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Today I want to do more of a personal piece about being overworked in the blogging industry. I’ve seen this being talked about a little bit more now, and I wanted to give my take on it!
Overworking in the blogging industry is pretty common. “Hustle culture” and productivity is something that is promoted all over social media. And while that is needed when you work in this business, it’s unrealistic to expect to be productive all the time.
So, since I talk a lot about productivity and blogging on the blog, I thought it’d be nice to talk about when to know that you’re working too much, and why I used to work too much!
So, a little backstory about me. I used overwork with my blog. I was working sunup to sundown, in between breaks at my job, and at any slow point during the workday- whenever I had the chance.
I posted 3 times a week on my blog, promoted every second I got and my blog dominated my thoughts. What I could post next, how I was going to make money and what my next strategy was.
My to-do lists were long and I was stressed out. If I wasn’t working, I felt like I was wasting time and I could not relax.
Even so, I was getting nowhere! The money and views I was working for were not flowing in.
Despite being on my laptop for longer hours than I was sleeping, I was making a whopping $0 a month.
And why was I working so much?
Because I was desperate to get out of my 9-5 job that was making me miserable. And I thought working myself to the bone was going to get me the income I needed to quit.
I forgot that while, yes, I was running a business and trying to make an income out of it that I was also supposed to be having fun blogging! And while I was having fun, I was still overworked. And that led to, of course, burnout.
I would work my tail off for 3 months straight and decide to take a break. I’d be so frustrated with my lack of progress that I needed time off.
A week off led to a month off, which led to 3 months off. And soon I was beginning to stress about my lack of working. Then it took time to get back into the habit of working, and once I did, I’d overwork myself to make up for the lost time.
I was in an endless work-til-I-dropped cycle. And it was getting me nowhere!
HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE OVERWORKED IN THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY
1. YOU DON’T STOP TO TAKE BREAKS
If you find yourself working all day and not stopping to eat or putting down your laptop, you’re overworking yourself.
Your brain and body need to have breaks. You can’t be running at 100% all the time. So make sure you stop and take breaks every now and then.
One of my favorite methods to ensure I get the breaks I need is by using the Pomodoro Technique.
This is a productivity technique that has you working and taking breaks at set times, by using a timer! This will make sure that you’re actually remembering to take breaks and not just working the whole day through.
2. YOU DON’T HAVE A SET TIME TO STOP WORKING
Kinda similarly to not taking breaks, you also don’t have set work times. Meaning you get up at 9am and get to work right away and you work until 11pm at night right when you go to bed.
You don’t work this long at a normal job, and you shouldn’t have to for your blog either! Setting times that you can work may help you stop being overworked in the blogging industry.
It can be hard to force yourself to stop working! I get it. You’re probably desperate to make an income and you want to get out of your 9-5 job. So if you just get out this next tweet, or write down this next blog post idea, you’ll make it.
But you need to make sure that you avoid burnout, otherwise, you’ll never get where you want to go!
3. YOU JUST FEEL BURNED OUT AND FRUSTRATED
If you’re working really hard, you expect to see some results. That’s logical! But when you’re overworked, no amount of progress is going to seem like enough.
You finished your to-do list, but you also added on 12 other things you need to finish so you don’t feel accomplished. Or you hit your blog view goal, but it’s not as high as you feel you deserve so you’re already looking onto the next goal.
If you feel like tearing your hair out and just feel simply… burned out. Like you’re not sure how much longer you can keep blogging… then you’re seriously overworked.
4. TAKING BREAKS THAT LAST TOO LONG
One sign that I knew I was overworked in the blogging industry was when I decided to take a break that ended up lasting a few months.
I saw myself in this cycle of working too much and then stopping to catch my breath. But then feeling too frustrated and defeated to get back up and try again.
And then when you finally do get working again, you need to hustle to make up for it.
If you see yourself in this pattern, know it’s time to take a step back.
Because if you’re working hard for 3 months, but stopping for 3 months too, all your hard work is going to be gone. Blogging is a slow burn, not a sprint. You need to be consistent to make it work here!
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE OVERWORKED IN THE BLOGGING INDUSTRY
Overworking, I’ve been there. And I’d like to think I have a better work-life balance than I did before.
Of course, when you love your job it can be hard to stop, but it’s important to!
So, what do you do if you recognize the signs and find you may be overworked?
1. TAKE A BLOGGING BREAK
Before you do anything, you need a break. A real, actual break. Your followers will be there when you get back. That blog post you want to write can actually wait.
Clearing your mind and resting will be good for you. Work on some other hobbies, take a social media break if you need to. Don’t check your work emails.
Really try and shut off so you can come back refreshed!
2. RE-EVALUATE YOUR BLOG WORK HOURS
Take a step back and re-evaluate.
How many hours are you working a day? And what are you actually accomplishing?
Do the hours you work reflect the amount of work you get done?
You need to really think about the hours you’re spending on your blog. Actually realizing how many hours a day you’re putting in can make you realize that you’re overwing yourself in the blogging industry.
Then once you realize how many hours you’re working, try to cut down. At one point, I was working like 15 hour days on my blog. Yes, seriously. I wish that was an exaggeration. You really don’t need to be working all those hours!
3. MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER
First and foremost, set blogging work hours for yourself. You have times that you go to your normal job, so your blog should be no different.
Once you do that, it’s time to increase your productivity. One of the reasons you may be working too long is because you’re not actually being productive when you work.
You may think you are, but is what you’re doing actually growing your blog? And are you actually being productive or are you watching a distracting tv show while you’re writing your newest blog post?
Here are a few ways you can make sure you’re using your time wisely and doing things that are actually going to grow your blog.
- Use a productivity technique
One of my favorite ways to make sure I am being productive when I work is by using a method called the Pomodoro technique. It is a productivity method that uses timers to make sure you have times to work and times to rest.
If you want to read more about this method, I wrote about it here!
- Decide what tasks are actually important
You need to cut out what tasks don’t really matter and understand what tasks will actually grow your blog.
There are some tasks you’ll do that won’t grow your blog that you still need to do, but you can allot less time for those so you make sure you have more time for the important tasks.
Write out all of the tasks that you do for your blog, and about how long each task will take (Using the Pomodoro timer technique can help you figure it out if you don’t know!) Then, cut out any tasks you don’t need to do and make room for what you do need to work on!
- Use a to-do list
When you create a to-do list, make sure you don’t add 8 things to it. You can have a small to-do list in a day and still get a lot done.
I generally only add 3 things to my list every day. Then I check tasks off as I go. If I decide I can do more after all the tasks are done, I will add them.
But, if they don’t get done I don’t stress about it. I still accomplished what I need to do for the day, and I don’t feel bad for things I added but didn’t finish!
When you’re overworked in the blogging industry, you feel it. Overworking can take a toll on your body and mind. Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your blogging business.
If you try to do everything all at once and get so burnt out you stop, that is not going to grow your business. Taking your time and building a blogging business brick by brick is what will help you grow!
Take your time, and remember to enjoy your job!