Creating high-quality blog content takes time; as do social media, networking, and blog promotion. If you want to find success on your blog, you must become an effective time manager. The problem is, if you’re working from home and setting your own hours, you may find yourself distracted, allowing the time to slip by unaccounted for. Use these tips to better manager your time.
1. Create a Work Schedule
Creating a basic (but flexible) work schedule can help you manage your time. Set aside work hours, play hours, and time to eat, and try to stick to the schedule as closely as possible. If you know you get to take a break at 1:00, you’ll be more motivated to finish your work before that time.
2. Use To-Do Lists
Once a day, write out your to-do list, separating it into three categories – things that must get done, things that need attention within a few days, and minor, but unnecessary, tasks. Post it at your workstation and refer back to it often. As you complete each task, mark it off the list and move on to the next item.
3. Reduce & Eliminate Distractions
Social media, emails, and fantasy sports leagues can be incredibly distracting during the work day. Identify the distractions that pull you away from your work, then come up with a game plan for reducing or eliminating them. For instance, if Internet surfing is your vice, use the free download, SelfRestraint, to block access to selected websites during your work hours.
4. Make Time for Breaks
Taking breaks may sound like a sign of laziness, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking frequent breaks helps keep you fresh and clear-headed. Schedule at least two each day, and commit to taking them.
Also, recognize when you’re just not being productive – it’s a clear sign that you need to step away from your work. Stroll around the block or visit a local park for 20 minutes to regain your mental focus.
5. Don’t Overdo It
Do you think you’re doing yourself a favor by banging out five or six blog posts all in one day? Do you have the habit of working morning, noon, and night? These strategies don’t work well, especially over time. Working too many hours to pump out content can lead to lower-quality work and burnout. If you’re always exhausted and you notice a decline in the quality of your content, commit to doing less.
6. Carve Out “Me” Time
Don’t forget to carve out personal time for yourself each day. Even if it’s just spending time on your PS4, or listening to music on your iPad, getting away from the business side of things is important.
Blogging for a living presents many benefits, but one of the biggest challenges is that you’re your own boss. You don’t have anyone breathing down your neck to get something done, or pressuring you to reach specific goals. This is why effective time management is so important. Start improving yours today to reap the benefits later.
Are you a blogger? How do you manage your time?