Time management tips for bloggers are as varied as our niche and our voice. But one thing I know for certain is I HAD to find what worked me for!
As a blogger, I have to manage my time or my time manages me. There are so many things competing for my attention at any given time. Social media, SEO best practices, emails, comments, networking, researching the latest algorithm changes. And that doesn’t include the writing. You know, the only thing your readers actually care about!
Managing my time well is an absolute must. And I know it is for you, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Here are my five biggest time management tips for bloggers. These tips transfer into any real life situation and will work for anyone in other professions as well.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIP #1 – “The Big Three”
This is by far my favorite strategy. I love it so much I have carried it over into other areas of my life as well. Everyone knows how to write a to-do list. But I’m the type of person who needs to cross every item off of my to-do list by the end of the day in order for me to feel productive. The only problem with that is our job as bloggers is never done. There are literally a hundred things we need to get done, and it can be overwhelming after a full day knowing our list was left practically untouched.
At the beginning of your day, look at all of the things on your never-ending list, and pick the three most important things. Things that you know you need to do but keep procrastinating on. Or things that absolutely positively must get done today. Or things that will make the biggest impact on your email list or connecting with readers or monetizing or whatever goal you’re currently working on.
At the end of the day, if you have crossed those three things off of your list, consider yourself done! You have done what I lovingly refer to as “The Big Three” and everything else can wait until another day. The trick is using your precious time on the fewest things that will make the biggest impact.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIP #2 – Close down all your windows.
Having a bajillion windows open on your computer can be very tempting when we are trying to focus on one thing at a time. I have found that if all of my windows are closed out, my brain has an easier time only thinking about the one thing I’m working on. This works really well for me when I am writing.
For example, as I’m writing this post, the only window open is this post, and the Google Doc folder it goes in. Ok, so technically two windows. But that’s much better than all of the windows I normally work on all at the same time.
Be disciplined with yourself. Don’t get sucked into reading other people’s blogs. Don’t waste time on Facebook. Keep one tab open until that task is done. At least while you are working on your Big Three.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIP #3 – Turn off all notifications.
I know, I know. I just felt my heart rate go up too! But hear me out on this one…
How many times a day do you feel yourself reaching for your phone to check Instagram or Facebook? Honestly. A lot, probably.
By turning off your notifications on your phone, you give yourself uninterrupted time to actually be productive. Instead of constantly checking on everything else that doesn’t really mean anything. And you won’t miss anything going on in the world because you will most likely reach for your phone at some point that day to get that connection.
I have personally turned off all notifications for my social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest), as well as all other apps that distract me. The only notifications that I keep are those for text, missed call, and voicemail. I want to know right away if there is an emergency or someone really needs me for something.
And, call me crazy, but usually while I am working on my Big Three, my phone is in a completely different room in the house. If I can’t look at it, it won’t distract me. And can I just say I had no idea how bad my phone addiction had become until I started doing this? The difference in my attention span is AH-mazing!
TIME MANAGEMENT TIP #4 – Time chunk your schedule.
We all need margin in our lives. But when we pack our schedules so full of things to do, there is no time in our day to refresh ourselves. When I first launched Simple Finance Mom, I committed to creating margin from the very beginning.
I do NOT blog on the weekends. I need that time unplugged to just love my babies and remind me why I do what I do. I also committed to working only two hours a day on a regular basis. Every once in a while, the girls will spend one whole glorious day with their grandparents and you better believe I spend that time chugging along on my blog. Because I freakin’ LOVE what I do.
Like right now. My girls are on a playdate. I have an unexpected free day. And I’m writing my third post of the day. Which never happens. Ever. My fingers are ssshhhhhmokinnnn.
But for the most part, two hours a day is my target. For these two hours, I chunk my time. And I have to stick to that!
I spend about 30 minutes connecting with readers and other bloggers on Facebook, Instagram, and commenting on other blogs as well as my own.
I usually spend about an hour writing. This includes brainstorming sessions, outlining upcoming posts, writing drafts, revising old drafts, etc.
That leaves me with about 30 minutes for “bulk work.” Formatting posts, creating post images, scheduling FB posts, uploading posts, etc. Sometimes I use these last 30 minutes to take a course or brush up on my blogging education.
Can I just say how much I love formatting posts and creating images in bulk, btw. I try to stay about a month ahead in my writing. So throughout the month, I write for the following month. Then the last week of that month, I spend one an hour one day (my hour for writing) revising. Then for my last 30 minute block of time, one day is spent uploading my posts to WordPress and adding SEO. Another day is spent creating my post images on Canva. And on my last day I add all images to my posts. Then they are ready to schedule and I can rest easy knowing the following month is taken care of.
TIME MANAGEMENT TIP #5 – Get up earlier than your family. (Or stay up later.)
I will say this is the last one I mentioned for a reason. This should only be a worse-case scenario strategy. I do not regularly wake up two hours before my kids to work on blog stuff. Although I know of plenty other bloggers who do that and swear by it.
But my youngest is a ninja, and if I wake up two hours early, guess who creeps downstairs five minutes later? My footy-pj lovin’ snuggler, that’s who.
Also, sometimes I just have a brain fart, and I truly can’t focus when my kids are needing me every ten minutes. #momlife
So on those days, I might do 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there. But I will save my big one-hour chunk of writing time for after the kids go to bed. I am more productive when the house is clean and quiet and nothing else is vying for my attention anyways. I’ll light a candle, put on an episode of Fixer Upper, and find my happy place.
If I’m too tired to actually write a full post, I’ll pick two or three and at least create an outline so that when I go to write it later, I’m just adding details and stories and the like. Which is the real reason I was able to knock out three posts today. A solid outline makes your posts come together easy peasy. (And you just thought I was something special.)
Bottom line: I spend that hour writing something. A post, an outline, brainstorming post ideas to write in the future. Just. Write!
I hope at least some of these tips will help you on your own blogging journey. They have truly transformed my productivity, leaving me extra time to spend with the people I love. The less overworked I have felt, the easier my posts come. And that’s resonating with my readers, as well. Because I can actually give them quality content when my brain isn’t worked to mush. Imagine that.
What are some things you struggle with in regards to time management? Are there any tips or strategies that work really well? I would love for us to share and learn from one another!