How to Stop Sweating the Small (and Big) Stuff

This is a guest post by Neal Frankle. He blogs about finding self, health and wealth. He’s a CFP and overcame huge personal obstacles starting at a very young age. After you finish reading this, get his updates at Wealth Pilgrim.

Daniel really honored me by extending an invitation to submit a guest post to his amazing blog.

I’m especially intrigued by the title Daniel chose: Sweating the Big Stuff.

Maybe like you, the blog title reminded me of Richard Carlson’s book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”. I thought about the message and realized what a stroke of genius Daniel had by selecting the name he did.

At first, I thought he was sending a message similar to that of Carlson’s.

But then I realized what I mistake I’d made.

Carlson’s message is an important one – don’t waste time on trifles.

But Daniel’s message, at least in my opinion, is completely different – and actually more important.

Not only do you have to stop wasting time on small matters, you actually have to do the work – focus on the big stuff and get in gear. You have to be clear about what’s important and then do it. It will mean trade-offs but it will be worth it.

The concept of this was really made clear when I considered all the energy I spend blogging.

When I started out, I was really clear as to what my objectives were. I wanted to become an authority blogger with a large audience and I wanted to forge strong connections with other great bloggers.

The later has been easier to do than the former. Fortunately, the PF blogging community is replete with a huge tribe of wonderful people. They are only too happy to help and they are very welcoming. I’s been a really fun and wonderful experience getting to know people like Daniel.

But let’s get back to the stuff I’ve been sweating.

Of course I am proud of the growth I’ve experienced – but I wanted more. As a result, I started sweating the stuff I thought was big.

For awhile I thought that all that mattered was my subscriber numbers. I did everything I could to grow that number.

Then, I focused on traffic.

After that, it was revenue.

Wrong wrong wrong.

I was sweating the big stuff because I forgot what the big stuff really was. I starting fretting and having real emotional and financial stress.

So what is my real big stuff?

Have faith.

Be honest

Help others.

Take care of my family

Make a living.

For me, those are the big things.

Unfortunately, what happened (slowly at first), was that I lost sight of these big ticket items. I turned blog success into numero uno.

Mistake!

As a result of that error, I actually became less able to do the big 5 that mean more to me.

I lost balance. Fortunately, I’m regaining it.

How did I regain my footing?

I created a daily schedule.

I list everything I want to get done and the order of importance. I allocate a certain amount of time and that’s it. If my time is up, I’d simply don’t do anymore.

If that means it doesn’t get done, it doesn’t get done.

My sense is that there will always be more to do in this world and that I can’t learn it all or do it all. If it takes me an extra year or two to master some aspect of blogging, so be it.

I’m the kind of person who is very focused and goal driven. I need to put limits on myself or I go off the deep end.

By putting a schedule together I am able to limit the time I spend on blogging, make the time I do spend very high impact and have a life at the same time.

Do you think you’ve given up too much of your life as a result of blogging? How do you stay balanced?

Daily Yakezie Short Carnival:

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8 Responses to How to Stop Sweating the Small (and Big) Stuff

  1. Dr Dean says:

    Important information. It is good to be reminded of what is most important. I find scheduling personal time to work for me as well. Just like exercise-thinking you should, does no good! Set up a time, life is fine!

    Good Job.

  2. I probably spend about 4-5 hours a day Monday-Fridays reading personal finance blogs or taking care of my own new blog.

    Luckily, the reading part (about 2-3 hours a day) can be done mostly at work since I have a strange job that is all about hurry up and wait (blogs are great for that “wait” period). I can also write up some of my own posts from work too.

    The rest of my blog is taken care of at home since I can’t access it from work. Since it’s so new (a month this coming Saturday), it’s taken a lot of time (a whole weekend and about 3 hours a night for the first couple of weeks), but now it’s a little less crazy. I can usually take care of everything in 1 1/2 hours every evening and be satisfied…I usually sneak in another 30 minutes before bed too…oh, and 15 minutes in the morning on my way out…okay, I’m an addict…

    • Daniel says:

      @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, It’s SO easy for the time to add up. I definitely underestimate. I think the biggest waste of time is checking stats so often. If we spent more time producing content and making it great and less time checking how many visitors we have each day (it’s in the past, we SHOULD move on but it’s so hard..), we’ll save time and be better off.

  3. The Rat says:

    Any blogger who is publishing content on a consistent basis and takes pride in the content they are posting know it takes up time. I think this post is honest and really highlights how easy it is to get lost in the zone and put other priorities to side. You’re right in that having a good balance is key. Good post.

  4. myfinancialobjectives says:

    Things have definitely changed since I started blogging, including some less than ideal outcomes. However, the less than ideal outcomes are very minor compared to how much more accomplished I feel at the end of the day. I continue to learn more and more everyday, am becoming more connected with an awesome group of people, having something really great to show for myself, made my passion into something tangible, and so on. I love blogging, and would gladly give up the few things that I did for it!

  5. Oh my goodness, thank you for writing this post!! I sympathize with you 100%. I feel a bit ‘out of balance’ right now. My boyfriend is getting annoyed with all the time I’m spending on my blog. Sometimes I find myself working on my blog for hours and neglecting everything else in my life.

    I’ll try and do what you do and allocate a certain amount of time spent on blogging…! (It’s really easy to spend hours and hours on it, unfortunately) Hopefully this will create a bit more balance.

    Thanks…! Really appreciate your honesty! =)

  6. Jackie says:

    Hm, I don’t think my blog has taken away a significant amount of time, but that may be because I used to write a lot before I had a blog too — I just did it in different places instead, and without purpose. (Posting in forums, for example.)

    This part of your post was really interesting to me:

    “I list everything I want to get done and the order of importance. I allocate a certain amount of time and that’s it. If my time is up, I simply don’t do anymore”

    I’ve never thought of just stopping like that. That might be a good way to get things done quicker, because of having a deadline.

  7. harvestwages says:

    Great post,
    important things should always come first. What’s the problem here?
    it’s very difficult for some of us to separate the less important from the most important. At times, we can’t even identify important stuffs.

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