Time Management Tips for Bloggers

by Rachel on August 12, 2011

in Blogging Resources, blogging tips, household

Kitchen Timer

A productive blogger's best friend

 

Lately I feel like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. When my I read the post on Musings From a SAHM about feeling guilty about not getting it all done, I found myself really identifying with Erika’s guilt and frustration. I also gave her some advice, and realized I should share it with all my readers, too. Please note, I’m still working on practicing what I’m preaching here :)

When you’re a SAHM or like me, you’re off work for a stretch of days at a time, you start off the day with so much time ahead of you. You just log in to check your email, then you log in to twitter, and before you know it, it’s 5 pm and you have no idea where the whole day went, much less what you’re going to have for dinner. The laundry still sits in a pile and you can’t really say what you’ve accomplished. Sound familiar?

Here are a few strategies I’ve come up with or put to use to have a more productive day.

1. Set a timer. Allow yourself a reasonable increment of time to work on the task at hand, then when the timer goes off, do a chore or other must-do task. For example, I’ll allow myself 20 minutes to list my giveaways on linkys or socialize on twitter, and when the timer goes off, that’s it. Twitter is closed, and I go put the dishes away.

2. Put your blinders on when using the Internet. What I mean by this is it’s so easy to set out with a purpose, like listing your new posts on your Facebook page. That should take like 2 seconds, but when you open your Facebook page, you have some messages. You read those first, click on a few links, find a great giveaway to enter, and then what was it you were supposed to be doing again? A 2 second task just ate up 20 minutes.

If I come across something interesting or a link I want to read, I bookmark it for later and continue with my original purpose. That way I’m not missing out, but I’m not letting myself be distracted either.

3. Have a daily blogging to-do list (I’ll share mine in a later post). These are all your essential daily items like publishing a new post, responding to comments, checking your twitter feed, etc. Make it a priority to work through the list early on. I saw a great post at Seven Cherubs about cutting up a cereal box into squares and making a morning routine to-do list by writing a chore on each square.  Put away each square as you cross off your tasks.  Having a visual reminder is a great incentive, plus I love that it repurposes the cereal box!

4. Triage the things you want to get done each day. I sort tasks into several categories – MUST get done, would like to get done, and can wait for later. Today my MUST get done’s were grocery shopping, calling about a billing error, calling our realtor, and doing a load of laundry. These are basically the annoying tasks that I’d procrastinate and ignore if I weren’t purposeful about them.

5. Multi-task when possible. For example, I like to read and comment on other blogs. This is entertainment and supports other bloggers, but I also consider it a blogging task because I find it increases traffic to my own blog too. Win-win! Or I’ll run on the treadmill while catching up on TV shows.

Do you have any other strategies, related to chores, blogging or otherwise? Feel free to share in the comments.  You can also read more of my blogging tips. Now if you’ll excuse me, my timer for writing thist post just went off :)

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika August 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Those are some great tips, Rachel. Thanks for reminding me to pull out the ol’ timer – so simple, but helpful! Also thanks for linking to me – you’re so sweet and it’s great to know I’m not alone.
Erika recently posted..Exercise of the Week: “Sumo” SquatsMy Profile

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Kelly August 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love the timer idea! It’s so easy to get distracted online and I often joke I have internet ADD – oh look, something else I have to read or research.
Kelly recently posted..Working at a Talent AgencyMy Profile

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mamawolfe August 14, 2011 at 4:04 am

Great ideas! I like the time-I use that one. The trick is trying to actually stop when the timer goes off! Since I work outside the home, too, I find myself losing sleep to blog. Not good…new follower.
reviewed you on Stumble for the hop!
http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com/2011/08/playground-paradise.html
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Rachel August 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for reviewing my post on Stumble! I have a hard time balancing work life/home life/blogging too. Not enough hours in the day!
Rachel recently posted..#Giveaway & Review: Carmex Lip Balm Prize PackMy Profile

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Ashleigh August 14, 2011 at 12:09 pm

These are great tips! Blogging has been so exhausting now with the baby and trying to find time. I am going to start using these tips today, thank you so much!
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Penelope August 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm

The daily blogging to do list is what I should be doing daily…it would really help.
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Stacey August 16, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I really need a timer! I get “sidetracked” all the time; it’s so annoying and the worst part is, I’m not keeping up the house because I can never finish what I was supposed to be doing.

I will try the timer idea….thanks for sharing; I can relate completely!
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Chas August 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Great tips! I’m going to implement the putting on blinders while doing my internet tasks!
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InSeason Mom Cynthia August 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

“If I come across something interesting or a link I want to read, I bookmark it for later and continue with my original purpose.” I’ll have to remind myself to do this because this is where I always get stuck!

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Rachel August 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm

It’s my biggest time waster/weakness too! It’s like going down the rabbit hole, I get so sidetracked and jump from link to link, I don’t even remember where I started.
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Laura Vivoni (@mantybat) August 18, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Thanks for the helpful tips! I work outside the home and it feels exactly like you said. I’m in the computer for 5 minutes then it’s 1am and the dishes are in the sink, the laundry stays unfolded in the laundry bag since Saturday.! I’m going to try to focus and make a plan.
New follower!
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Jen August 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

I remember that old timer for quick pick ups with kids…or a challenge for getting out of the house on time…so why not blogging! Makes sense! And what a great way to blog quality too! Seems some of my best work is done on a time crunch! Thanks for the great tip! Look forward to reading your daily blog to-do list in days to come too. ~ jen
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mamawolfe June 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Great ideas-it is amazing how quickly time gets sucked up online. I work outside the home, too, so my time is very precious. I like a daily to do list, and keep a monthly blogging/writing calendar so I don’t forget anything. Thanks!
mamawolfe recently posted..Summertime PaybackMy Profile

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