This guest post is by Stepfanie Cuevas of The Lady Bloggers Society.
I used to be a huge multi-tasker. I was always taught that you can juggle at least a dozen projects at once, and that it was an art form that you could boast to the rest of your blogging buddies. I spent nights writing blog posts, getting assignments turned in, tweeting, Facebooking, and replying to emails. After a whole day’s (and plenty of nights) of work, I was completely exhausted. After all that juggling, the list of things still needing to be done had only grown not shortened whatsoever.
Blogging was something that I loved to do not only to connect with people, but was the perfect way to work from home doing what I loved. So when I found myself sorting through hundreds of comments while trying to figure out what to make for dinner and who was going to take the dog to the vet, I knew something had to change. I’m proud to say, gone are the days of multi-tasking. I learned to embrace the new rules for time management for ridiculously busy bloggers like myself.
Multi-tasking is dead: set time aside
When I tried to juggle several items at the same time, I ended up completing a bunch of crappy work, or sending out tons of insensitive emails. Committing myself to one task at a time resulted in amazing blog posts and personalized emails and tweets. Complete with flowers and butterflies.
Not only did I break up my tasks, but set a timer for each item I was working on. Say I wanted to reply to emails in the morning, I set a timer for 20 minutes, and when that time was up, moved on to the next task on the list.
Schedule blog posts, tweets, and your favorite pizza man
For a long time, I turned my nose up at scheduling blog posts and tweets. In addition to my blog for blogging women, I also have a parenting blog, where I pride myself on spontaneity and creativity. Little did I know that I would be so flustered and busy that my time for creativity would almost disintegrate.
I learned to batch write, take guest post submissions, and schedule out a majority of what I wanted to say. With all blog platforms, you are able to schedule blog posts. I also use Twuffer to schedule all of my tweets. Craig is also scheduled every Thursday evening to deliver two large pizzas to our home. Yes, he knows this as well.
Take advantage of mobile apps
In connection with scheduling blog posts and social updates, I keep on top of everything using the golden iPhone. With the WordPress app, I can quickly scan comments and reply. The Mailchimp app lets me easily see how many new subscribers I have, as well as keep up with my email reports. I can also quick reply and DM anyone using the simple Twitter and Facebook apps.
It usually takes me about ten minutes to scan through everything without opening up my laptop whatsoever. I do this about two or three times a day, and then I’m off enjoying the rest of my day laptop-free.
Eliminate the unnecessary
Take a look at your blog. What are you using and what are you not? Is your blog filled with ad networks you no longer use? How about your email? How many mailing lists are you on that take 20 minutes to delete?
Spend a half hour going over your blogs and your email, and get rid of all the unnecessary items that take up your time, space, or crowd your mind. When these things are gone, you’ll have fewer things to manage, and more time to actually blog.
Last but not least, I’m caught red-handed when it comes to taking on too many projects at once. There was one time when I was working on two of my own blogs, writing for three other websites, all while freelance writing for parenting and entrepreneur magazines. I had to take a step back and re-think what it was that I really wanted to do. I had to choose and focus on what was worth my time and cut back on what was not.
Take a break and see where your time and energy is going. Does the work you are doing right now reflect where you want your blog to go? Instead of ad building, maybe you should be participating in communities to network with other people. Instead of applying for all these blogger opportunities, maybe you should try guest posting on blogs to gain more credibility.
Focus is the ultimate tool when it comes to time management. Have you found this in your blogging?
Stepfanie Cuevas is a blogger and social media enthusiast. She is the founder and editor of The Lady Bloggers Society and writes for many different parenting, entrepreneur, and social media sites. Stepfanie is also organizing this year’s Social Online Conference for women bloggers. Visit her at Stepfane.net