5 Ways to Maintain Balance In Your Work Life When You’re a One Wo/Man Operation

August 19, 2014
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Written by Patricia A. Patton 

So maybe you’ve been blogging for a while now, following best practices for being recognized but you find yourself hitting a proverbial wall. Even though you know better than to chase every new shiny thing that appears in the digital arena, you still engage in this practice. There you are reading and clicking through articles for the entire day, but might this not be a sign? If chasing new things is what you do over a sustained period of time, you will find you have little to show for your time. When I find this happening in my life, I know that as a one wo/man operation, I have lost balance in my work life. For regardless of the importance of research, the truth is that if no work is being completed, gathering nuts alone will not take you far.

Here are the strategies I have learned over the past several years about working alone, feeling isolated and winding up with an imbalance in my output:

Embrace the Problem
Some people seem to have their operation on auto pilot. But in my experience, frustration makes its occasional visits and it’s pretty natural to experience some burnout when you are responsible for all aspects of your blogging business success. If you find yourself running from one set of suggestions to another with a slightly different focus but similar goals and you are feeling drained, it is time to accept that you are engaged in some aspects of burnout and are in need of balance in your work life .

Revamp Your Work Practice
I know it sounds silly to say begin by moving more. Get physical. Get up from your sitting position away from your computer at least once every hour. Take a few moments to work another part of your brain. For me this means not sitting inside the home office, i.e hanging with my computer from morning until 10 pm. It is important to finish projects; but staying in one place is not always productive. And just because you are online all day does not necessarily mean its been a productive day. I said that earlier. Secondly,  put everything you think you want to read that you find online but takes you off course in a particular file like, Evernote. Then when you take a break, go through your reading. Keep notes on the new  thoughts and content that comes from this practice that might be woven into future posts. Try this strategy by allocating a given time frame for follow up either once or twice a day for short periods. This way, you don’t need to feel guilty and you can keep your focus.

Collaborate
This year I had a breakthrough that I think will help you maintain balance in your work life. I actually tried thinking strategically about how to integrate the lessons I’d learned from my blogging experience into a more profitable and commercially viable format. I created what I felt was missing in terms of the community I wanted. Lo and behold, I assembled a small but engaging group of black boomer bloggers with whom I have collaborated to create a White paper, anecdotal research and an ebook as a group. This practice actually leverages my Klout and increases my engagement.

Leverage your momentum
Until recently I’d never spent time on LinkedIn. I thought of it as a place for professional people looking for 9-5 jobs. But it is not simply that. Linkedin is a place to establish your
expertise and to market your business. I published a post about an experience I’d had
when my private internist closed her business. This event precipitated thoughts about
personalized medicine and the future of health. Eighty-three people have since read
this post, the number would be less if it was simply on my web site. With diminishing
comments and more retweeting, this is a respectable improvement. I am leveraging
my momentum by beefing up my LinkedIn profile, taking advantage of the community
features, and leveraging LinkedIn as a business marketing tool.

Schedule Regular Time Away From Work
The practice of unplugging is more powerful than it suggests. In order to maintain balance
in your work life we must all take time away from our work. When I have time to breathe
deeply, I sometimes awaken with a completed message and clarity of focus. I highly
suggest, organized time away from work even if you are the Boss.

You can find Patricia blogging about health, technology and travel at PatriciaAPatton.com

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