Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog – Part 3
I’m back with five additional blog time management tips, and this post has a motivational slant on it. And in case you don’t need any extra motivation, I have some other interesting tips for you regarding MED, distractions, and sleep.
So let’s hop in!
This blog post is the third of a four-part series on how to improve your blog time management.
Click here to access the other parts of this series:
- Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog - Part 1
- Blog Time Management: How to Find 8+ Hours per Week for Your Blog - Part 2
1. Remember Your Why
It’s easy to bury yourself deep inside blogging tasks. And when you are too deep, you may find yourself questioning your motives towards what you are doing.
For instance, when you are writing your next blog post, you might ask yourself: why am I writing this piece in the first place? Should I be doing something other than blogging?
So here is an important question: is there a way to put yourself back on track?
The short answer is: yes.
Having self-doubts and losing motivation is a natural part of the process for any blogger. But what makes a difference in situations like these is remembering your “why.” What was the core reason you wanted to become a full-time blogger in the first place? What goals did you want to achieve with your blog?
By answering these questions, you may find the real reason(s) why you should write yet another blog post.
For instance, your “why” could be, “I would like to start my own online business and make a full-time living with what I love doing.” Or, “I would like to help others to solve the problems I have already conquered.”
We all have our reasons for blogging. If you haven’t figured out your “why” yet, take some time to learn what it is. Once you know your core reasons, write them down on a piece of paper and put the note somewhere where you can see it while you are working.
Any time you feel less-motivated, take a look at your notes and put yourself back in the blogging groove.
2. Remember: It’s Only Temporary
You will face times when you’d like to give up and don’t see any sense in blogging. Especially when you are stuck, it seems that reaching your goals is just impossible.
Or perhaps you are in a job you don’t like, and you dream about running your profitable blog. The day job is driving you crazy, and you’d like to quit. At the same time, your blog is not yet providing you the income to support yourself and your family.
Once again, remember that your job situation is only temporary, and things will change for the better at some point.
So whether it’s your job you dislike, or there is a wrinkle in your blogging journey; it’s only temporary!
3. Apply MED to Your Blogging
Although this advice comes from the bodybuilding world, it doesn’t mean that you should become a bodybuilder yourself.
The term MED, or Minimum Effective Dose, was provided by a fitness expert, Arthur Jones. The idea is simple: what is the smallest dose of action to generate an ideal outcome?
In other words, putting too much effort into action is a waste of time and energy.
Let’s apply MED into the blogging world. To see how it works, I have included two tasks of mine as an example:
- Planning my blogging session so that I know which tasks I should focus on.
- The smallest dose of action: Plan my session, so I can avoid wasting time: what topic I should write about next, or from which point I should continue writing my incomplete post.
- An ideal outcome: A blogging session where I feel I have made progress towards my goals, like a published blog post or a YouTube video.
- Writing guest posts for other blogs.
- The smallest dose of action: Pitch the blog author.
- An ideal outcome: Land and publish a “successful” guest post on another blog in my niche. A “successful” guest post brings exposure for my blog, more traffic to my site, makes new connections with others, and even earns money (when I write paid posts).
Now you know what MED is. So next, grab your pen and start listing out your important tasks. Then, ask yourself, “what is the smallest dose of action to generate an ideal outcome?”
4. Keep Distractions at Bay
It’s easy to get distracted from some meaningless activities while you are blogging.
I understand; sometimes, you can’t help yourself, and you want to check a random page on the Web or take a peek at your Facebook feed. But these things should happen infrequently.
When the environment is concerned, there are two opposite ways to handle distractions.
First, you could work in a dedicated space which is quiet. For instance, on weekends, I wake up earlier than others, go to our home office, close the door behind me, and open my laptop.
I then start focusing on one task only, and I try to complete it. Although this approach may sound boring, it works, and I get the planned work done.
Second, you could also work in a noisy environment. Yes, you heard me, right!
For instance, I’m currently writing this blog post on a bus. Although there is noise around me, I can still focus well, thanks to a coffee shop effect. Even studies have proved that some noise is right for your productivity.
Now, I know that riding a bus is not the same as sitting in a cafe with a cup of cappuccino, but still, it works well for me. And it works pretty much with any form of transportation, considering that you have enough space for working.
But distraction comes in many levels, and there is more to it than just managing your environment. So, consider these tips as well:
- Start working against a timer. Turn on your timer and start working. Once the timer goes off, take a break. I have noticed that when I do this, I become more focused on what I do. Yes, it’s magic!
- Never post anything to social media before you start working. I once posted something funny on Facebook, just before I started blogging. And guess what I ended up doing? I was frequently checking my Facebook feed to see my friends’ reactions to my update. Not a good idea!
- Try to avoid working tired. See tip #5 on this post on how to get more sleep.
- Have a plan in place. See part 2 of the blog time management series to learn more about what I mean.
- Take small breaks. This tip is essential, especially if you have many hours to work on your blog. For instance, if I have a 3-hour time block, I work in 45-minute blocks. After each block, I take a quick break (like 5-10 minutes). After the break, I continue working.
You should protect your blogging time as much as possible. There is a time for social media and surfing the Web, but unless they are related to your blogging, try to keep those things at a minimum.
5. Sleep More, Sleep Better
An adult should sleep between 7 to 9 hours every night. We are individuals, and naturally, there are people who do not fit inside this range. But for the majority of people, those are the hours you should aim for.
I used to be one of the people that slept too little. Although I’m still working on my sleep habits and I have gotten better at them, I’m still trying to find ways to improve.
Now, how does the “sleep more” mantra fit the blog time management advice? Well, the earlier you go to bed, the more sleep you may get. This habit helps you to get up more refreshed and stay that way throughout the day.
For instance, I went to bed at 10 pm and woke up at 5.45 am every weekday and on Saturdays. So now you may be thinking: well, that’s 7 hours and 45 minutes of sleep, shouldn’t that be enough?
It’s not so straightforward.
For starters, that’s the amount of time I spent in bed, but it’s not the amount of sleep I got!
In reality, when I subtracted the time it took me to fall asleep and bathroom trips in the middle of the night, the real figure was way less than 7.45 hours.
Sure, I got work done, but still, I felt tired during the day. I wanted to change that, and I made these two decisions:
- I decided to go to bed earlier.
- I wanted to get up from bed as late as possible.
I’m now getting to bed around 9.30 pm, and my wife and I will switch off the lights before 10 pm. And instead of getting up at 5.45 am, I’m now getting up at 6.10 am.
With these adjustments, I feel better throughout the day, and my body will thank me.
But the amount of sleep is just one thing. Here are additional tips that help you to improve your sleep:
- Invest in a quality bed and linens.
- Don’t drink coffee too late. For instance, I try to drink the last cup of coffee around noon.
- Keep your room dark. Install darkening curtains if necessary.
- Quieten your sleeping environment - with earplugs if necessary.
- Adjust your bedroom’s sleeping temperature (not too cold, but not too hot either).
- Dedicate the bedroom just for sleeping (and, of course, for other activities if you live in a relationship ;).
- Keep the bedroom decluttered and try to avoid working there.
- Avoid eating heavy meals or drinking alcohol before going to bed.
- Avoid exercising in the evening, if possible.
- Try to find regular sleeping times.
I think that quality sleep should be a priority #1 for all of us. And if you encounter problems with your sleep, I suggest you consult a sleep doctor, rather than trying to solve the issues yourself.
Blog Time Management - Part 3: The Conclusion
This was part three of the blog time management series, and I hope that you have found some new tips to improve your blogging productivity.
In the next part, I will talk about templates, micro sourcing, and processes. So stay tuned to see what they are all about.
And as always, please leave a comment on your personal productivity tips. They will help all of us to squeeze more minutes into our favorite activity, blogging.