If you’re anything like me, time is often your enemy. Someday I will be blogging full time, but for now, that’s not happening. So I have to blog in the fringes of my life. Some weeks, I blog 40 hours in addition to my 40 hour a week (or more) job; some weeks only 10 hours. Before you drill down into these tips, you should start with reading Before You Start a Blog. Here are 10 Time Management Tips for Bloggers.
Time Management Tips for Goals
It helps if you set specific goals for your blog. Your goals can be yearly, then broken up into monthly or weekly segments, quarterly, weekly, daily, or all of the above. My friend and mentor, Kim Anderson of Kim Anderson Consulting has a wonderful 12-week Blogging Course that helps with this. I highly recommend it.
Productivity Time Management Tips
I do not subscribe to the idea that EVERYONE should get up at 4:30 am every morning and blog. Yikes! That just goes totally against my sensibilities. Funny story…when I don’t set my mind to get up at 4:30, I automatically do most times. But if I tell myself the night before, “I’m going to get up at 4:30 and blog”, I’ll sleep until 7. I know, strange brain. Bottom line, work when you’re most productive. Sometimes that just isn’t possible. For example, my most productive time is around 10 am. Since I work full time, that’s not really possible, so I have to go with my next productive time, which is around dinner time at 6:30 or 7:00 pm. Any later and I fall asleep at my keyboard UNTIL about 9:30 pm when I’m again wide awake. You see, my nature is NOT productive at early mornings, but mid-morning and late night. So you have to go with what works for you. Whatever works, use these time management tips to find that time that you can spend about 2 hours with your blog.
That time can be writing, editing, posting, social media posting (not surfing facebook in general…), or maintaining your blog. Which brings me to …
Time Management Tips for Scheduling
I will admit. I’m a planner girl. LOVE them. But honestly, the point here is scheduling. I have a friend that is more of a loose scheduler. She knows in her head what has to be done that week, that day and loosely schedules her time. That simply doesn’t work for me. I have to absolutely set aside specific time to do things. My daily life is fairly scheduled as far as outside work is concerned. So I simply add my blog life and home life to that schedule. I wrote a post on another blog about that. You can view it at Planners, Stickers, and Washi Tape.
So you can block time out as you see fit. Personally, I follow Ruth Soukup’s Living Well Planner for the most part. It’s a great planner, as well as a good system. I also use a more portable planner, the Create 365 Planner, (the one I use can be seen here) as my blog planner. Kim Anderson has an awesome Blog Planner in her 12-week blog course. You can also just buy just the planner at Ultimate Blog Planner.
Review Your Plan Daily
Every morning, review your plan. See if it still applies. Make appropriate changes. HOWEVER, this does not mean to simply put something off to the next day. Consider this idea…if you move something forward, something has to replace it. It can be something that takes less time, or something that you planned to do later, but have already done. Otherwise, you’ll be slipping everything to do later and “later” will never come. As a procrastinator by heart, I can testify that this doesn’t work well. I have to either work harder or longer to complete the task, or exchange the task for something else.
What happens to me is that the topic I was going to blog about, or the thing I was going to do to my website or create is no longer appealing. I have two choices: I can do it anyway and get it over with, but the results may not be as good as I had hoped; or I can move it to another day and PICK SOMETHING ELSE FROM THE REST OF THE WEEK to do instead. You MUST exchange, not simply move.
So what happens if I simply run out of time and cannot exchange? You can. Trust me. There is SOMETHING on that list (personal, work, or blog) that can be exchanged and performed in just a few minutes. Then the task you need to move will take it’s place.
Keep a braindump of ideas that pop into your head. When you’re looking to write content, this list will help. I keep mine with my blog planner, but even a notepad that you carry around, or an electronic one on your phone, will work. This helps with writer’s block.
Time Management Tips to Plan your Content or Website Work
Have a plan for when you will post blog posts and content. An editorial calendar is best for this. Some of the best ones are electronic, such as Trello. There are some handwritten ones that will also help. It’s simply a calendar that you can print and write out that shows what your plan for the week, month, year is. I plan my content weekly, because I tend to be flaky when it comes to content ideas. What sounds like a good idea today for the end of the month, won’t sound so easy to write at that time. Weekly works best for me. I have a simple weekly editorial calendar that you can download.
Make sure you review your budget before you add plug-ins and such. You can read all about Budget for your blog. and download a startup budget.
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Group Tasks Together
This is a method that is commonly used by craft bloggers. In this methodology, where you group like tasks together. For example, Monday’s I write the post, Tuesday’s, I put all the crafts together and take video and photos, Wednesday’s I edit the photos and video, Thursday’s I put it all together and post. Something like that. So you could write two or three posts on Monday, then edit them on Tuesday, add photos on Wednesday, etc. This works for a lot of people.
You could also make Monday’s your “Make my website better” days, Tuesday’s your “Install any plug-ins I need” days, etc. Whatever floats your boat.
Turn off Distractions
If it is time to blog, it isn’t time to look through Facebook, Pinterest, email, etc. Turn off the notifications for these items until you’ve finished with your blogging tasks. The exception to this rule, of course, is if you are researching keywords. But when you sit down to write or install or create, turn off all distractions.
Get Your Family Involved
A couple of suggestions about family involvement. If you have kids and they are not toddlers, get them involved. Have the older kids look for photos or even edit the photos. Most kids these days know how to do this better than we do! Or have them take pictures. My kids are all grown and my grandkids don’t live near me, so I ask my husband to take photos when he’s out and about riding his motorcycle. Some of the best photos I’ve seen came from him just simply taking a picture that I can add to an opt-in, combine with other photos, or show off in some other way. More family involvement means less distractions and better understanding. If your family isn’t interested, don’t force them. It will only make it harder for you in the long run.
Don’t Try to be Perfect
Your readers and friends expect you to be you. Trying to be someone you’re not or perfect will make things more difficult. When you have your blog setup and decent looking, not perfect, push publish. Let it go. It will be fine until you have time to make it prettier. Don’t go down that rabbit hole. The best Time Management Tips I can give you is not to get bogged down in making your website look “pretty”. It will take you so many hours, days, weeks, months, that you won’t be able to get anywhere. Let is go.
Following these Time Management Tips will help you maintain the flow of creating, updating, posting content, and maintaining your blog.
Until next time, happy blogging!