When you choose blogging for a career, it can be a lonely path, as you will be the one in charge. There will be no one there to tell you what to do, when to work, what your schedule is, and so on. You need to develop your own blog time management skills in order to seriously treat this venture as a true business. If you waste time on unimportant tasks, your effort will be exhausted before you have the chance to become a success. Blog time management is the same as managing any time in a business.
Time equals production and production equals money. If you are moving into the blogging business and have never had to manage your own time previously, I sincerely hope that you realize how important it is. You might be starting your blog as a hobby, but if you stick at it, it will turn into a business, and you will need to use these blog time management tips to enhance your blogging career.
Acquiring the mindset of a successful blogger is a process that includes many factors. One of these factors is learning how to manage your time efficiently.
Blog time management tips
The first thing I would suggest to any new blogger is to distinguish your working time, your personal time, and your free time. For true blog time management, we must separate each of these times in order to focus on your blogging business.
Working time is when you are producing output that is beneficial to your business. This is when you are adding value, and you feel that you have achieved something towards your blogging career. Usually the working day is considered to be Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. If you think of it like a job and work these hours, anything before or after these hours is not working time. Obviously, you can choose your hours. For example, if you choose to work from 9 AM to 5 PM, you should be bound and be using blog time management skills within these hours.
Personal time is time that you can set aside to yourself or your family. It is important to create a balance in life ,as you will most likely be working by yourself and shut off from the real world. You cannot neglect this time. Personal time is usually spent doing your everyday chores such as cooking dinner, driving the kids around, paying the bills, and so on. I am calling this personal time because you do not usually do these things in your working hours and there is no reason to start now.
I do not know many bloggers that actually have free time as they spend all their time learning how to blog. Another term for free time would be “shut down time,” and it is good if you can do this. As I stated earlier, there is a balance that you need to keep. I know – when I first started blogging, I was obsessed with it, and it was very hard to drag myself away from it. I could not sit there, I could not relax, and all I wanted to do was talk about blogging. Even if I decided to read a book, it would be about blogging. You must be able to stop thinking about your blogging business or you are defeating the purpose of creating a business with freedom in mind.
Why is blog time management so important?
As we all know, working on the Internet or anywhere near a computer can be a very distracting thing to do. The Internet, with all its beautiful information, is tempting us, and we could possibly sit there all day reading interesting stories about anything and everything. I know I get tempted to stay on certain blogs reading their fantastic posts and interacting by commenting. This can take up a lot of time, and although commenting is beneficial for your blog, it can also be a massive time waster. You should only do this in its allocated time slots. Everything you do in your working time must be controlled by some type of schedule or routine. Blog time management is so important that it is the difference between your success or failure in the blogging world.
Most bloggers do not have any supervision, no one to tell them what to do or when to do it.
What NOT to do when controlling your blog time management?
Everything to do with blogging is a system that you follow, and this is no different with blog time management as it is a system as well. Your system could involve a series of tasks, a set of lists, or a schedule on a whiteboard in front of your desk. This is a great strategy to use and will help you avoid the nasty little distractions that creep up on you.
Some distractions to avoid when trying to control your blog time management include:
- Reading personal e-mails in working time.
- Taking personal calls in working time.
- Browsing the Internet with no purpose in mind.
- Researching a topic on the Internet and getting off track.
- Learning new blogging skills and strategies and starting them before completing your work.
- Falling into the information overload trap.
- Getting caught up in great sales pitches, and spending time wondering if you should buy or not.
- Buying a product and never using it, and then feeling guilt.
- Allowing your friends visit you within working time.
- People entering your workspace interrupting you and ruining your train of thought.
A question that you need to ask yourself is “If I was being employed by someone and they were paying me, would this action be okay with them?” Another way of looking at it is, would you yourself like to pay someone that spent all day reading personal e-mails and talking on the phone?
Every blogger will come across a distraction that is almost like a habit, and it will deter them from their work. You need to recognize your main distraction and avoid it like the plague. If you enjoy something, and it is holding up your working time, you yourself know that it is meant to be allocated to free time. Allow this distraction some allocated time, and you can look forward to doing it without interrupting your working time.
Positive tips for your blog time management:
There are certain things you really should do when you are organizing your blog time management. It is important to be aware, remain focused on your path, and treat your blogging career as a serious business. If you have been self-employed before and had your own business, most of what I am telling you here would be very familiar to you.
Choose your working hours and stick to them.
You could choose to work a mere two hours a day or maybe even 10 hours a day, but the key is to stick to it. Do not let your distractions interfere with these working hours. If you find this hard, you might need to pretend that you are being employed by someone. If you start your business by squandering time on useless tasks that are not productive your business, will not succeed. Choose your working hours and go to work.
Turn up to work on time.
Just because you’re the boss, you think you can turn up to work any time you like. This is a big mistake because it shows that you are not interested in time management. The most successful bloggers have made millions of dollars and still turn up for work for their working time. I must admit that in this business, there is a lot of leisure time to be had when you become more successful. But if you have chosen your hours, and it could possibly even dwindle down to one hour a day, you should turn up for work on time.
Focus your energy on what you should be doing and allocate time for your distractions.
Focusing on your work in your working time is not as easy as it sounds. There are some small little tricks that I use to keep myself on schedule, because if I do not finish my allocated work, I cannot get to my personal and free time. One of the things that I do is reward myself with something at the end of my work day, however the work needs to be completed. It could be something simple, it really doesn’t matter. If I have a task that I have trouble focusing on, I will have an alarm go off when the work should be completed. This way, I am watching the clock and trying to achieve my task before the alarm goes off. I only use this for the tasks that cannot keep my attention.
Create a balance between your work life, family life, and leisure time.
A balance must be created between your work life, your family life, and your free time. We all have obligations, besides working, that need to be filled. You cannot afford to neglect any one thing or the balance will tip in one direction. It is extra hard to maintain this balance when you do not walk out the door and get into your car and go to work every day. When people see that you are not doing this, they immediately presume that you have a lot of free time on your hands. It must be clear that you have work time, family time, and free time.
Let your friends know your working time.
If you have friends that are not into blogging, they will find it very hard to understand your commitment. They probably have no idea what a blog is, let alone blog time management. You need to explain to them clearly what it is you do and when you do it. When they find out that you are working at home, I can almost guarantee that they will drop in unannounced. Sit down and have a chat with your friends, just like you must with your family, and let them know about your working time.
Inform your family about your schedule.
Your family must be well informed about your schedule and the work you are doing. Let them know that there is time for them after you have finished work, just like any normal job. If you give them that time, they will be happy and not intrude on your working time. This is just human nature, because if you neglect to give them attention, they will demand it even more.
Create a timetable of jobs to do.
Timetables are great when it comes to block time management. It’s whether you can stick to it or not. Create for yourself a timetable or a schedule, and see if you can stick to it. If you cannot, start writing to do lists and see how that goes. Either way, you need to stick to something that is going to help you with your blog time management. It is extremely important, as using your time efficiently will no doubt bring you success.
Using tools to save time.
If you can save time on some things, you can get more work done and achieve more. Every successful blogger has an arsenal of tools that they use to help manage their time and raise production levels. My tools include WordPress plug-ins, software, and of course, a computer. Tools such as search engine optimization plug-ins can not only save you time, but they can also save you a lot of money in outsourcing fees.
Blog time management when you have small children?
Having school age children and a work at home job is a lot easier than having young children in your full-time care while you are working. Thankfully, my children are at school, and therefore, I have plenty of working hours with no interruptions. However, for the people with young children at home, you almost have to be performing a juggling act to control your blog time management and the care of your children at the same time. Do not think this is an impossible task, as we all know that stay at home mums can do it just as well is any of us. It just takes a more detailed and flexible schedule.
Learning new skills versus blog time management?
We all love to learn new skills ,and being a blogger, makes this a natural instinct that we cannot avoid. However, in true reality, we all know that too much learning can eat away actual working time.
You need to allocate some time to learning, however if it goes over the time, you need to finish this learning in your free time. I know this sounds strict, but many people are can share in by learning more and more information. Someone has to put a stop to it.
Can you be successful without blog time management?
Blog time management is one of the many factors that contribute to a successful blogging career. We all have the same amount of time, and I do not like to hear anyone say that they do not have time to do something. This just means that you are not managing your time correctly. People take time for granted and let it fly by. Use it to your advantage and treat it as a gift, as we all have been given it to use and not squander away. Making the most of your time does not just apply to blogging. It applies to all parts of your life.
If you think you can be successful without managing your time to achieve your goals, then let me know – how do you do it?
I myself have a strict schedule to adhere to. which involves using time management skills that I have picked up over the three years that I have been blogging full-time. Unfortunately, even if you possess blog time management skills, there is no guarantee that you will actually use them to your advantage.