There are never enough hours in the day for bloggers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re blogging full time or part time. It’s a fact.
If you want your blog to be successful, I do believe you have to put the time, effort and energy into it. It’s about taking every bit of time you’ve got and making it count. Getting up earlier, staying up later, squeezing it in during breaks at work. That’s the kind of dedication it takes.
It can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly if you’re trying to balance it with other things like work and family life. So, how can you navigate the world of blogging without running yourself into the ground? You get organised.
1. Plan your time.
Before I made a schedule, I was winging it. I was doing what I wanted, when I wanted to, and it really wasn’t working. Even lunch is scheduled because I was forgetting to eat until around 3pm. As much as it brought great results, it wasn’t healthy. So, I decided to set up a schedule.
I do usually work beyond 5pm and during weekends, but I have 9-5 on weekdays as my set working hours where blogging is my only focus. This is to keep me in a routine. The rest of the time isn’t set in the schedule so I have the space to do other things, like housework and spending time with Neal. But, you can bet, if there’s nothing else going on, I’m working on it.
This is the 3rd version of my schedule. I’ve tried different things, and found what works, and what doesn’t. I used to check social medias first thing in the morning, but it seemed to harm my productivity. So, I switched things around, and have been using this one for around 2 months. It really works well for me.
As I work on my blog full time, it’s likely my schedule looks quite different to yours. The basic principle, however, is the same. Start by filling in any weekly tasks which HAVE to be done (for example, in my case, counselling). I also included some self-care sessions, and I’d recommend squeezing at least one of those into yours, too – if possible. We all have a tendency to get caught up in our busy lives, we forget to take care of ourselves!
Once that’s done, you can allocate time to blogging tasks, such as:
- Creating content (the most important one!) – writing posts, taking pictures, creating graphics.
- Scheduling – lining up your posts across various platforms (you could possibly do this a weekly task – mine is daily because I tend to focus on different ones each day).
- Research/training – doing e-courses, watching webinars, reading articles.
- Reading other blogs – commenting, sharing and learning.
- Social media – replying, retweeting, getting involved in the community.
It’s unrealistic to imagine you’ll always be able to stick to the schedule. What’s important here is having some idea of direction; an indication of what you should be doing and when.
2. Set reminders.
Once I had my schedule in place, I set up reminders so I knew when to move onto the next thing. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to fall down a rabbit hole (usually on social media) and lose the day. I like having reminders set up to give me a little nudge and encourage me to move along.
It’s particularly beneficial for me because I have an iPhone, Mac and Apple Watch which are all in sync so I can’t escape my reminders. I think a lot of people have their phone by their side most of the time, so setting them up on there should be more than enough.
I will admit, I sometimes ignore those reminders, particularly if I’m really “in the zone” when I’m writing. Again, it’s not the end of the world if some days you have to be a little flexible with things! Sometimes, a few tasks will get sacrificed for the greater good, and that’s fine.
As you can see, I also have a reminders list for Twitter chats so that, whenever I’m free, I can make sure I join in. Click here for days and times of some great Twitter chats.
3. Make lists.
If my head is full of things I need to get done, I end up doing nothing. I have to write it down, to make sense of it and be able to prioritise the tasks. It’s sometimes useful to do this before you go to bed, so your mind isn’t racing as you’re trying to sleep, or first thing in the morning. Whatever works for you.
Generally, I write a weekly list and then daily lists. On a Sunday night, I’ll consider everything I have to get done over the next seven days and make a note of it. Then, throughout the week, this gets broken down into daily tasks (often with additions along the way). I make my list the night before so I don’t lie awake thinking about it. However, I’ve tried doing it in the morning, too, and found it’s a good way to become focused on the day ahead. It’s all about preference.
Every single thing, blogging or otherwise, gets written down. My list usually has all sorts on it – from a simple household task, like changing the cat litter, to things I want research.
4. Use social media scheduling.
Sure, it takes a bit of time to set things up, but I do believe it saves you time overall. I’m not going to go on about this one too much, because I have a post dedicated to social media scheduling, and why it’s essential!
Trust me, though, you’ll feel the benefits of it. I love the fact I don’t have to be on social media constantly to promote my work – it’s being taken care of! This also has a positive impact on my viewing stats. I really notice a difference if I forget to do some scheduling!
Alright, so there are 4 ways you can become a more organised blogger. Don’t worry if you don’t master organising your time right away. There’s a lot to think about in blogging, and it takes a little juggling and playing around to find a system which works for you!
If you’re interested in some printables to help along the way, check out my shop.