Whether blogging is just a hobby for you or part of your business, it can take a lot of your time if you let it. If you find yourself feeling bogged down and tired and always struggling to get posts done, it’s probably because you end up doing things whenever you can find the time and always struggling to find that time.
When I first started blogging I never planned anything, and just wrote posts and took pictures whenever I could. That usually ended up being late at night when I was tired and struggling to get them done on time. If I let it, blogging would take all of my time. Now that I am focusing on freelance and using blogging to enhance my business, I’ve tried to set more of a schedule over the past few months so that I can better manage my time and get more accomplished.
Every Sunday I sit down, write my posts for the week, and schedule them to be published on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. I also try to schedule tweets about those posts for the next few weeks. Then, during the week I answer comments, comment on other blogs, and share content on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I’m still working on perfecting a schedule for during the week, so that I have a set time to do these things rather than just whenever they come up. Though this schedule doesn’t always work out (things just come up sometimes) it’s good to have a schedule that you stick to. Even if you’re not running a business, you can still deem these as your office hours. Set up a desk, a workspace, and a schedule, and stick to them.
Why Do I need Office Hours?
Productivity Setting office hours will make you more productive – you will get all your work done when you need to get it done by, and you won’t be scrambling at the last minute.
Priority It will give you more time to do other things. Setting office hours means you’re also setting non-office hours. This is time to spend with family, do other work, or just relax.
Quality Setting office hours will make your content better. Setting time aside to do your blog posts means you can also set time aside to edit them a second time. While you might be used to just writing your post and clicking publish, if you schedule your time you can also schedule time to proofread and edit. This will improve your content a lot, without taking any more time because you have scheduled it into your workflow.
Reality Actually writing out what you need to accomplish so that you can schedule your hours means that you are getting a real sense of all the work you are doing. Write down everything you need to get done – you might realize that it’s a lot, or maybe that it’s not as much as you thought.
A Few Things to Remember
Be realistic. It’s better to surpass your goals than not to meet them. Make a list of all the things you need to accomplish and a rough estimate of how long they will take you. Be honest about how long everything takes, and set your hours accordingly. If you were a little off, adjust as you go. But do not set unrealistic hours. You won’t get your work done and will be left feeling unhappy with your productivity.
Be flexible. You don’t want to have to turn down activities or events because they interfere with your office hours. Blogging is important, but so is life. Schedule your hours for a certain day, but also keep a secondary day in mind that you can do your work if need be. This can be after your scheduled office hours, or maybe even the day before. When you know you’re going to miss your hours you can schedule ahead of time to make up for them.
Be honest. You might think that things are working as they are – you usually get your content out on time, right? But be honest with yourself. Do you really ever stop thinking about blogging or working on it? Probably not. And this is dangerous to the rest of your life, and even to your blog. Think about how nice it would be to finish all your blogging to dos in one day every week, and have the rest of your time for other things. Try it out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.