Recently I have been speaking with and coaching some lovely people with a common problem – not having time to blog.
Brands, bloggers and savvy small businesses who recognise the power and benefits of blogging can all suffer from the same issue of work getting busy, life taking over, and the time left to blog being eaten away. Whether you run a small business, an online personal brand or blog, or you are challenging yourself to produce content online, I hope the following help you work smarter and find time to prioritise your goals.
Make it a priority and habit
If blogging is really important to you, as part of a marketing strategy for your business, because you run a blog as a business, or because it is important to you to build up an online reputation and collateral of content, make it a priority.
That may mean that you let go of other, less productive habits; for me that may mean watching one episode of Breaking Bad per day instead of 2 or 3 (seriously, I am addicted to Jesse and Walt), or it might mean being strict with social media and not getting drawn in too often for too long. It also means developing smart working habits and productive workflows which make time management a little easier.
Like anything we want to achieve, a habit and priority task needs to be planned in.
I plan my weekly and daily tasks in Evernote, and make the daily priority tasks the ones I tackle first. For example, I am currently walking 10,000 steps a day as a commitment to myself, and I am writing an ebook, alongside writing for this blog, running e courses, coaching, blogging for clients and of course being a mum to the minis. I work out how long each task will take, allocate a day and time to it, and also some wiggle room in case life throws me a curve ball, as it often does with chronic fatigue and two children 😉
I also use an app called Routines to plan in regular tasks that I want to be a habit, so I can keep a track of how my time is being spent. There is so much “stuff” always going on online, it is insanely easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of watching kitten gifs on Buzzfeed or something (and if you just clicked that link you just wasted 5 minutes, as my case in point).
Reduce your expectations
It may be that you need to reduce your expectations to make blogging more accessible in order to reach your goals.
One particular blogger I was working with recently juggles a part time university course with a full time job and a blog that she updated 5-7 times a week. Unsurpisingly, she felt burnt out of ideas, was lacking energy, and felt she was letting herself down.
In her case, and in the case of many other small businesses and bloggers, reducing your expectations can work wonders. Blogging one post a week, or 2 per month if that is attainable, is far better than losing all enthusiasm and energy for it and producing content that is below par. There are ways to promote one, singular, good post far and wide (more on that in part 2), which can make the effort taken to produce a blog post much more worthwhile in terms of time investment when those precious minutes are tight despite cutting down on the kittens (don’t look! You know you want to!).
Slice it up
This technique is a great way to get things done in smaller chunks. If you don’t have time one day to write a whole post, could you spend 15 minutes a day on one post and do it in stages? Could you take 15 minutes before lunch, or first thing in the morning before you check your email to get a little chunk of a post written and under your belt? This technique is one I talk about a lot on the Idea Generation and Creativity for Bloggers e course (do join in if you haven’t yet, it’s free), and it’s a tiny technique that has evoked a lot of emails.
It may even be that you use your commute on the bus or train to jot down some notes either long hand or in a text editor to use that time effectively. I like to write when travelling, and in fact this post started life in a Moleskine notebook which got transferred to Evernote to be lovingly reproduced for you here today. (see below)
Dictation is also a really handy way to get ideas down when they occur to you. Recording notes on the way back from the school run, out on a walk, or just around the house can get ideas down for posterity and also begin your posts in audio form.
In part 2 coming up this week I will look at clever posts when you are short of time, guest posting, outsourcing and posting less and promoting more. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I am running a little Q&A week, so do check out my first You Tube video from today, and send any questions you might have from this blog post or anything else you would like to know, and I will answer this week.
Have a fantastic and productive day,