One Rule of Blogging: Keep Strict Office Hours

As a stay at home mom who happens to also run her own business, I make it a rule to keep strict office hours. Why?

1. Protects against burnout.

When I am on the computer 24/7, I can burnout quickly. It’s like information overload. I’m taking so much in there is no room (or time) to let anything out. However, by keeping strict office hours, I guard against information overload, and instead spend more time living so I can be freshly inspired. If I’m not experiencing, then I have nothing to share with you. So I unplug to refresh and rejuvenate, to live and love, so I can pour myself into my work online with new ideas and fresh perspective.

2. Ensures my priorities stay in line.

Placing myself under the protection of strict office hours ensures that my life is not consumed by work. There is always one more thing I could do to make the blog better, the business run more smoothly, or one more networking opportunity to embark on. But when I see on paper what God has given me for priorities, I can pick and choose what needs to go.  Then, when it’s time to work, I can do so in freedom because my first fruits were distributed in the necessary order – God, family, work.

3. Allows me to wait on the Lord.

Adhering to strict office hours means that everything will not get done in a day. This means a post will sit overnight before it’s edited, a comment from a hurting soul will not hear from me immediately, or that contract will need to be signed tomorrow. All of these potential problems only give me time to hear from the Lord, sit on it for a bit, and come back with fresh eyes and new perspective. Keeping strict office hours helps ensure I do not act in haste, rushing ahead of the Lord’s will for my work.

Do you see the benefits of developing office hours even though you work from home? Keeping strict office hours, even if the hours don’t feel like enough, has helped me to stay motivated, inspired, and productive.

My Office Hours

M-F 6-7:15am {writing}

M-F 1-3pm {admin}

M, W – 7:30-9pm {if needed}

This means I devote just over 20 hours a week to blogging on a consistent basis.

Each week is different, and no week is perfect, but knowing these are my hours, Nikki or my husband can check up on me when they receive an email from me at 11am every day. The truth is that most of us are wives, moms, daughters, friends, and neighbors. We’re also Jesus loving crazies, right?! We all have other responsibilities outside of our little corner of the Internet that we are being called to steward well. And because of this calling, we can be sure that we will be called into account for how we use our time. We need the power of God to help us steward the gift of time well, and one of those ways is safe guarding against putting more into your blog than God wants or requires.

So today, pray and ask God how many hours He would require for your blog each week. Then, set your office hours and stick with them.

Do you have set office hours that you adhere to?

Happily shared with Miscellany Monday, Raising Arrows, What Joy is Mine, From My Mountain View, Time Warped Wife, Growing home Blog, Tackle it Tuesday, We are THAT Family, Women Living Well

About Leigh Ann

Comments

  1. This is something I’ve been trying to work on… It can be difficult when your child’s schedule is unpredictable! lol

    • This is very true. So think of it as more of a routine than set hours. Mine aren’t always perfect either. Some days Sam is exhausted and goes down at 11am instead of 1pm! I just adjust my hours according to when he’s sleeping. Find what works for you.

  2. I really appreciate this post. Being a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom means I need to manage my time effectively. Unfortunately, I don’t always, and my kids suffer for it. Thank you so much for posting your own schedule because knowing what others do helps me try it too. What wisdom you show in pointing out the stewardship of our time.

    • Time management is so difficult. I have been convicted of this over and over and over. Office hours has certainly helped to safe guard against many temptations, and even within my boundaries I fail. So thankful for the grace of God, forgiveness of sins, and hope for the future! Keep trying, mama!

  3. I needed this. Thank you! I have been writing a Bible Curriculum for children and it has definitely been putting a strain on my family and priorities. I am starting to feel a bit of burnout. Thank you for reminding me what is important!

    • There are seasons for everything. I always tell people that I don’t always strive for balance. I strive for God’s priorities. Sometimes that means my blog gets more of me than my family. But other times my family gets more of me than my blog. It’s not an everyday balance so much as walking in God’s will. But office hours certainly help to combat burnout and regular times of just getting outside or doing something else creative! I love escaping to the kitchen to bake or finger paint WITH mys on. It’s a great creative release without a computer and writing!

  4. I needed this spelled out for me today. It’s exactly what I was struggling with. Thank you.

  5. Love your office hours!! I need to get better at this before the babies come!! :)

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I so needed this.

  7. Oh, I fail in this area! My kids nap fairly irregularly. Our schedule changes from day to day with obligations hither and yon. I have used these as excuses for allowing my blog to take over my life at times. Time to scale back a bit! Thank you!

  8. Such great advice. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and praying the past 30 – 60 days in this regard. It’s so easy for me to get sucked into work for my blog because I have such a passion and desire to glorify God. I want the blog to be successful because that means more people will be encouraged in their faith journey. But, I’ve recognized there needs to be a fine line somewhere. What I’ve been praying about is the somewhere part. Where do I draw that line in the sand so my priorities are put in proper place and I’m indeed glorifying God in all of my roles. So not long ago I decided to give myself “office hours” but I haven’t done it yet. Thank you for the inspiration to “just do it!” And stick to it. :)

  9. Words of wisdom. It is easy to always find “one more thing” we need to do. I found a schedule helps me focus better. As a mom – this is just a part of what I do. Thanks for your article.

  10. This is great information! My kiddos are older so I have a chunk of time during the day to get things accomplished. I also work at home for my hubby so blogging is squeezed in after my “real” work is done.

    What I have recently discovered is that “sneak” time is when my son is home from school and doing his homework. He uses the kitchen table for more room and I can sit with him and quietly blog. :)

    Stopping by from #TackleItTuesday! :)

  11. You are so smart! This is great advice for any schedule– because like you say, you can ALWAYS do just a little bit more, in any of the areas of our lives! (BTW I clicked over from your to-do list page, which I also love… Great job!

  12. I don’t, but I think I probably should. I study my university degree 100% online, so it’s hard not to pop over to Facebook ever fifteen minutes, or open Blogger to start a post with the idea in my head now… I think having a scheduled plan of attack would help me focus better and be more productive!

  13. When I first read this post when it was posted, I went, “eh, that’s not for me.”

    But now I’m rethinking it. I read a blogger recently who said she spends about a half hour on each post. A half-freaking hour. And I spend 3 or more on most of mine. It was really bugging me, but then I took an honest look at my time.

    When I’m working on a post, I also have my facebook and email open. And I stop to check every time the notifications button pops up or a new email comes in. Or I’ll chat with a friend while I’m working on a post. And I guess it just hit me recently. duh. maybe that’s why it takes so long to finish a post? lol

    So earlier this week what I did is set a clock for 20 minutes of housework (because blogging eats into my housework time too) before getting started on blogging (I work during nap/quiet time for the actual writing), and then shut everything down except my blog post screen and set another timer for 30 minutes to see what I could get done. I had the whole post written in that 30 minutes! I took a break to wash some pans then went back to do the formatting, pinnable image, tagging, posting, and sharing on social media. It worked well. I’ve only done it once but I think I’m going to work better on that from now on.

    My son has also been getting very frustrated with how much time I’m spending online in the morning (from wakeup until around 9) and I end up pulling my hair out because he comes to bug me, stomp on me, walk over my lap, pull my hair, and jump on me while I”m trying to work on social media stuff, respond to comments, stats, and that “one more thing I want to check” that turns into 20 more things. So I set an alarm on my phone for 0730. I don’t always get off the computer at 0730, but I like having the reminder to say “okay, you need to get off soon” – especially if he seems like he needs a lot of attention.

    Yesterday I took drastic measures and actually put my computer AND my smartphone in my dresser drawer (and had him watch me do it!) and told him that it wasn’t coming out until lunchtime/naptime. We had a much more peaceful morning. So I think that having a tech-free morning once a week or so will really help us especially at this really difficult age.

    • It’s so hard to just focus on one task at a time a mommy blogger. You have so much to get done and end up bouncing around all over the place accomplishing nothing. I battle this too!

      I like your timer ideas! Definitely something to implement more regularly.

      And I’ve been there with the toddler. He’s usually my best litmus test to know when I’m online tooooo much. :)

  14. Good post! I like this sentence: “Keeping strict office hours helps ensure I do not act in haste, rushing ahead of the Lord’s will for my work.” It is important to remember that work is an opportunity for us to allow God to fully flow and express through us, for the purpose He created us.

    I keep strict office hours too because it establishes a structure and atmosphere of professionalism and excellence. It inspires me to focus and do my best while working from home.

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