Blogging can eat, gobble and digest time far too quickly.
Before you know it, you spend 45 minutes searching for an image attribution.
And you wanted to publish the article 15 minutes ago.
The many steps involved in creating content for your blog, are exactly what make blogging a game of hop-scotch.
If you don’t swiftly move from step to step, you’re stuck in between and lose your balance.
To help with that, we got in touch with 6 time management experts who run their own blogs. We asked them two questions –
And they were kind enough to answer. Pluck your pick from their words of wisdom.
A1) I have the same issue as every single other content marketer and blogger out there and it’s this: I allow myself to get seduced by the notion that I’m too busy to blog. Hey, look at Pajama Productivity if you doubt me – I haven’t put up a new blog post there in months. Now, granted, that’s a side project and not my major source of income. But I’ve also fallen prey to the siren song of “waaaay too busy” over at my main site, too.
We all need to grasp one simple principle, and fortunately that principle also helps us manage clients, as well as ourselves: underpromise, overdeliver. It’s far better to blog once a week every week than every day for a week and then nothing for the next three weeks. Consistency, consistency, consistency.
A2) Stop trying to manage your time. Manage yourself, instead. Start from the ground floor and build your way up. Ask yourself first and foremost “What is it I’m really trying to produce?” Figure out what’s essential to make that happen, and then what’s optional but beneficial, and then what you must not do at all.
Then, whatever other productivity tricks and strategies you employ, always start with this question: “Does this thing I’m about to do get me further to the goal?” We all have the same 168 hours in every week, and I find the vast majority of us who complain about “not having time to do _______” aren’t being real with themselves. (OK, ourselves.)
Each of those 168 hours – each of the 60 minutes within each of those 168 hours – they’re all individual choices. Choices that you alone can make. Make better choices. Align those choices with your goal or dream. All the rest of it – the Pomodoro, the chunking, the “getting things done” of it all – it’s all just mind tricks we play on ourselves to make those better choices.
A1) Blogging is no longer just about writing an article and posting it up on your site. You also need to think about SEO, find or create engaging images that immediately help you stand out; there is also internal linking to consider, and on top of that is a commitment to driving traffic to your site through social media. These are all significant challenges that must of course be balanced in the right way. Spending too much time on one area will significantly impact what you do in another area.
For me personally, social media has always been one of the biggest time suckers. These days great images get you noticed on social media. The better images you are able to create the more you stand out within the social feed and the more likely people will click through to your article. I used to spend a copious amount of time trying to figure out what images to create for social posts, however that’s not something I worry about. Canva helps me to create great looking and engaging images very quickly using thousands of templates, saving me a heap of time in the process.
Another great time saving app for generating social post ideas is PostPlanner. This is a fantastic web app that helps you find suitable and engaging content for your social posts. PostPlanner does all the dirty work for you by finding what’s hot about the topics your audience is interested in. And all you do from there is simply re-post these links (i.e. images, articles, quotes, videos, and more) to your social wall. I no longer need to spend time prowling the internet to find something of value.
A2) The best time management advice I could give is to do your writing first thing in the morning. My brain is very sharp in the morning and writing comes easily. That is when I am most productive and focused. However, as the day draws on unresolved issues, emails, and life just starts to get in the way. Eventually there are so many distractions on my mind that it’s difficult to put two words together. Knowing that my writing was completed first thing in the morning means that I’m now free to focus on other areas of my life and/or business.
A1) My biggest challenge related to time management is making sure that I respect the time of my blog recipients. Sometimes I have three or four great blog ideas in one week. But if I were to send all of those out, that’s a lot of email traffic and reading to put upon folks who want to read my time management tips. So, I use the magic of WordPress and leave unchecked the “notify subscribers” box on the multiple posts for the week and simply send one summary post so folks can read whatever they’re interested in or whatever they have time for.
A2) Decide on your high value tasks. If your full-time job is blogging, then that should take up most of your day. But if blogging is fun, but a low-value task in your line of work, use blogging as a reward when you finish your other not-nearly-as-fun tasks.
A1) The biggest challenge I’ve encountered so far is definitely that of setting aside quality time to do some serious writing. Writing here and there during a typical day just doesn’t cut it: if you want to crank out high quality content, you need to respect the time you assign to writing. The solution that works best for me is to set aside some time in the early hours of the day, when I know there are going to be very little distractions. Additionally, I like to work using the Pomodoro technique: working in 25 minute increments makes it a lot easier to track the total time I invest in writing. Furthermore, that 5 minute break helps me a lot with the editing process: it’s much easier to realize that what you’ve been writing is too cumbersome after you have taken that short break.
A2) That’s a broad question. If I were to make recommendations following my own philosophy, I’d recommend to prioritize content creation. What I mean is that, if your job is to write, you should focus mainly on writing and, most importantly, you should be writing when you feel best. For some people (like me) it’s the early morning, for others it’s late in the evening. Just try and be conscious about the period of the day when you feel the best, and invest that heightened attention in your most important task.
Social Media Manager, TimeCamp
A1) I think the whole blogging process is a challenge with respect to time management. Why? Because you have to find the time to write something almost everyday – we all know how hard it sometimes is. Especially when we are trying to provide good quality content about our niche. Regular publishing is the key to success when we want to engage people on our blog – they know that it’s also THEIR place, where they can interact with author. That’s why the solution is to schedule the time for research and writing, even if it would be somewhere outside our office or home. We live in times of mobile devices, so it’s not so difficult to use the Internet everywhere.
A2) We have to remember that each one of us has its own weakness. That’s why we shouldn’t reach the maximum of our force too often. It is so important to learn how our body and mind works and listen them carefully. However, we shouldn’t confuse tiredness with procrastination, know when we are in “I can’t do it right now ” or “I will do it later” mood. To avoid wasting the time we could trust a reliable and solid tools, like time tracking software.
A1) Being successful at writing requires a small amount of effort on a regular basis. You can’t just set aside 16 hours every two months to write. It requires significant discipline to write for 30 minutes every day. The important thing is to recognize that doing some writing every day is more valuable than occasionally writing all day long. It isn’t easy and there aren’t really any quick fixes, but consciously prioritizing consistency over quantity is a good start.
A2) Stop doing stuff that isn’t valuable. Obviously that is easier said than done, but if you need to make time to write, you may need to cut out something else. We often get so focused on what productive people do that we overlook what they don’t do. Everyone only has 24 hours in a day. Productive people don’t have more time, they just use it differently and what they don’t do is just as important as what they do.
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