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When I cut my outside-the-home work schedule down to part-time, I was able to tread water and get posts slapped up at the last minute in spite of my time management issues. But when my stepsons came to stay for the summer, that house of cards fell quickly. When a 7 year old asks you to come color with them, you stop writing go color with them!
I spent the first half of the summer running myself ragged, trying to do EVERYTHING, and do it well. I forgot appointments, barely got any blog posts up … I was doing a lot go things, but none of them very well. Sound familiar?
I decided enough was enough – I had to get it together somehow. I took a few key steps to overhaul my schedule, and it has helped IMMENSELY with my time management.
1. Block Scheduling
Write all of your blog posts in one day. Invest in a scheduling tool and schedule all your social media in one day. Take all of your pictures in a batch. Edit in a batch. Plan posts ahead. It’s easier to clean your house one room at a time, and it’s easier to manage your blog one task at a time.
Block scheduling eliminates frantic writing the night before, or just not posting because you don’t have content ready. I keep a running list of post ideas on Evernote on my phone, so when I sit down to write I decide which ideas to use, then start writing! The only editorial calendar I keep is jotting down what days I will post what topic on in my Erin Condren planner.
I resisted paying for a scheduling service for a long time, but recently started paying for the $10 a month Buffer plan. WELL worth it! They say that Facebook dings your reach for using a scheduler, but I am finding that it is evening out. And even if it does, the time it frees up for me is so worth it. I spend a couple hours on Saturday night and schedule all of my social media channels for the week. I have the Buffer extension installed on my computers and phone, so as the week goes on I can just add new things to my Buffer queue and schedule out even farther. When a new post goes live on my blog, I just share it organically.
2. Learn to Say No
I have a busy life – 3 kids, 2 dogs, a husband who works 2 jobs (with no car, so I have to taxi him around) and I run of my own businesses. That doesn’t leave a lot of extra time in my schedule, and I have learned to be very discerning in what I say yes to.
I get offered a lot of opportunities – and most of them are good! Review this book, take over this Facebook group, contribute to this blog … but even good things can be bad when I don’t have the time margin to do them. I have learned to stop and think before I say yes to anything, and to be liberal with saying no.
3. Keep Priorities Straight
There have been seasons when I was neglecting my house keeping, or ignoring my husband all night while I was on the computer taking care of blogging “stuff.” And, adversely, there have been times when I let my blog go completely because I was too busy with everything else going on in my life.
I find it very helpful to physically write down your priorities and goals. Mine look something like this:
That means instead of checking my email and social media as soon as my eyes open, I pull up my YouVersion Bible app. Instead of sitting down at the computer as soon as my feet hit the floor, I spend some time making sure my husband and kids are ready for the day. Block scheduling has helped me out a LOT in this area.
A lot of time management for bloggers just boils down to having a plan. I certainly don’t have it all figured out, but I have made some dramatic improvements to my schedule, and I hope these tips help you out.