Increasing your blog productivity with a schedule
Many bloggers, especially those who aren’t able to blog as a full-time blogger, find that scheduling the time to blog can be difficult. And while often many people have to eke out a tiny bit of time here and there in their schedule, such as forgoing coffee breaks or a favorite television show in order to write, many bloggers can greatly benefit from a blogging schedule.
And not just any blogging schedule will do. This is actually setting aside specific times each week where your priority is blogging, and resisting the temptation to use that time for the unwashed dishes in the sink or the car that needs an oil change. Here is how you can make a blogging schedule, and then make it work for you.
When you have a regular blog schedule, you can increase your productivity when you know you always have specific time slots in your life that are set aside for nothing but blogging. This will also help you avoid that stressful feeling of “Arghhh, I haven’t blogged in two weeks!” With a schedule, you know you will have that time each week for blogging, so you can avoid that overwhelmed feeling that a much-loved but neglected blog can bring to your life.
The key to creating a blog schedule is prioritizing your time and set aside specific chunks of time that are exclusively to be used for blogging. Many bloggers try to set up a blogging schedule but then allow other things to eat into the time. If you set aside that hour for blogging, don’t do anything else but work on your blog during that time.
If you have the time set aside for blogging, consider it like your actual work, and that the time cannot be rescheduled for anything else. This means you don’t schedule dentist appointments during this time or chat with your partner over coffee in the kitchen. Hang a sign on your office door with “do not disturb” and let everyone in the house know you mean it!
Remove online distractions
Shut off your IM. Close your RSS reader. Stop tweeting or checking Facebook. Stop the email auto-checking. Even shut your browser windows of all but your blog page. If the distractions are too great, write in Word and unplug your internet from your computer entirely.
On the go
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, working at home is just too distracting, even for the most devoted bloggers. So think about where else you could work to lessen those eternal home distractions. It could be something as simple as taking your laptop to a coffee shop (and not connecting to WiFi!) that can increase your effectiveness for that short period of time you have to blog. Believe me, coffee shops can actually make you focus much more than you can at home when you have telemarketers phoning, your dog barking at the neighbor’s dog, unfinished chores and even the fridge as a distraction.
Make sure that once you set that schedule, you follow it. Consider it a booked appointment and don’t go and book anything else into that same time slot, whether it is doing a favor for a friend or using it to book that dentist appointment. Consider it an unbreakable engagement you are committed to. And if you do fill that time slot with something else, don’t do it unless you have another space that week to move your blogging to. Fall out of your schedule routine? Then get back on it, and make sure you follow up on it if you did stray again.
Do you have multiple blogs? It can be good to set aside times for each blog, so you don’t end up discovering that you have inadvertently neglected to blog on one of them for a few weeks at a time. Or set up times for specific types of posts. Maybe Monday you want to do a “how to” post while Thursday you might schedule to do a “top ten” post that you want to go viral. Even full-time bloggers can benefit from blogging schedules when they are balancing a high post frequency blog or a network of blogs.
Start now to think about where you can set aside time where blogging will be the main priority. But the most important thing to do when you make that blog schedule is to ensure you follow it. Because a blog schedule that isn’t followed isn’t very effective at all!