Affiliate links // Okay, listen up you. Yes, YOU. I want you to grab a cuppa, a snack, a roast dinner – whatever takes your fancy at this particular moment – and settle in for this one. Because this is something we need to talk about. And we’re gonna TALK ABOUT IT. Alright? Cryptic and slightly aggressive intro over, let’s talk about how we need to stop glamorizing overworking in the blogging industry. Woopie.
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash
Before we begin, I’m talking about overworking in the BLOGGING industry within this post. As I’ve said twice in the space of two sentences, just to be clear. There are of course many careers in which professionals are overworked. Especially over the last year due to the pandemic.
But I want to talk about the industry that I am familiar with. And that’s this slightly bonkers world of blogging.
And let me start with a little back story.
Back in like, 2017/2018, I was a serial overworker. I would be doing something for my blog every minute of the day, from the second I woke up until the second I went to bed. My to-do lists were as long as the street I live on and you know what I did when I completed my to-do list?
I added MORE TO IT.
So really I had never-ending to-do lists.
I also felt lost and at sea when I wasn’t doing something. I felt like I was wasting time. I felt like my own life outside of blogging didn’t really matter so I wasn’t present with the day and the people around me. I was always on my laptop. ALWAYS.
Toxic productivity had me HARD.
And eventually I burned out. It was inevitable. And now, my outlook on blogging and my career could NOT be more different.
Oh and I forgot to mention that at the time, I wasn’t even really earning much from my blog. Perhaps £500 maximum a month, so it wasn’t even a full-time job at the time.
You might be thinking that I managed to turn it into a full-time job because I worked so damn hard back then?
Looking back, I could have worked a heck of a lot smarter. I could have perfected my craft. I could have learned more about what I needed to know in order to turn my blog full-time, like affiliate marketing or pitching to brands.
These days, I often see bloggers tweet about how they didn’t go to bed until 4am because they were up all night blogging. Or that they forgot to eat dinner or that they’re exhausted or they’ve just scheduled 46 blog posts and created 893 pins.
There’s being productive and there’s overworking. These two things are vastly different. I admire productivity. I am a HUGELY productive person and it’s one of my best traits (and probably why I ended up in that pickle). But overworking is NOT THE ONE.
Blogging is supposed to be fun. I always say it. And I’ll say it again.
Whether it’s a hobby or a job, it’s supposed to be enjoyable. And you absolutely can’t tell me that overworking yourself to the point of exhaustion for the sake of your blog is enjoyable.
So how to avoid overworking in the blogging industry
As someone who’s been there and actually made it out of the other side of the awful overworking bubble, this post would be pretty useless unless I offered some advice on how you can do the same. So here are my best tips for avoiding overworking in the blogging industry:
Hone in on your time management skills
We all know there’s a LOT to do, so time management is your absolute best friend. Hone in on your time management skills and start putting them into practice as well as implementing new time management strategies into your routine to avoid that overworking rut.
Related read: 10 Time Management Tips You’ll Thank Me For Later
Organization is also key to avoiding overworking. Being organized saved a heck of a lot of time and worry. I really don’t know how I’d manage if I wasn’t organized. Keep on top of things and get organized as heck.
Related read: 22 Ways To Seriously Organize Your Life
Work smarter, not harder
Aka productivity. You’ll have heard this phrase a hundred times but honestly, it’s a game-changer. Over the last 6 months, I’ve had some of my busiest and most successful months as a self-employed full-time blogger. And I’ve also noticed on MORE occasions that I’m finishing work earlier. Because I’m working smarter.
Recognize when you’re slipping into a place of overworking
Being able to spot the signs early can really help you identify when you might be slipping into a stage of overworking. This will be different for everyone, so really focus on those signs. Are you getting more headaches? Are you always tired? Have you noticed you’ve started to skip meals?
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash
What should we be focusing on instead?
Instead of this burn out that people seem to think is so attractive, mindful working, ultimate self care and an increased awareness of our work/life balance is what we need.
Balance is a very broad term. Even my life coach doesn’t like the word balance! But it’s an important concept to consider in this instance.
- Are you spending over 12 hours in front of your laptop?
- Are you getting physical symptoms from the work you’re doing? (headaches, backaches, tireness etc)
- Are you neglecting your life outside of your blog?
If you answered yes to any of these, then you need to step back, take stock and re-evaluate how you work. Trust me, I’ve been there. And I wish I had some tough love to snap me out of it.
It can be SO HARD, especially when everyone and their Nan are tweeting about how many blog views they’ve had or how much money they’ve made. It’s absolutely no coincidence that comparison and overworking go hand in hand.
Overworking isn’t attractive. Or admirable.
And you absolutely CAN hit your blogging goals and business dreams without working yourself to the bone.
So next time you find yourself overworking,
Take a step back. Go and have a bath or a relaxing massage instead. Watch Sex and the City reruns.
I promise you your blog and everything you’ve achieved will be waiting for you when you get back.
Thank you so much Jenny, this post is much needed. Blogging should be fun honestly and it just occurred to me how I have been overworking myself and needed a break.
I just took another 2 months break off because blogging for me is a part time job. When I get home from my full time job, I’m just too tired to blog. It makes me feel so guilty knowing my blog is suffering and I really can’t do much about it.
I really want to enjoy blogging, keep in touch with bloggers and read different blog post. I guess the fun in it is meeting new bloggers, enjoying what you do, making side money and just having fun. This is literally what I plan and I hope I can strike a balance between my full time job and blogging.
Thank you so much for this post Jenny
I’m so glad you found this post lovely and you can resonate with it. I hope you can find more balance within your full time job and blogging soon! x
[…] productivity movement in the past. I wrote about it a little more in this post about how we need to stop glamorizing overworking in the blogging industry. And I found myself in a funny place between my love for productivity and […]
Couldn’t agree more with your sentiments, Jenny. It is so easy for people to fall into the productivity pit of despair (homage to the Princess Bride) when it comes to working too much. We are only as effective as our physical and mental well-being allow us to be and overworking as a badge of honor is a silly way to ruin what we could accomplish.
I totally agree!
[…] Jenny wrote on overworking in the blogging industry. […]
Great post Jenny. I’m glad that you were able to identify this problem and take the necessary steps.
I see so many people on the various social media channels that are relentlessly posting and re-posting, promoting and re-promoting, on and on. Sure, it may work for a small minority. But for the vast majority what awaits them is not mega financial success but heart attacks, eating disorders, relationship breakdowns, and a shit-ton of disappointment. I’ve seen it happen in the workplace and I’m sure the same will happen to some of our fellow bloggers.
I have a request for those bloggers (in the unlikely event that they’ve taken any time away from their own blogs to read one from somebody else) : Take your hands off the keyboard. Look away from the screen. And take a minute to think about what you are doing.
I’m inclined to agree. I hope these bloggers all give themselves some time to breathe!
I see what you mean. I feel guilty like I’m not doing enough when I see other bloggers have created loads of pins and posts! 😀
You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. That might work for them but not for others and that’s fine.
I think this is going to be key for a lot of people after a year of having nothing to do. Since going back to work full time, I don’t have as much time to blog and that’s fine, I’ve learnt to accept that after initially thinking I need to be spending as much time on blog as I was a year ago. It’s just not viable.
I do however need to organise my time better in all aspects of life 🤣 Great post Jenny
Thank you and yes, I totally agree. It’s going to be quite a shock to the system!
I used to think I had to hussle 24/7 but, honestly, I’m more productive NOT BEING PRODUCTIVE all the time.
SAME! That’s the perfect way to describe it!
I resonate with this post so much! When I was a full-time student with a part-time job, I didn’t have much time to spend on my blog – it was a hobby that occasionally brought in some income. 2020 changed that for me, after finishing my MA and getting put on furlough. Throwing myself into blogging was great for a while, until I burned out and realised I was spending SO much time on my blog. Forcing myself to take time away from the laptop has been very beneficial. Working for 12+ hours a day really was terrible for my health.
I’m so glad you made those changes after you realised you were burning yourself out! <3 xxx
[…] spoke about glamorizing overworking here on my blog as I think the nature of toxic productivity is rife in the blogging community […]
The first time I saw people talking about creating a million pins, wrote 500 blogposts in one day (this is a bit of an exaggeration) etc. I felt like a failure and that I was supposed to work even harder – I now know that’s NOT what I should do or feel like. I kinda lost my blogging passion just because I was pushing myself to be better, to work harder because otherwise “I wouldn’t become a fulltime blogger” and this is so not healthy!
Thank you for sharing this message!
xoxo Simone | https://beautymone.com
Ah that makes me MEGA sad to hear that. But I’m so glad you realised that that’s not what you need to do. It’s absolute BS. Working smarter, instead of harder will always prevail 🙂 x
[…] so not about overworking in the blogging industry, so for any blogger who’s full-time or anyone who’s now working from home on a full or […]
I love this post! I enjoy being busy but there is a difference between busy and overworked. I am busy by choice but I always ensure I have some me time in their too. Being overworked is exhausting and their is such a big pressure that you have to be overworked to be successful, which isn’t true. When I started my blog I was working on it before work, after work and on weekends and trust me it was exhausting. Now I have everything split into lists and I do little chunks daily. I find I am also more productive doing it this way too.
Oh yeah for sure! I like being busy too but I know where that line is! I’m glad you’ve found a better balance! x
This is such an important thing to acknowledge. Wayyyy too many of us overwork and wear it as a badge of honor, but balance is so important!
Thank you 🙂 Agreed! It’s not a badge of honor at all!
This is such a thought-provoking post! I’m a hobby blogger only but I need to rein myself in every once in a while because I tend to overspend my time in this hobby. Thanks for sharing this interesting post!
Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you found it relatable! x
A 100 times yes to this!! In the blogging (and social media) world there’s this need to always do more, go through to-do list after to-do list… I’va fallen in that trap too before. Like you, I’m very good at productivity but it has come with lots of trial and error. Your tips are fantastic! 🙂
Last Post: A Travel Guide (Sights + Foods) To Visit Bordeaux, France
Thank you! I totally agree it’s so prominent in this industry! x
This is such an important post. Recently, I’ve had to put more time into study and school work for my apprenticeship. I felt awful about spending less time on my blog as I was returning comments once a week, missing emails etc. Once I had realised that I can do all those things in my own time, it took the pressure off. I have a planner to keep track of what to do and when. If I don’t feel like it, I simply do it another day. I love productivity, but overworking is so bad for mental and physical health!
I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found that healthier balanace now!
I completely agree with you. I worked in a really toxic environment before where this was not only the norm but encouraged. But overworking is good for nobody. The pandemic forced me to unlearn this behaviour and I am so much MORE productive, I am filled with more ideas and I know when to take a break to let my creativity flow!
It’s an unhealthy lifestyle, I am behind you in wanting to put it to a stop!
That’s awful that you’ve worked where it’s been encouraged to overwork! That’s so icky x
Great post! I’m still learning how to organize my schedule to better encompass breaks. I remember overworking myself in my undergrad. I was so hyper focused on studying that I neglected my sleep, skipped meals, all the bad stuff!
Now I’m trying to find those healthy boundaries as a blogger/freelance writer! Thanks again for the awesome read.
Ahhh no! Glad you learned the lessons though and finding better boundaries 🙂 x
I flippin’ LOVE this post. I spent hours doing blog maintenance on Sunday with nothing visible to show for it and without truly knowing what I wanted to get out of it. This has been such a check-in about it really not mattering that much, especially as it’s just a hobby. Definitely going to be more conscious of how much time I’m spending on it.
Thanks girl! I’m glad this made you consider your patterns! x
Great post! Very informative and eye opening about overworking yourself. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you x
Great points in article. I don’t overwork in blogging since it’s just my hobby . But I sometimes overwork at my current job as engineer. The ambition takes over and honestly I am left drained out at the end. Overworking is unhealthy and balance is so important. Giving time to things in scheduled manner is important and not compromising family time as well
An engineer? That’s amazing! What type of engineer?
I work for a telecom company.
This post felt like I just had a heart to heart chat with a friend that always keeps it real. Honestly, every word in it needed to be said out loud.
I cannot even finish counting the times I pushed myself to the point of exhaustion by spending so many hours working on my blog. It really takes a toll on your wellbeing, health, and emotions.
For quite some time, I set impossible standards for my work, and the main reason being what you said about “comparison and overworking going hand in hand”. Seeing how many fellow bloggers were reaching incredible milestones made me think I had to keep hustling even harder.
This attitude and mindset take the joy out of blogging and it is so toxic and unhealthy. I loved what you said about how blogging should be something that brings joy and happiness.
Thank you so much for sharing this.
Have a lovely week.
I’m so glad it came across this way! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve pushed yourself that far in the past but it sounds like you’re learning from it now!
I think you nailed this post in the head really! Especially the part about overworking and comparing yourself to other blogs. So easily done, but so important to take care of. Thank you for sharing such an important message x
Thanks Sophie 🙂 It’s SO easily done, sadly!
You’re so right but I find it so hard to stop. I’m trying though!
Stopppp! Give yourself a rest girl!
Absolutely agree with your points! I’m not one who blogs consistently, but I know I would want to avoid burnout at all costs. Nothing in life — not even work — deserves that much sacrifice. Our health comes first.
So thankful for this reminder of yours! Thanks for posting!
I totally agree, absolutely nothing deserves that!
So awesomely true that our blogs never leave us behind, but life can! Love your tips and emphasis on working smarter, not harder. I try to stay as balanced as possible between life and writing. Growth is a slow and positive things when it expands organically and responsibly. Some of us learn the hard way and others learn from people like you, who share the lessons they have learned.
Thanks so much! <3
Exactly! You might miss a moment in your real life but you won’t miss a moment with your blog because it’ll always be there! x
Oh this post really does make you think! I think becuase blogging isn’t a tradional ‘job’ you can forget the boundries that set working hours offer, can’t you? the comparision game can really have an impact on this too, as you see others overowrking, yout hink you should be too. I will definitley be referring back to tthis post when I am starting to feel overwhlemed! That work-life balance is so important!
Thanks for sharing Jenny!
Yes I totally agree you don’t have those set hours, a boss, a set time for lunch so those boundaries can definitely get blurred!
What a great post. There is definitely an assumption in the blogging world that unless your blog becomes your whole life then it won’t go anywhere. Due to child and other business commitments i’m not able to give my blog the attention it needs which has resulted in very slow growth. But for me it’s something i just enjoy doing, more like a hobby than a job.
That being said, i’ll be pinning this post for later use… Just in case 😁
Thank you 🙂 Exactly! It’s a ridiculous misconception!
It’s so important to work smarter rather than overwork yourself to the ground! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Definitely! That’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for my blog and business x
Great post and good tips! Blogging should be fun! Like all things in life, we do need to keep a balance.
Thank you Linda 🙂 Totally agree x
I love this post, so of the insides are great. I think that I should keep this post near since it is important to work smarter no harder
Thanks for sharing
It sure is! Keep it on hand to refer back to 🙂
I love this! There is such a bad over working culture within blogging, I know it’s nice to share accomplishments etc but the constant tweets about how many hours were spent creating etc and how you have to work that hard to make yourself a success are so frustrating! Work hard sure but like you say don’t over work, work smart!
There really is, it makes me cringe like f-!
You’ve hit the nail on the head here and it’s definitely something I’ve been guilty of in the past especially this past year!! Thank you for sharing such great advice!
Thank you! 🙂 x
I love those tips, but I find it difficult to be organised. I know I have to and I have the best intentions, but I always end up having everything all over the place!
I have a few posts about organization that might help!
Overworking is so…dumb in my opinion. I don’t know how people get caught up in it, but I’ve always been the type of person whose energy comes in waves. It peaks, I work and am productive and it then it drops and I do something fun. I definitely think bloggers can get caught up in the comparison game and overwork so this is so important to address. Lately, I’ve been hard on myself because I feel a bit stuck with my content, but I think taking a break from writing blog posts really helped. Maybe I was over working? I am not sure but we have to be gentle with ourselves in this industry.
It’s amazing that you’ve always had that natural balance! I think a lot of people would kill for that1 x
I have definitely fallen into the trap of overworking before, especially early in my blogging journey. In fact, I was falling into that trap again not long ago and then COVID hit. With so many things suddenly being cancelled, it forced me to slow down and take a step back. I realized that I was always doing SOMETHING whether it was blogging, marketing work, prep for my classes that I teach, etc. Moving forward, as the world starts to open back up again, I am going to make it a priority not to take on that much again. I need to make time to just relax and be with our little family as well as to take care of ME.
It’s amazing that you’ve learned that lesson and you’re going to make that change going forward!
This is so important! I don’t blog fulltime, but even then it can be overwhelming next to a fulltime job and normal life. It’s so easy to keep on writing until the late hours, even if I have to get up early again. Thanks for reminder me to hold back a little at times!
It can certainly be overwhelming, regardless! x
Yes yes yes! It is always out there work hard play hard, but it is about working smarter and more productively. You can work hard and not achieve anything but exhaustion. Unfortunately with my health overworking is something I cannot afford to do anymore, so this post is an extra reminder. Thank you for sharing.
Lauren | http://www.bournemouthgirl.com
Exactly. That’s pretty much what I used to do – work SUPER hard and achieve nothing but burn out!
Taking blogging more seriously this year has really shown me how I have to look after myself as well as my blogging endeavours. I love this reminder, and I’m certainly guilty of adding to my to-do list as the week goes on! Thank you for sharing x
I’m glad that you’ve learned that balance is key!
Good post! I agree with you that over working in the blogging industry is not good. You’ll get burnout and mentally tired. So schedule yourself. And don’t push yourself to hard.
Thank you 🙂 I agree!
A-men! And the “humble bragging” that perpetuates it. We’re only hurting ourselves 🌺
Ugh the humble bragging can get in the bin!
I’m a known over-worker. It’s a lot harder to control these days though because I really like what I’m doing.
I think there comes a point though when you know you need to stop.
Oof. I feel seriously called out right now – and maybe that’s not a bad thing. I’m a full-time blogger and full-time social media manager and a serial overworker. I always have been. Even with school. Even with my older jobs. I just don’t know how to STOP and REST. I’m terrible at it all. But I know that I need to make that a priority and that I need to calm down on the work front. So I seriously appreciate this reminder.
Not a bad thing at all! 😉 You sound EXACTLY like how I used to be! If you ever need to chat it out, you know where I am!
Even though my blog is just a hobby, I’ve often found myself overworking at it, some great advice here and I’ll definitely be taking it on board. I often find I neglect my life outside my blog, but this needs to stop
That definitely needs to stop! Your blog will alwayssss be there but those little moments in life won’t! x
Some great advice Jenny. xxx
Thank you 🙂 x
I think the idea of wanting our blogs to be successful makes it so easy for us to fall into the trap of overworking. Perhaps I’m lucky that other freelance work nearly always gets in the way a little from me concentrating on my blog 24/7 as I know that I would over wise definitely fall into the trap of toxic productivity with it. I think one thing though is to start being more organised with work and blogging and handle my time better. I’m terrible at always adding to those to-do lists most of the time for the sake of it rather than actually to help me towards achieving my blogging goals.
Yes the “for the sake of it” goals. I definitely relate to that!
Working smarter instead of harder and more is something I’m finally starting to get a better balance with. It’s really hard, especially as a freelancer whose main source of income is, yep, content creation! But burnout is all too real, and it’s really important to recognise those signs and learn how and when to step back. Great post, Jenny, thank you! xx
Totally agree! Glad you’re learning how to manage that balance better though, Lisa! x
Yes to all of this! It was a great reminder that we should all start working smarter and not harder! It’s still hard to step way as i get the sense of not having done enough, but spending three four days on the same post trying to make it work when you’re exhausted is not the way to go! Need to get better at organising and managing my time, thanks for sharing x
Thank you 🙂 I think in blogging you ALWAYS feel like you’ve not done enough because there’s always something to do!
Excellent post Jenny. Cliché here but, Your effort has paid off, Now you can rep the rewards because of trial and error. Without a road map to a successful blog, you had to fall into ever pot-hole before you learned how to navigate the landscape. I post one blog a week,. but I am hoping to retire from my current job in 2 years and blog full-time. I am laying the ground work for it to be successful . Your blog is great and you are an inspiration. I can learn a lot from you I don’t know what I “pin” is but I will figure out if I am using them, Thanks
Thank you 🙂 a pin is what you publish on Pinterest! Pinterest is great for blog traffic. Thank you for your lovely comments x
Thank you. I do pin some things but I will definitely look at it harder for new traffic, thank you.
Yes yes and yes!
I definitely need to work on my smarter not harder! I feel like between work and my blog, a computer is always in front of me.
It doesn’t help when you have a fog like I did yesterday and a half written blog post took me the best part of 7 hours to complete! What I should have done is walked away, thought about it, worked on something else and come back to it. I probably could have done all sorts round the house and then written the post in less than an hour.
My writing time is so limited though that I definitely need to sharpen my act up!
Brilliant post Jenny, thanks for the advice x
You’re welcome Lisa! Yes when you get those brain fogs, the best thing to do really is step away and do something completely different!
This is such a good point, I find you can end up scrolling mindlessly if you’re not smarter about it. I’m lucky mine is a hobby, but even then, breaks are important!
Thank you 🙂 Breaks are ALWAYS important!
I was just talking about this with my friends. It is sort of ”normal” for young adults to be working all the time. There is this pressure that you always have to be working in order to be succesful. Which is not true at all! Btw I love your tips on this, I find it hard to schedule my blogging together with my school work.
I agree, it has become normal hasn’t it? Thank you! Glad you found this helpful. I can imagine juggling blogging with school is so hard!