Balancing Work & Passion Projects

Balancing Work & Passion Projects

I absolutely love writing this blog.  It’s a passion project that I devote a lot of my time to.  That being said, it can sometimes be a source of frustration.  I work full time at a hotel, so when I am not at my job that pays the bills, I’m usually home working on rebeccawanderlusting.com.  This results in a lot of late nights and weekends staring at my computer and scribbling notes in one of my thousands of notebooks (am I the only one who hoards notebooks like they’re an endangered item?).  I don’t mind working hard in my free time, because I’m hoping that someday this blog will be my only job.  But for now, I’m constantly striving to find a balance between my work work and my creative work.  This is especially prevalent this week, as I’ve had to come to work while my some-what broken website waits for me at home.  As I am approaching the year anniversary of my blog being a serious project, keeping a balance is more important than ever.  So, without further ado, here are my best tips for balancing your passion projects with your full-time job:
  1. Compartmentalize: Don’t let your job stress seep into your blog time and vice-versa.  I won’t lie, there have been a few times when I’ve done something blog related at work, but it’s always rushed and never productive.  It might seem like a good idea. but the quality of your creative work will be better when you’re not rushing to hide it any time your boss walks by.  Keep each thing separate and be present in whichever job you’re at.
  2. Keep Notebooks at Your Desk: Not to do full on projects in, but to jot ideas in.  If inspiration strikes while you’re at work, make a note so you can come back to it later.  Whether it’s a blog idea, to-do list, or photo shoot inspiration, write it down so you don’t forget.  I have one notebook that travels with me to and from work that is solely for ideas and things.  This keeps everything in one place and makes it easy to return to your good ideas.
    Balancing Work and Passion Projects
  3. Create a Creative Schedule: Make your life a little easier and create a schedule or editorial calendar to keep yourself on track.  In fact, take it one step further and work AHEAD.  This way you aren’t rushing last minute to finish a project or publish a post.  That can be pretty stressful, and you wouldn’t want that stress to bleed into your full-time job and affect that too.
  4. Stick to Your To-Dos: I have such a bad habit of making my to-do list a mile long.  This makes it very hard to stay on task, as I’m always stressing about the next thing I have to do.  What I’m now learning to do is to keep my to-do list short and sweet, prioritizing things that absolutely need to get done first.  Make your tasks realistic and attainable, your future self will thank you.
    Balancing Work and Passion Projects
  5. Have Semi-Working Lunches: Carve out five or ten minutes of your lunch time to check your emails and update your social media accounts if you need to.  Don’t use up your whole lunch, but do enough to satiate your need to work on your creative projects.  I have thirty minutes for lunch, so I tend to check emails and Instagram in the last ten minutes, after I’ve finished eating.
So far, there have been tearful nights when I just want to give up and go to bed, stressful days where both jobs seem like too much, and creative lulls.  BUT, I wouldn’t trade this in for a million boring, relaxing, work-less nights.  I love being able to write this blog and I bet you love working on your creative projects too.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here in the first place, now would we?
How do you balance your full-time jobs and your creative projects?  What do you find works the best?
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