My life has seasons – summers demand a more flexible schedule, fall offers more time for my goals and December is all about family & friends. In those seasons where the focus needs to be elsewhere, how do you keep the blog momentum going? My solution: Pick One.
Priorities for Blogging Productivity
And, no, I’m not suggesting that you choose between your family and your business. I’d guess that like me, you are choosing the slog of entrepreneurship so that you have the flexibility to live your life, not just build it. There is only so much time in the day. The trick is allocating it in ways that line up with your priorities.
Instead of choosing between your family and your business, busy seasons are the perfect time to streamline your work hours. An entrepreneur’s work is never done – which can mean ever-growing to do lists. But when my family needs more of my time and energy, I choose to be extremely selective about how I use my work time.
- Is this something that needs to happen?
- Is this something I can outsource?
- Where on my calendar is there space for this task?
Think back to the last time that you got up from your computer, frustrated at how little progress you were making on your business/blog tasks. Was what you were working on something that needed to get done today?
Priority = Not negotiable
I am a list maker, which is great for knowing where I’m at in relation to the big picture needs of my business. But, lists also make it easy to spin your wheels on minor tasks. Instead of a To Do list, identify the tasks that need to get done.
Part of working off priorities instead of list is getting serious about making that 1 priority happen. This may mean committing yourself to staying off Facebook until that blog post is edited and scheduled. It may mean a serious conversation with your spouse about giving you some time to work uninterrupted. It may mean scheduling your writing time into your Google Calendar the same way you would a Doctor’s appointment. In order to work, that priority has to be non-negotiable, especially to you.
An Honest Assessment
The foundations of blogging aren’t necessarily the most fun, but they are the building blocks for a reason. The same applies to most of our big goals – they are best broken down into small steps. The key lies in identifying the order that those small tasks need to be completed. (Hint: the fun stuff is rarely the first or the most time consuming step.) If your goal over the summer is to build your email list, take the time to create a high value opt in with a follow on email sequence before you start initiating collaborations, pitching for guest posts and looking for podcast opportunities. Use your time on the building blocks first.
Keep it moving
Getting started on the right foot is just the first step. Next up? Identify the time wasters:
- Are you surfing on Facebook when you plan to be curating or creating social content?
- Do you spend hours tweaking your design?
- Do you find yourself re-editing opt-ins or blog posts trying to get them absolutely perfect?
Know where you’re time wasters are and plan around them.
If you can, build in time for the blogging tasks that you find the most fun. If it’s not fun, it’ll kill your creativity!
Blog Task Prioritization
Not sure how to prioritize all of the tasks associated running your blog? Here’s how I rank things:
Keep the lights on
I start by scheduling all of the things required to keep my blog and social media accessible and visible. Updating and maintaining WordPress, a baseline social media presence and responding to readers always have a place on my calendar.
Any agreements that you’ve made with brands or collaborations with bloggers come next. If life gets in the way, communicate that (and your solution) as quickly as possible. When you are strapped for time, put taking care of your current relationships ahead of growth, new projects and the would-be-nice tasks.
Plan for growth
Once you’ve knocked out the basics & fulfilled existing obligations, it’s time to look forward. Here is where you block in time to plan for content planning (I like to do this 90 days at a time), reach out for new collaborations and develop new income streams like on-boarding a new affiliate program.
The it’d-be-nice things
There will always be at least a couple of things that you would like to do on or for your blog, even if it’s not really needed. Trying out new tools and tweaking your design, for example. Absolutely find a place for them in your schedule – just make sure that you’ve nailed the basics, fulfilled your obligations, and planned for growth first.
Along the way, don’t forget the fun! For me, this is always direct contact with my readers and I build it into every stage.
What’s your one thing to work on right now? The first step to knocking out your biggest blogging goal? Come on over to the Blogging Your Genius Facebook group and tell us about it.