I get asked a lot of questions about how I find the time to do the different things that I do.
My daily focus includes: writing on two blogs (an average of 4-6 posts per day), moderate comments and interact with readers on those two blogs, manage a handful of other personal blogs (where others write) and a forum, train over 100 bloggers at b5media (as well as other management tasks), lead a small church, be a dad and husband – plus another secret project or two that are in development.
All in all I have a pretty full and busy life. My success rate at getting everything done is mixed – some days I manage to keep my hours to a sane 8 or 9 while other days it blows out to over 12 (although I’m getting better at having at least one day almost completely off on the weekend).
So how do I do it? Am I super organized?
To be honest – I’m not. I do have some systems and rhythms as well as some loose daily goals – but I tend to be more impulsive and intuitive in my style than anything else.
My Productivity Tips for Bloggers
Having said that – here are a few of the things that I do to help me keep my productivity levels up in the midst of my impulsive and sometimes quite random days of blogging:
- Identify Core Tasks – there are many tasks that a blogger needs to do to keep their blog growing – however some are more important than others and if you get distracted from these your blog will suffer considerably. Sit down and list the tasks that you need to do to maintain and grow your blog and then prioritize them into core daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks. This will mean you spend less time on the fluffy/tweaks that many blogs spend too much time doing and more time on the core things that will grow your blog.
- Set Times for Set Tasks – I’ve written previously about how I use Mondays as a day where I write a lot of my content for the week ahead. I find that setting aside blocks of time for important core tasks helps me keep on track.
- Establish a Posting Frequency – A trap that I used to fall into was just posting when I had something to publish. This meant that some days I would post 10 or more posts a day per blog (when I was in a writing groove – however it left me with nothing to publish the day after. These days I have daily goals on blogs and unless it’s a time sensitive breaking story I will save surplus posts that I’ve written to publish in days ahead.
- Establish Good Boundaries – a key part of being productive for me is to set healthy Win Win boundaries between work and family/life. When the balance gets out on either front everything suffers.
- Identify and Work in your Golden Hour – there are times in my day when I’m more productive than others – my Golden Hours. Knowing when these are and scheduling important core tasks in these times is crucial for me to get things done. Schedule other less important tasks for ‘dead time’.
- Develop Time Saving Systems – My morning routine is to get a snapshot of the different aspects of my work very quickly. I’ve written about how I use firefox bookmark folders to do this previously. Little systems and rhythms like this help you stay on top of things but do so in a quick way that lets you get back on with your core daily tasks. Another example of these types of systems is the ‘points system‘ that one ProBlogger reader developed to help them keep on track.
- Use Good Tools – I use a number of tools in my blogging to assist me to keep my different tasks managed. One of the tools that I’ve only just discovered that I’m still working out how to incorporate into my workflow is RustyBudget. This is a tool specifically designed for bloggers managing multiple blogs and or managing blogs with multiple authors. It provides you with a way to manage day to day storyboards, posts and topics. It’s free to use (until you add more than two authors) and while there are features that I’d like them to see added I think it’s got a lot of potential. For more reading on blog tools check out this list – the A-Z of Professional Blogging Tools (but be warned that there are ALOT and ironically it could grind the productivity of your day to a halt!).
I’m sure there is much more that I could write. Keep in mind that while some of the above makes it sound like I’m highly organized and thought through in my blogging that the truth is that in the midst of it all my daily reality is sometimes a complete jumble and that like everyone I get distracted, unproductive and stuck on a daily basis too.
For all of us who could do with a little more reading on how to be a more productive blogger – check out these two posts written on other blogs this week:
- GTD for Bloggers – The Art of Stress-free Blogging – Web Worker Daily
- Five Tips for Finding Writing Time – Copyblogger