Let us help you improve your search engine rankings,capture
traffic, monetize, and make your blog look awesome!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Time Management 421 - Dominate Your Time

When building and running a blog it can be easy to feel as if your time is dominating you.  Suddenly you may find that every second of your free time has been taken up by thoughts of the blog, working on the blog, or trying to get traffic to the blog.  What about your family?  What about your down time?

This lesson is all about you, and teaching you 5 great ways to dominate your time, instead of letting it dominate you.

1) The first and best way I've found to dominate my time is to set a schedule and stick to it from day to day.  I generally like to set a time limit for working on my blog each day, whether it's 2 hours, or 4, or even more.  I try to work it around my family's schedule so that I'm working when my husband is at work, or my daughter is asleep or otherwise occupied.  This leaves the rest of the day open, and my valuable family time free for me to do what I love most: be with my family.

2) Write or print your schedule out.  Make a document and list every hour of the 24 hour day.  Start by listing the times you'd like to be sleeping.  Then add in other important things you do throughout the day that are set in stone, such as appointments, taking the kids to school, going to work (in person), etc.  Be sure to include driving times, chore times, meal times, and personal time needed for personal hygiene.

Now take a look at the time you have left.  Write in the times you'd like to be working on the blog, and your down time, and family time (or other types of free time activities you enjoy doing).

A schedule you make might look like this:

12 am Sleeping
1 am Sleeping
2 am Sleeping
3 am Sleeping
4 am Sleeping
5 am Sleeping
6 am Breakfast.  Shower.  Get kids ready for school.
7 am Drop kids off at school.  Go grocery shopping.
8 am Work on blog
9 am Work on blog
10 am Work on blog
11 am Down time
12 pm Lunch

Remember, you can always edit it after a few days if it's not working out quite like you'd envisioned.

3) Be flexible.  Perhaps something happens during the time you've designated to work on your blog... maybe little Johnny or Susie May has gotten sick or is throwing a tantrum and needs some attention.  The best advice I can give in these situations is to forgo the stressing out that comes from the pressure of trying to stick with a schedule, and just go with the flow.  Odds are you will find some time later to finish up what you were doing when little Johnny takes an unexpected nap, or you can stay up a half hour later at night and finish it up.

4) Plan ahead of time.  This one is a biggie in a number of ways.  Things come up in life that might set your schedule a kilter, such as needing to make a doctor's appointment or going on vacation.  By taking a few minutes to work these things into your schedule ahead of time you can plan out what you need to do with your blog to work around these things.  For example with the doctor's appointment, you may need to move your blog time to later in the day, or plan ahead and write two blog posts the day before and set the second one to post automatically.  The same goes for going on vacation.  You can write some blog posts ahead of time and schedule them to post to the blog while you're off enjoying a few days at the beach.  Planning ahead of time will save you some stress later on.

Another point to planning ahead is planning out some topics you'll write about in advance.  This will save you from sitting down for your hour or two of blog time and just sitting there trying to think of topics.  You can be thinking of topics for your blog while you're waiting for an appointment to start or cooking a meal etc.

5) Be sure to schedule some relax time.  A stressed blogger is one headed for disaster.  I think we can safely say this is true of all people, bloggers or not.  Scheduling your blog time in five hour blocks with no break is a good way to burn out fast.  Be sure to give yourself some relax time in between blogging and other daily stressors so that you can unwind and go back to your tasks feeling refreshed and ready to go.

There are many ways to manage your time effectively, but these are five that I've found help me in my daily routine.

Do you have suggestions on how to dominate your time?  Let us know in a comment below!


Being flexible is important for me. My son is in high school so it's not like I have small children to worry about, but I'm on call at work and sometimes I have to drop what I'm doing to go to my real life job. Sometimes I use my cell phone to write ideas down at my breaks at work, so at least I'm doing something for the blog during my blogging time if I'm called away during it.

Relaxation is something I struggle with. I feel like my mind is always racing. Some posts are okay to be all fired up about, but others need you to actually think.
Flexibility goes a long way. Being able to go with the flow is a great life skill.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More