If you are a seasoned blogger you know the perils of blogging. If you are just starting, you will soon discover the possible adverse effects of blogging.
Blogging can take a toll on your body and overall quality of life – if you let it. Be aware and prepare…
Here are some tips and tactics to try out. You may or may not like some of my suggestions.
1. Keep handy snacks near your computer
- Nuts, rice cakes and apples are great – nutritious and easy to eat with one hand.
- If you need lollies, go for the sugar-free kind. If you over indulge, you will have to get up to go to the toilet. Take a laptop with you to make the most of that laxative effect.
2. Drink and Blog
- Tea and coffee are okay. Green tea is great. Water is best. Every 10-15 minutes, have a drink.
- Keep a glass water bottle with lid and a glass at your table. Use plastic bottles at your own risk.
- You need to rehydrate from being around the electro-magnetic fields and heat of the computer.
3. Get up and have regular breaks
- Don’t get cankles (when you ankles disappear into your calves, generally because of fluid retention when you don’t get up and move around).
- Get a sand hour-glass or one of those free programs that you can set alarms on your screen to remind you when it is time to get up.
- When it’s time to have a break, do some sit ups, push ups or at least go and get yourself a glass of water or walk around the house a bit.
- You will help your body move the fluid, blood and oxygen around which is good for your health and you are sure to have a good idea while you are away from your computer. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
4. Invest in a comfortable chair
- If you are sitting in it for hours on end, your back and butt will thank you.
- Grab a $500 chair for $20 from the ex-government stores in your local warehouse district.
5. Invest in a suitable desk/table
- Make sure your desk/table is the right height and is big enough to fit your working papers, coffee cup, hour-glass, lamp, etc.
- You can pick up a great table for less than $50 from most ex-government office furniture supply stores.
6. Invest in an ergonomic keyboard
- Curved and raised keyboards are a little tricky at first, but after a few days you will wonder how you ever did without it.
- Your typing is faster and more comfortable. Your wrists and fingers will sing. You may even notice that your neck muscles aren’t in spasm from cramping your body into an unnatural typing position.
7. Get a wireless keyboard and mouse
- Give yourself the flexibility to work closer to your chair.
- Stop letting the cords control your life movements.
8. Use a heater or an air-conditioner
- If you need to, use appliances to keep comfortable. If opening or closing doors and windows doesn’t make your room comfortable, spend the money on electricity.
- If you are comfortable, you will work faster and more effectively and perhaps even turn the computer off sooner to counter the cost.
9. Dress for blogging
- When you get home from work, don’t jump straight onto the computer. Get comfortable first.
- Exercise or shower and get into your pyjamas or comfortable clothes.
- Do not sit in a bra or a tie for any longer than you have to.
- If you are sleeping in the same pyjamas you blog in when you are awake, shout yourself some additional sets. Change your jocks/knickers each day and don’t forget to brush your teeth!
10. Look after your feet and legs
- Keep your feet warm. Wear socks or slippers in winter and invest in a nice rug or carpet under your office chair.
- If you like your feet raised, get yourself a footrest or make one out of something. Under the desk is just as important as what is above it.
11. Burn incense and candles
- ‘Nga champa’ incense is my favourite. Create an atmosphere to relax in so your mind and body are at ease.
- Having a relaxed mind and body will help you through those moments when you know you are trying too hard or attempting the impossible.
12. Play music
- If you are in a hurry, go for something jazzy. I love movie soundtracks, especially any of the Battlestar Galactica seasons.
- Use headphones if you have others around you. If others in your house are noisy, invest in a good pair of headphones that cup your ears, rather than the cheap foam ones that sit somewhere near the top of your ear and let the wind in.
- If you are alone, fill the house with sound.
13. Schedule family and friend time
- Once you get into blogging you may find yourself putting off seemingly unimportant activities.
- Make time, even if you have to schedule it, to do what you should do.
- Make a date night for your partner.
- Have dinner at the table with your family.
- Read (or other things) in bed with your partner.
- Tuck your kids into bed with a story.
- Go to dinner with friends and family; even cook for them at your place.
- If you used to do something regularly, determine what is regular enough for you and keep it up.
14. Share your responsibilities and prioritise your ‘to dos’
- If you have a long list of things ‘to do’, be honest with yourself and work out what really has to be done.
- Do one important thing and one not so important thing each day.
- Go one for one with your partner and delegate some activities to the kids.
- Consider outsourcing (hiring others) to do some things.
- Use email and internet instead of doing something in person or on the phone. My own mother sends me electronic birthday cards (if I’m lucky).
15. Take a day or a weekend off, away from the computer
- You don’t have to be plugged in all of the time.
- Let people know that you don’t respond to emails or post on weekends for example.
- Recharge. Stand back and reconsider how you are going. Take a moment to reflect and revitalise your enthusiasm.
16. Help your family and friends understand
- …why blogging is important to you. This is important so that when you say you can’t do something because you are doing something related to blogging they understand and respect your needs.
- If you are blogging for profit, this is particularly important. Time really is money sometimes.
17. Backup your site regularly
- This includes your WordPress installation, databases and theme files. Learn how to do this and do it regularly.
- You need to create a zip download for uploading to your site if the whole thing goes bust.
- Also, download, synchronise or keep copies of you theme files – especially custom.css, custom-function.php and theme option files (if you are using Thesis Theme).
- You do not want to feel the way you do when you have corrupted your site through a basic task or the site craps itself for some unknown reason. I know how horrible that is.
18. Look after your eyes
- Blink. Look away from your screen.
- If you need to wear glasses, do it.
- If your computer monitor is too small – buy a bigger one! I just purchased a 21.5 inch LED LCD monitor for about $290 AUD. (I bought a crappy 14 inch monitor for $500 about 4 years ago!) I can have multiple windows open, without jumping between tabs and without squinting. It has improved my productivity and computing/internet pleasure…and that’s important.
19. Keep on top of your record keeping
- Don’t let your paperwork and filing pile up.
- Photocopy those receipts before they fade. Don’t put everything in a shoe-box until tax time. By doing a little bit here and there, you will save yourself a whole lot of stress later.
- At least keep all of your passwords and usernames, site hosting and domain registrations dates and details handy.
20. Enough is enough
- Abide by Pareto’s Law and do the 20% of things that contribute to 80% of results.
- Is it really worthwhile tinkering with the last 20% or starting with the 20% when there are so many activities that are more deserving of your time?
- Know when to stop and move on. You can always review it later, say in 3, 6 or 12 months. Stop it and reschedule it.
Bloggers – Share your tips
- What works for you?
- Or, what do you know you should do, but don’t?