This is an article about how to manage your time effectively in terms of writing a blog. It provides useful tips about how you can get focused and complete even more blog posts in the least amount of time. It also provides information about software and websites that can aid in this process. If you’re a blogger or just interested in personal development and productivity, I’m sure you will find these time hacks very useful.
You roll out of bed, get inundated with a bunch of stuff in you inbox, get sidetracked with even more random stuff that just came up, and at the end of the day you never even got a chance to do the really important stuff.
You don’t want this to be your reality.
It is truly a frustrating, exhausting, and sad experience to go through as a blogger. Since you don’t have to clock in like you would at a traditional job, you are responsible for keeping yourself on track.
[Take my advice with a grain of salt. I hold a traditional job 🙂]
Is It Just Me?
When these types of patterns occur, people begin to ask themselves “What’s wrong with me?” It seems like we are alone in these types of problems and it seems like everyone else can get so much done, but we can’t. Honestly, a lot of people have this problem and it is very common among bloggers, teachers, doctors, and just about everyone else you can think of.
The truth is that there is nothing wrong with you, but you may have an underlying issue of having a fear of failure. A fear that if you set high expectations for how you use your time, you will inevitably fail and end up feeling even worse than you did before.
As Thomas Edison said,
If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.
The Answer to Your “Prayers”
If you’ve been struggling with time management, then you need to focus on using time hacks to trim the fat so you can focus on the meat. You can change your life by implementing a few strategies like time boxing, goal setting, and strategic planning. The only thing you need to do now is to develop higher expectations for yourself and implement a few changes to increase your productivity.
Time Hacks to Get You Back On Track
1. Turn Off Distractions
Working online in general lends itself to a lot of distractions from social media, games, and videos. You have to turn off these distractions when you are working and trying to be more productive. It is very difficult to discipline yourself to stay away from these distractions, so why not let something else do it?
Freedom – A program that turns off the Internet altogether.
Dark Room – An app that gives you a plain, distraction free environment to write in.
Anti-Social – An app that turns off social media websites.
Leech Block – A Firefox plugin that lets you block distracting websites.
2. Set Some Goals
Yes, you have probably heard this a million times, but it is very important. You have to set some goals for yourself so you know what you are doing and what you expect to have done. It doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate, but you should just have a list of a couple of things you want to accomplish and know when you want to have them done.
3. Done in 30 Minutes
For some reason, people have this belief that writing and writing for hours on end is effective. In theory, it does sound like it would work, but not in practice. Yes, world class athletes, musicians, and other hard workers do train, practice, and study for several hours each day, but they know something that you don’t know.
They know that you have to focus and then take a break. One of the most effective ways to work is to only do 25-30 minute spurts of work and then take a break about 5-10 minutes to regroup.
4. Make a Rest Schedule
Yes, you read that the right way. You need to have a rest schedule. There should be certain times during the day and days of the week that should be reserved for rest or personal pursuits. Having a schedule that is constantly open for work is a recipe for disaster and stress. For example, you could say that you always want your nights and weekends to be free. That will force you to confine your tasks only into the times and days that you carve out for them so they will not have the ability to take over your life.
5. Keep Your Area Clean
Having a disorganized desk or desktop on your computer can be tremendously distracting. In short, keep your area clean because it will help you find the stuff that you need, when you need it. If disorganization is an issue for you, then set a certain day to clean up once a week.
6. Give Yourself a Reward
Treating yourself must be a part of your process as a successful blogger. If you set a goal to write x amount of posts or comment on x amount of blogs, then you have to at least give yourself some type of incentive for actually following through and doing all of the work. It could be something like buying a gift for yourself, going out to dinner, or doing something for fun. Whatever it is, it has be enough to keep you going despite all of the work you have to do.
7. Make a 10 Item Todo List
A todo list can make or break your day. Being too ambitious can actually cause you to fail unnecessarily. If you are just trying to get back control over your time, start with something simple to get you off of the ground. As opposed to overloading your list, why not just stick with 10 items until you can do more?
8. Organize Your References
As a blogger, you probably do a lot of research for your articles. Sometimes that research can take longer than you anticipated if the sources and references are disorganized. A good way to keep this type of information together is to use a program like Evernote to keep everything one place until you need to find it.
9. Check Your Email Twice a Day
Honestly, do you really need to check your email 50 times a day? The answer to that question is probably no. You can opt to check your email twice a day and that way you will always stay abreast of what is going on, but still have more time to do the more important things.
10. Do The Hard Stuff First
When you plan your day, organize it in such a way that you will complete the most difficult tasks first. Let’s face it, no one wants to be inundated with the worst assignments at the end of the day. If there is something you have been dreading, just do it first and get it over with.
11. Outline First, Write Second
In order to save time writing, you’ve got to start by writing an outline before you even think about writing the actual post. Outlines can be time consuming, but the more time you spend on it, the faster the writing process will be.
12. Become an Early Riser
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of time. Starting your day earlier will not only give you a competitive advantage, but it will also allow you get even more done. Aim to be an early riser and start your day at about 5 am or 6 am. You will have hours to spend on your blog and by the time the day starts at 9 am, you will have already completed the most important stuff.
If you follow all of these time hacks, you’ll become a master of time in no time.