10 Time Management Tips for Busy Bloggers
Last modified on 25th July, 2007
Blogging is hard work; it’s even harder if you are running multiple blogs and trying to maintain quality across the board. Ideally we would want to devote more time to blogging as much as possible. Unfortunately, not everyone is a professional blogger; some have a day job. Even if you are a professional bloggers, there are times when you need to be with your friends, family and yourself.
Many people feel overwhelmed by all the demands from their job, their family and their personal life. There just seem to be not enough time to do all the things that needs to be done.
I used to think that in order to improve productivity; I need to do more in less time. Wrong.
Effective time management is really about accomplishing more by working less, not doing more in less time . Ultimately this will lead to a more balance life by enabling you find the time on all the important areas of your life.
Time management is a very big topic in itself. You can find many blogs devoted exclusively to helping people manage their time and become more productive. This post is just a subset of time management. Here, I’d like to share 10 practical tips that I’ve found useful in helping me accomplish more with less effort when it comes to blogging.
- Learn to Type properly and Improve Your Typing SpeedAs simple as this sound, it’s one of things that you could do to really increase your productivity. Most bloggers probably spend a couple of hours a day typing new posts. That’s even before replying e-mails, chatting over IM come into the picture.
If you currently type 40 words per minute, you could produce a 800 word article in 20 minutes. Increasing your typing speed to 80 words per minute enables you to produce the same article in 10 minutes. This is a good example of effective time management that shows how you could accomplish more by working less.
I’ve been using TypingMaster to improve my typing speed and it has helped a lot.
- Ignore Your RSS ReaderWhen you sit down to work in the morning, reading your RSS reader distracts you from doing the most important thing first, which should be writing a new post for your blog. While using RSS aggregation software could save you time by enabling access to your favourite blogs in one place, you may not be able to make meaningful progress on your blog itself.
I usually only start reading my RSS feed late in the afternoon after I’ve written several posts and a second time late at night to see what new updates have been made.
- Don’t Automate EmailMost bloggers are content with using the timer in their email program that checks for new emails on a certain schedule. Handling emails as they come in is a distraction. Just because someone can contact you immediately does not mean you have to respond to them immediately.
People can wait when they know how long to expect an answer from you. Set a predefined times during the day to check your emails, perhaps 3 to 5 times per day depending on your needs.
It’s not necessary to answer email first thing in the morning.
- Disable Notifications from Your BlogAs your blog becomes more popular, you’ll get more and more comments. It can be fun to receive a notification whenever someone posts a comment or when a comment is held for moderation but it can also be distracting as the notification frequency increases.
So disable such email notifications to reduce distractions. To do so, go to Discussion under the Options tab, and then uncheck the following options.
- Learn Keyboard ShortcutsIf you can accomplish normal everyday tasks with fewer keystrokes, it could do wonders to your productivity over time. For a start, check out my post about 10 Cool Firefox keyboard shortcuts you can use right away.
In addition, you might want to learn the keyboard shortcuts for frequently used applications in Windows to save time and effort.
- Reduce Your RSS Subscriptions to the Bare EssentialsSubscribing to tons of RSS feeds doesn’t make you more productive, if nothing else, it will lead to RSS information overload. If you find yourself suffocating in an endless deluge of unread items in you feed reader, do yourself a favour by unsubscribing on feeds that you don’t read often.
If you can’t catch up, just mark those unread items as read and start over with the new information.
While it’s important to keep yourself up to date, there’s no need to read the same stories from several different sources. Sometimes these sources offer must read information; sometimes it’s just a rambling post that has little interest to you.
Let’s say you are a fan of Matt Cutts blog. Recently he started posting gadget stuff (I don’t blame him, it’s his personal blog after all) and you don’t particularly fancy shifting through posts unrelated to your interest.
You can actually restrict yourself to a feed of the â€œGoogle/SEOâ€ category by subscribing to that category feed only. So instead of entering the main feed:
you could enter
- Plan Your Posts AheadCreate a to-do list with ideas for posts you want to write in your blog. As you find more things to write about a particular subject, note them down under that subject. When it comes to actually writing the subject, you won’t be spending as much time on research.
Spend some time the night before to plan which topics you want to write about the next day. Taking the extra times planning for future posts will help you create better quality posts and increases your productivity.
Using a to-do list is a great way to take control of your blogging and keep yourself organized.
If you are using Microsoft Outlook, there’s a basic to do list tool called Task that you could use in managing your to-do lists.
- Use Screenshot Capture SoftwareIf you find yourself constantly taking screenshots to be included in your blog posts, at least do it the faster way. Instead of using the Print Screen key and pasting the resulting image into your favorite graphic editing software, use a screenshot capture software. Windows Vista for example, comes with a handy tool called Snipping Tool to help you get the job done quickly. Do a search for other free screen capture software on Google.
- Avoid Multitasking to Improve EfficiencyIn certain situation; multitasking can actually decreases your productivity. You work most effectively when you can focus on a single task for a period of time. If you are checking your stats while researching a subject while reading your email while chatting with your friends, it will take you longer to complete the most important task at hand which is doing the research.
You are wasting valuable time each time you switch from one task to another because it’ll take you longer to reach the state of maximum productivity.
While multitasking has it benefits, you need to stop doing it when it lowers your overall productivity.
- Learn How to OutsourceAnother trick to free up your time is to outsource tasks that you may not need to do, or you can’t do it better, or when it’s cheaper to pay someone else to do it for you.
If you are managing multiple blogs, invite your friends or hire someone to help you in creating new content for some of the blogs. You can hire a freelancer or contract bloggers to delegate the writing tasks.
If you can’t afford to pay them, take the sharing route and pay a percentage of the advertising income the blog generates. You can start with the AdSense Sharing Revenue and Earnings Plugin.
In 1895, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of income in Italy went to 20% of the population. While there are exceptions, his principle which is also known as Pareto principle also applies to a variety of other situation such as:
- We only wear 20% of our clothes about 80% of the time
- 20% of employees are responsible for 80% of a company’s income
- 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers
- 20% of our products cause 80% of customers complaints
- And so onâ€¦
In the world of blogging, 20% of your efforts account for 80% of your blog’s income. Some efforts bring in a greater return on your investment. The key is to prioritise and identify those top 20 to 30 percent tasks. By focusing your time and effort on these high payoff tasks, your blog will have a better chance of becoming widely successful.