how to balance everyday tasks with big-picture projects

Having a blog, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of creating content. When one story publishes, it’s onto the next. Same goes for Instagram posts, collaborations, events, and so on.

While maintaining high quality content and a regular posting schedule will always remain priority #1, there is so much more that needs to be done in order to drive long-term growth. This applies to any business undertaking, not just blogging!

Since I’m in a phase of growth and development for The Neon Tea Party, balancing content production with administrative and strategy initiatives has been challenging. (Editing photos can take a long freaking time, let me tell you!) With my SEAP program coming to an end in July, I have no choice but to move quickly to get my business to a place where I can finally start seeing substantial financial returns, and thus, I’ve had to figure out a smart, sustainable strategy to get myself there.

Here are a few tricks I’ve figured out to help make time for everything that needs to get done:

GIVE YOURSELF ONE BUSINESS GOAL PER WEEK

Following my site redesign, I realized I had a mile-long to-do list of administrative and strategic tasks — everything from getting set up on affiliate (aka link-based advertising) networks and optimizing the new site for SEO to formulating a Pinterest strategy and developing awesome opt-in content. It’s easy to get overwhelmed knowing all these things need to get done asap, and G-d knows I’ve had my share of freak-out moments thinking about it all. After sitting with my overwhelm for a few days, I realized the best way for me to stay on track was to break down these goals by theme and assign each one a week (“AFFILIATE WEEK!” “PINTEREST WEEK!” “SEO WEEK!”).

While some undertakings will certainly be more time consuming than others, assigning each task to a given week holds me accountable to getting the ball rolling on each task as soon as Monday comes around. While I may still be tying up last week’s loose ends at the beginning of a new week, there’s I can simultaneously begin researching best practices for the current week’s goal. And if I finish a goal early in the week, great! I’ll get started on the next week’s goal right away. So far so good, and at this rate, I should be on target to finish the bulk of my big-picture goals by the time my SEAP program is over!

SOMETIMES YOU SIMPLY NEED TO HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON

There are some projects that are just too large and too urgent to attempt in tandem with your day-to-day responsibilities. This especially applies if you’re running a one woman show, like I am over here at TNTP HQ. When it came time to redesign my site, I knew I’d put myself over the edge if I was simultaneous shooting, editing, writing and promoting new content, not to mention all that to drive traffic to site that was in total transition mode. I used the site redesign as an opportunity to take a week and a half off from blogging, reimagine the foundation of my business, focus on creating a beautiful new product, and return to blogging refreshed and ready to rock.

In truth, I think my readers barely even noticed (or cared!), but they were genuinely excited to see the new-and-improved theneonteaparty.com in action after my short hiatus. Totally worth it!

MAKE THINGS EASY FOR YOURSELF

When I know I have an especially busy week on the horizon, I’ll often plan for “easy” content so that I don’t have to over exert myself. Whether I’m pulling unused shoot photos and writing up a quick (but helpful!) post, or doing a Neon Nine round up of products I pinned months ago (this post is totally guilty!), finding sneaky shortcuts helps to cut down on time when time is what I need most.

LEARN TO SAY NO

This one is especially difficult for me, as I genuinely want to say yes to EVERYTHING! It’s a constant learning process for me to determine which opportunities are worth my time and which are better off being politely declined or reserved for a later date. For example, with my schedule filling up with CraftJam classes and my wedding happening at the end of the summer, my event planning brain is in overdrive right now. This being the case, I’m holding off from planning too many other TNTP-related events, since I know I can only handle so much in that department while managing everything else on my plate. While my heart says yes to every opportunity that knocks on my door, I’ve gotta refer to my brain on this one, and suggest that you try the same.

Do these tips resonate? Do you have any other advice about balancing the day-to-day with the big picture? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments below!

peace, love & neon,
marisa

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