I’m really enjoying working on my blog. I work on it during my commute to work, whilst I’m having my breakfast and whenever the kids are in bed and my wife is out of an evening. The thing is, I initially worried that as I do enjoy thinking about my blog so much that it might have a negative impact on my full-time job. Would I be as committed or focused in my day-job if my passion is now my blog? The reality is that it has had a few unexpected benefits on my work!
Taking actions based on the books I read in all areas of my life:
When I’m reading some of the books I’m thinking “whilst that might not help me in my personal life, I could apply that to my job”. I’ve now started to apply what I’ve learnt to my day-job. Below are just a few of the unexpected benefits that blogging has had on my day-job.
Unexpected benefits: Focus on ‘adding value’
When reading books like ‘Screw Work, Break Free’ and ‘The Million Dollar Blog’, they say that when starting a blog or business you should focus on what value you are adding to your potential customer / reader. I have now applied this thinking to my work. As a result, I am now more focused on tasks that help me add value to our clients whilst I’m in the office.
It is so easy to keep yourself busy from 9-til-5 (or whatever hours I end up working). Some days it felt that I would keep myself busy just tackling my emails or attending meetings. Now I come to the office and think “what actions can I take which are going to lead to me getting a bigger pay rise?”. This doesn’t mean, sucking up to the boss. This means avoiding tasks which are just “time fillers” or those that I should be delegating more. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t just wasting time before but there is definitely a pick up in my focus.
I have discussed the point about focus with my friends (who are relatively senior in their roles). I asked them the other day “What percentage of time do you feel the senior people in your office have spent actually doing tasks which are going to directly grow the business?” After some thought, they said less than “10%”!! Wow. So what were they doing? They were planning, managing people, answering emails, sharing ideas, formatting reports and answering calls. All good things but easy to get caught up in and distract from the larger objective of what they are trying to achieve.
Unexpected benefits: Work stress now doesn’t leave the office
I’m also less stressed about work. As soon as I leave the office I start thinking about my blog on my commute home. Again, this has had a positive impact on my work. I come to work much more relaxed and happier. I still take my work very seriously but also remind myself that, like other people, I’m allowed to have a passion outside of work.
Unexpected benefits: Better time management
In the book “the 4-hour work week” it discusses little things like the overuse of email which leads to distraction. I don’t have too many personal emails but get loads at work. I’ve now started to only check my emails at certain times of the day which has improved my focus in the office. Another thing is meetings. I now make sure people share thoughts before meetings so we can focus on making decisions when we meet in person. Everyone I work with has found this to be so much more efficient.
Unexpected benefits: People are recognising the difference
At work, I am now more vocal about ensuring other people are focused and efficient. These improvements have not gone unnoticed. These changes have led to me being involved in a greater number of company management initiatives and enhancing my profile.
Making sure I keep my work and blog separate:
At the moment I don’t say who I am or have any photos of me on my blog (or associated FaceBook and Twitter accounts). One thing I’m keen to note is that I don’t think about my blog whilst I’m at work. Not once have I looked at my blog or read an email related to it whilst I’ve been in the office. This is for two reasons:
1- I don’t want people at work to start to judge whether I’ve changed my focus. Like I initially thought, if you have a blog then it would take my focus or commitment away from my day-job. As I’ve said above, it’s actually been a positive thing. I don’t want to have prove that to everyone at work. Especially as I’m reviewing books called “Screw Work, Break Free” and “The 4-hour Work Week”.
2- There is a danger that what I say can somehow represent my company. I’m very clear that is not the case. Everything I write is my own. I’m keen to avoid any potential disputes. Not that I feel there would be but I’m risk averse (although not as much as my wife!)
A downside of not openly linking my blog to me is that I believe people are more engaged if they see a photo / person. Better than just seeing a logo. This point is echoed in a number of books I’ve read (‘Screw Work, Break Free’ and ‘The Million Dollar Blog’). Saying that, I don’t really like photos of myself so it’s actually a nice excuse not to have my photo on my blog!
Reading different non-fiction books means you are learning. You can then apply what you have learnt to more than one area of your life. My aim was to improve how we manage our money but as I’ve been using what I’ve learnt at work, it’s made a positive impact there too.
See what impact reading these books have made to our personal life in my blog ‘Trying to become a Rich Dad‘.
Thanks for reading!
Below are the links to the reviews of the books mentioned in this blog:
- Screw Work, Break Free (8.64 points)
- The Million Dollar Blog (7.0 points)
- The 4-hour Work Week (7.52 points)