Time management for bloggers isn't easy. What's stopping you from finding the time for those important blogging tasks that will take you to the next level?
“I don’t have time.”
How often have you said that to yourself, or to someone else, in the past week?
I’ve been catching myself saying that a lot lately. Which is lame, because that phrase used to be a big pet peeve of mine. Let me explain.
At one point on my wacky career path I worked for a small performing arts school. I was looking for interesting part-time work, and agreed to be the stage manager, public relations representative, and a class instructor for this new business.
I’m sure that everyone around me thought that I was a moron for taking that job, and then keeping it for two years, but it seemed like a good idea at the time…
Anyhow, the company was ultra tiny. There was my boss Sophie* (the business owner), myself, and one other person who was teaching classes. The three of us worked our butts off, for very little money, and produced about six theatrical performances with decent success. But my boss had a bad habit that would drive me up the wall.
“Hey Sophie, where are those flyers that you wanted me to deliver today?” I would ask.
“Oh, I didn’t have time to get them done,” she would reply.
Other times I would inquire about missing equipment rentals, overdue booking fees, emails that never received replies. And, of course, her answer always had something to do with her lack of time.
That would drive me crazy! These things needed to get done! If she didn’t have enough time to run her own company, who would?
Building a successful blog, or business, takes a lot of work and a long time. And anyone who tells you otherwise is probably selling something!
Of course, that’s easy to say when it’s not your business, but I wasn’t wrong. We could have avoided so many problems if she had managed her time better. Or delegated some of her work to others.
I know that we’re not all trying to turn out blogs into businesses, but even if you just want more traffic you have to put in the time.
I know you’ve got a lot on your plate. There are dinners to cook, errands to run, clothes to wash and about a million other things on your to-do list. Many people also work full-time jobs while trying to build their blog. So it’s understandable that it seems impossible to find enough time to do everything plus learn about SEO, or practice your photography skills, or redesign your website.
But the cold hard truth is that if you don’t start to make time to improve your blog, or your business, you’re preventing your own success.
Before you get upset with me for saying that, let’s consider a few things.
What’s Causing that Aversion?
First of all, what’s holding you back from finding time to get certain things done? Don’t say it’s because you work 9-5 and spend two hours on transit each day. I’m talking about what’s your real reason for not doing it.
Is it because those tasks seem mundane? Will it cost you money to get it done? Does that particular task seem like too much work? I’ve mentioned this before, but learning to identify what your actual issue is (and not your perceived problem) can be really helpful.
Are You Really that Busy?
I read an interesting article recently about how we can be oblivious to how we actually spend our time. The author of the article, Laura Vanderkam, suggests that we keep a time log to discover exactly how we spend our time each day. I’m pretty sure that if I tried that exercise, I’d be disgusted by how much time I spend on Facebook!
She also recommends that we change our language from “I don’t have time” to “it’s not a priority,” and see if that makes a difference in how we feel.
For example: “I’m not going to practice my photography, because it’s not a priority.” Does that change your perspective on that task?
If not, then it’s probably not something that you want to spend your time on. Maybe it’s a task that you need to delegate to someone else, or hire someone to help you with.
Break It Down
Sometimes it’s easier to get through our to-do lists if we try to do less each day. That might sound counter-productive, but hear me out.
Breaking down tasks into bite-size pieces not only makes them easier to deal with, but they take less time per day as well.
For instance, let’s say that you’ve decided that learning about SEO is a priority for you. Maybe you’ve found a 6-hour online class specifically for food bloggers (that would be nice!). What’s going to be easier for you: trying to find a day on the weekend where you can get through all six hours at once? Or spending 30 minutes a day, for 12 days? I’m willing to bet that the second option is more likely to fit into your schedule. Especially since you don’t necessarily have to do all 12 days back to back.
Make Small Changes Today
Building a successful blog, or business, takes a lot of work and a long time. And anyone who tells you otherwise is probably selling something! But you can start to see some progress just by making small changes.
Pick one task that you’ve been avoiding, and see if you can find a way to put it into your schedule. When you find something that works for you, come back and let us know! I’d love to hear what you come up with.
*Name changed to protect this person's identity.
Four Words that Will Prevent You From Becoming a Successful Blogger was written by Shareba Abdul. Shareba is a food blogger and freelance writer from Ontario. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Media Studies, a Diploma in Journalism, and has a passion for writing, photography, and blogging. You can check out her yummy discoveries at InSearchOfYummyness.com or connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.