The overachieving millennial’s dilemma: Is it possible to have a day job, blog, grow a following, be healthy and fit AND have a social life?
You know you need to reassess your life when you set your alarm for 3:30 a.m. just so you can have time to blog.
Sure, you could whip up some top ten list of your favourite foods, or maybe give a play-by-play of your weekend at the farmer’s market, but no… you read somewhere that well-crafted and researched content that is both entertaining and informative gets more shares and likes, so you spend a good hour and a half writing it (and because, let’s be honest; you don’t like to half-ass things anyway and take pride in your writing), another 20 minutes locating a photo from your Instagram feed that might be suitable (’cause you gotta have an image, but using iStock is cheating), and another 20 minutes posting and scheduling said blog post on your multiple social media networks.
You also read somewhere that to grow your blog following (which you want to do because you’d really love to reach more people and spread the message of sustainable health and fitness; find clients for the business you just started; get accepted into paid ad campaigns from your ambassador and content networks to help make all this blogging financially worthwhile; and hopefully land more paid articles, because deep down you really want to be a writer), you need to read other blogs and comment on them, grow your social media presence, AND keep up-to-date on all the latest news and research in your chosen industry, be it fitness, health, food, DIY, parenting, or design, so you can be an expert, or something.
Even though you have a secure, well-paying 9-to-5, you decided at some point that you wanted to own your own business — something more in line with your true passion, whatever that may be. So you start one in amongst all the social media-ing and blogging you’re already doing, because hey, you’re a millennial — you do it all. Who wants to work for “the man”, anyway? You’ve delayed getting married and having kids thus far, so you clearly have all the time in the world — might as well do it now!
There’s just one problem.
That $30,000 student loan isn’t going to pay itself off, and you need some cash upfront to get your new business up and running. Times are already pretty tight, and you’re only making the equivalent of the price of a pumpkin spiced latte per month from the Google Ads you put on your blog, so you decide to take on a second job to help pay for your new business expenses.
And here’s when you find yourself at a crossroads — getting up at 3:30 a.m. to somehow write an acceptable blog post most days of the week (because you need to be consistent, they say), post to all your social media channels, read other blogs and write thoughtful comments, get your workout in (don’t forget to post a #workoutselfie!), make your healthy lunch and Instagram it (#vegan #paleo #gmofree #glutenfree #sugarfree #whybother), get ready for your day job, work, get home, make a healthy dinner (don’t forget to pin it on you Healthy Recipe board on Pinterest!), catch up on all the emails and social media posts you missed during the day, work at your second job for a few hours because you have a deadline, spend some time promoting/working on the new business you’re trying to get off the ground, and go to bed at 9:30 p.m. because you’ve been up since 3:30 a.m. and you’re exhausted.
What’s missing from that schedule?
Adequate sleep. Time with loved ones, family and friends. A social life. Time away from the computer. Time to yourself.
Although I enjoy all the blogging, social media-ing, networking with like-mind bloggers, researching and photo-taking, it’s a huge time suck, especially when you’re in the early stages of trying to grow a following. It’s frustrating and disheartening at times, but it’s something I actually enjoy doing, so I will keep plugging away if I have to. That said, when I look at the above schedule — MY schedule — I know it’s not normal or healthy. My social life is suffering and my health is suffering — I know something needs to be cut, and it ain’t more sleep.
Now that I’ve spent all that money to get my CSCS certification and get Koru Personal Training off the ground, I think it’s time to say goodbye to freelance editing. My plan was to quit once I got a few more personal training clients, but that’s proving harder than I thought. I’ve come to rely on that extra cash, so I know I’ll need to be more mindful if I let it go.
I would love to know if any of you other bloggers reading this (FitFluential, Girls Gone Sporty, IDEA Inspired bloggers, Sweat Pink ambassadors — I’m looking at you!) have gone through this or feel the same way. How do you find balance? How do you fit it all in and not let your family and social life suffer? Any tips or comments would be greatly appreciated!