This is a guest article by Jasmine. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
Blogging is certainly not as easy as many people think it is. Blogging is actually a business and involves a lot more than just writing good content. Getting a nice design, moderating comments and promoting blogs are only just a bit of the whole blogging business. Running blogs as a professional does take up a lot of time especially if the blogger works a full-time job and can only attend to his/her blog at night or on the weekends.
Always running out of time!
Managing time is an essential skill that a blogger needs to learn. Even if you are a full-time blogger, you still need to manage your time properly. The tough question is always there – how to maximize the time, make sure that we get the most out of each hour and finally come out productive by the time we log off at the end of the day?
Let’s take a look at some time management tips that could be useful for bloggers:
List down and maintain your ideas in idea file
An idea for your next post suddenly pops out when you are waiting for the train to arrive – what do you do? Do you keep it in your head? I suggest writing down the ideas.
Brainstorming activities take a lot of time. Save time and list down any ideas you have in your head so that later on, you only need to focus on the writing part. Create a “box” called an “idea file” and put all the new post ideas in it. When it is time for you to start writing, open the “idea file” and go!
To record the ideas and store the details, I recommend Evernote. Evernote helps to maintain the idea list and the retrieving process is easy. If you don’t fancy Evernote as much, find other method that suits you. The list of ideas doesn’t even have to be maintained electronically; some people write their ideas in notebook or keep them in their smart phones. Whichever method are you using, the idea is to maintain the idea list to save your time.
Build a routine and stick to it
When we work for others, time is managed for us. We have certain expectations to be met – arrive at the given time, log on to the system, be productive, take a break, come back and be productive again. If you think this only applies when you work for others, think about it again. It is just as effective if we apply this to our own day when we become our own bosses. The only difference is that this time, we manage our own time, instead of having our schedule and tasks dictated by others.
Schedule your blogging time, make it a routine and stick to it. Having a routine helps you to stay organized. If you don’t have a structured schedule, it is very easy for you to come up with excuses such as “no time” every time you messed up your progress. For instance, you might want to have a fixed brainstorming session every Monday and write articles every Friday. This helps you to focus on other tasks on the other days; you could spend those days working on marketing, generating traffic, etc.
Focused Batches is a tactic to manage time effectively when running a blog. We all suffer from information overload and it can be a major interruption at work. Writing articles in one sitting and then publishing them in queue every day during the week is an example of focused batch work. It leaves the rest of your week open to other tasks such as developing products, for instance.
You might want to consider breaking the weekly tasks into focused batches. Structure your schedule by allocating one or two hours just to focus on that single task, take a break and start with different single task in the next hour. You also can switch it to days instead hours but the gist is to have a single task to be focused at a go.
Airplane mode is a feature on most smart phones that will turn off all connectivity once you activate it. You can’t call, text or surf the web. It is a “Do Not Disturb” hanging on the phone “door”. Apply the airplane mode to the times when you are doing important works on your blog.
It literally means removing all potential distractions such as turning off Twitter, email notifications and going off Facebook. Carrying out your work at a fixed place such as in an office with a door might help you to get full, uninterrupted attention as well. It indicates you are in working mode and activating “airplane mode” makes you actually stay there with your work.
Everyone needs time management skills, regardless of whether you are a blogger, office worker or a homemaker. The tips above and some self-discipline helps to keep a blogger efficient and effective in running his/her blog, even if the blogging hours are limited.