. That leaves 16 hours a day. The above schedule would take up 14 of those hours on weekdays, and 12 on weekends. Of the 112 hours a week available, this schedule would take up 91 of them.
WOW! life is busy, no wonder I feel overwhelmed. That doesn't leave much time for one on one time with my family, or breakfast with a friend. But, going through this process has helped to focus my attention, understand I need to further prioritize what is important, and realize time management is going to be the only way to do all or most of the things I would like to do in my life. Clearly it is going to take more than one draft. Baby steps.
Yep, just me Cathy thinking out loud about balance.