Time management is undeniably one of the most important skills as a blogger. It’s particularly easy to lose track of how long it’s been since your last post, especially if you have a day job or taking up freelance writing gigs on the side.
As life gets in the way, it’s also easy to adopt the “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude, which can be seen as the easiest way to lie to yourself on a regular basis. A lot of people – not just bloggers – underestimate the long-term impact of bad habits like this when it comes to your productivity.
The truth is you always have more than enough time to write at least one to three blog posts per week, which is an ideal posting frequency for most industries. You just need to organize your schedule and learn the most efficient writing practices for consistent productivity.
Without further ado, here are ten of the best time management and writing tips that you should learn to keep the blogs coming:
1. Organize Your Blogging Goals
Create a checklist and focus on one thing at a time. You shouldn’t be writing a new post while learning how to boost your Instagram followers at the same time. Remember that multitasking will not only slow you down, it will also be more mentally draining.
2. Capture Ideas on the Go
Sitting in front of your computer, browsing your competitors’ blogs, and trying to come up with a new topic idea is another waste of time. You should already have a list of these ideas prepared before you decide to write. Either dedicate an hour to produce a long list of these unique ideas, or capture them as you go about your day. You never know when inspiration will strike, so practice bringing a notebook with you or record audio logs on your phone at all times.
3. Take a 30-Minute Break Every 90 Minutes
You can actually accomplish more if you work for fewer minutes – 30 minutes to be exact. Studies show that we can only keep up with a mentally-demanding activity; such as writing; for a full 90 minutes before productivity and focus are reduced. Experts call this cycle the “ultradian rhythm”. So instead of squeezing whatever word that pops out of your mind, why not take a short walk around the block or have a coffee break.
4. Establish an Editorial Calendar
Apart from organizing your blogging goals, you should see to it that every task is set with a due date. Setting deadlines introduces urgency, which can be highly motivating when formalized through an editorial calendar. A free tool like Trello can be very useful for this.
5. Be Ahead of Schedule
This is extremely important if you’re also freelancing for other clients. Remember that you will never know when revisions will come, so it’s best to leave an allowance for you to keep up with your editorial calendar. You should also be more forgiving in case you miss a deadline. Remember that writing nothing is better than publishing a forced post.
6. Get Help
In cases where you simply need to get a post out, don’t be afraid to outsource. Just try to establish this as your last resort and not a permanent blogging habit. For example, do this if you’ve been invited to a seminar or an emergency meeting at work. Pushing yourself will only compromise the quality of your blog and stress you out. Remember that quality writing requires your mind to be in top shape. If you’re already preoccupied with other things, you can get always get help from a freelancer. This is important for a blog with essays or academic topics.
7. Be Open to Guest Bloggers
Once your blog is gaining some traction, you may receive requests from bloggers who are interested in guest posting. This is a great opportunity to expand your network and offer new content to your audience – all while saving time. Just be sure to set guidelines to control the quality of guest posts.
8. Stop Moping
Here’s a fun fact — you’re wasting time thinking about how your time isn’t enough. Whenever you disrupt your own workflow, look at the clock, and be stressed by your tight schedule, you could already be wasting a minute or two. Do this several times in an hour and that’s already a lot.
9. Close Your Social Media Tabs
It’s hard to maintain your focus if you can see your Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube tabs looming over your web browser. It’s also easy to lose track of time when checking for social media updates, even if it’s for a good cause. For example, avoid checking the engagement of last week’s posts when your schedule clearly states you should be writing.
10. Reward Yourself
Okay – you probably saw this one coming. But it’s just that important. You absolutely need to reward yourself for a job well done. Remember that overworking will affect your productivity in the long run. This is why you should always designate at least one day as your official rest day in a week. Also learn how to say “no” and reject anything work-related during this day.