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?

Wrongggggg.

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.

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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.

Woah Nelly.

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

Stay organized

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,

Stop.

Take a step back. Go and have a bath 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.

Are you a victim of overworking? What do you think of those who glamorize overworking? What tips do you have to share to work smarter and not harder?

96 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    1. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

    Rosie

  9. 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.

    https://lifelivedcandidly.com/

  10. 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.

  11. Hi Jenny
    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

  12. 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.

    Estée

  13. 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

  14. 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!

    xoxo, Neo

  15. 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

  16. 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!

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

  17. 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 😁

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.