Blogging today is far from only writing. It starts with that, but then you must also think about keywords and SEO, the blog design, guest posting, promoting on social sites, keeping the conversation going… And you must also regularly update your blog content, make sure it’s great quality, and keep up with the needs of your readers, as well as the trends in your niche. On the top of that, you’ve got your own personal lives to live, and the time you can dedicate to blogging every day is often pretty limited.
It’s hard to keep up with everything, and distractions are only making things worse. To stay effective and use your time to do as much work as possible, you need solid time management. Following are six tips to help you organize better and meet your deadlines:
Save Your Ideas When You Have Them
It’s easier to flow from one idea to another when you already have a base of few good leads to start from. That’s because our brains work better when building on associations. The best way to ease your writing process is to save your ideas, thoughts, experiences, feelings throughout the day, and use them to brainstorm blog post ideas whenever you lack motivation, face writer’s block, or simply don’t have enough time and want to skip research.
You’ve probably noticed that the best ideas for blog posts come to us when we don’t think about blogging, when we are doing something else, while driving or doing the dishes. Our brains need to relax so we can be creative. So keep a notepad handy, or look up some bloggers apps that you can use to jot down your best thoughts and ideas, and you will save lots of time you usually spend on developing blog posts.
First Outline What Your Post Is About
You want to keep your writing in track, in order to effectively use your blogging time. Outlining what your post is about, or how it will flow can help a lot. Instead of trying to write your best copy from the first time, start with an outline of the ideas you’ve gathered on your notepad and in your head. When you establish a structure, you can later easier make changes, add ideas, and faster produce a quality piece that your readers will love.
Write Your First Draft without Pressing Delete
A great way to deal with the toughest part of writing – starting – is to write the first paragraph without pressing the delete key. You don’t need to worry about grammar, titles; just write down your thoughts knowing you’ll later come back to revise everything and make it sound great. This approach is effective because all your blogging time is productive, and also, because you are warming up in the first paragraph or so, it is less likely you will be experiencing writer’s blocks.
Find Your Routine and Stick to It
It’s hard to form a habit, but it’s equally hard to break it once established. When you have an established system of doing things, they come more natural to you, you form a routine. And routines are great because they help you keep meeting your deadlines.
First do some experimenting for a few weeks to see at what time of the day your productivity peaks. It doesn’t matter if it’s during the day or night (except that “living” at night reflect badly on our health), just that it is the right time for the right task.
Focus on One Thing at a Time
When you get distracted you lose the time you spend on doing that other “very important” that needs your attention, but you also lose additional time to get back where you stopped and again resume the thought process. If you get distracted often this time adds up and makes you more frustrated for not meeting your goals.
There are tons of tools, add-ons, browser extensions like Write Space that can help you get control over all sorts of distractions that keep you from writing. And try to focus on doing just one thing at a time. This disciplines your mind and ensures you won’t lose your chain of thoughts straining from one task to another. Try it; it’s a great time saver.
Know Your Priorities
Probably one of the most basic methods for managing time is listing the things you need to do in a day, month, year, … Prioritizing them though ensures the most important task(s) get your attention first. Start your to-do list with the urgent duties, or those that require your highest concentration, and end with tasks you can skip or prolong. This way you make sure nothing important gets left behind.
Have you found a great way to stop procrastinating and get things done? Do you have this problem when it comes to blogging? Let us know your thoughts below!