Time is Money. —Benjamin Franklin
You’ll find no shortage of strategic information on the Internet and in print publications on how to blog better, construct the perfect pitch for your book, or start a freelance career as a writer.
But that information is not enough to help you succeed.
Without the proper time management skills, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to read through, weed through, assess, and apply the wealth of information provided—let alone write your blog posts consistently. Life has become so busy that most of us can’t even find time to read through all the newsletters to which we subscribe. The daily distraction of social media just adds insult to injury. And then there is life…
How Time Management Factors into the Success Equation
Today, time management is as crucial to your blogging progress and profitability as your creative ability. No matter how clever you are at spinning a phrase, how many blog ideas you can generate, or how savvy you are with social media, without strong time budgeting and prioritization skills, you’ll be a “starving artist” in the truest sense.
You can learn to budget your time, though, and become a prolific and well-paid writer. Follow these tips to get the “pay off” you desire from your writing and blogging efforts.
1. Make Down Time Count
One of the biggest “pain points” for bloggers and writers today is a lack of time. Let’s face it: Many of us have to juggle family obligations, a regular gig, and countless things competing for our available hours.
But down time adds up! Use it wisely.
Use the time you have while waiting to be seen in the doctor’s office, taking your lunch break at work, or commuting on the train to jot down blog ideas, respond to emails, write a post, or catch up on your reading? The possibilities are endless.
2. Time Block
As the name implies, time blocking is a technique where you block off or dedicate a specific interval of time to a dedicated task (without interruption). According to productivity expert, Emily Irish: “The value of time blocking is that it helps you build your day around your priorities. By scheduling your time in advance, you can more easily say no to non-priorities.”
Here’s an example of how it works: Instead of wasting endless hours on social media and Facebook pursuits, (with little return on your investment), block thirty minutes a day for sharing Tweets or promoting your blog posts—no more, no less. Or block an hour first thing in the morning to write your next blog posts. Then use that amount of time to compose that post.
The objective is to control your time, not let it control you. To optimize your efforts, try the app called Plan. It can help better organize your activities and provide greater structure here.
You don’t have to do everything yourself…and you can’t if you want to manage your time well. That’s why you must learn to delegate.
Delegation could mean assigning “kitchen duty” to the kids or asking other bloggers to contribute guest posts to your site to free up time for you to devote your time to your book, paying projects, or guest posts. Know when you need help, and don’t be afraid to seek it.
4. Take Quality Short Cuts
Learn to work smarter, not harder.
- Check your blog’s analytics before producing new content; this can reduce trial and error when determining what types of posts resonate with your readership. Capitalize on what is already working—the posts readers enjoy and find useful.
- Read successful blogs in your niche. Become a quick study; evaluate and apply what you learn. Success leaves clues.
- Use templates for repetitive tasks. You can create these and use them over and over again to save time.
5. Add “No” To Your Vocabulary
Recognize the importance of boundaries. No is a small word with big impact!
Being “on call” all the time should be reserved for doctors. Sometimes saying “no” to family, friends or co-workers means saying “yes” to better health, greater peace, more personal comfort, and higher levels of productivity. It’s okay to be accommodating to a point, but you deserve a life, too.
And there’s a bonus: The more you truly live, the more you have to write about.
6. Get Organized For Greater Gains
Raise your hand if you’ve lost countless hours searching for lost keys, important receipts, cell phones, passwords, wallets, and glasses. Most of us are guilty here. The National Association of Professional Organizers reports that “We spend one year of our lives looking for lost items.”
Time, unlike money, can never be recovered. Chaos costs.
Get your personal and professional house in order, and you’ll see a different set of results.
Get More Bang For Your Buck
Don’t forget to take advantage of modern technology if you want to achieve more in less time. For example, use your cell phone apps to capture ideas or voice record your to-do lists. You can even handle social media and email from your phone.
You can even use WordPress from a phone should you not be able to get home to your computer and find yourself with 15 minutes and a good post idea.
Though we are past the mid-point of the year, it’s not too late to make today a starting point to govern your time more wisely. Doing so can greatly improve your productivity, your outlook, and your success.
How well do you manage your time?
About the Author
Jennifer Brown Banks is a veteran freelance writer, relationship columnist, ghost writer, award-winning blogger and author. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications including: ProBlogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, Women on Writing and the Well-Fed Writer E-zine.
Banks is the managing editor of Coffeehouseforwriters.com, where she also teaches creative writing classes. When she’s not at the keyboard, she loves cooking, reading, “Jeopardy,” music, and shopping.
Find out more about Jennifer here: Penandprosper.blogspot.com/