How To Handle The Lack Of Time Monster Before It Kills Your Blog

how to make time for bloggingHas this ever happened to you?

You are lying awake at night, not being able to sleep.

There is a heavy burden on your shoulders.

Then you feel it crawling down to your chest, making it hard for you to breathe.

For far too long have you consciously neglected the root of the problem, but now you realize that it doesn't help.

Whenever you open your eyes, the problem is still there…

…and it's growing.

You know that you have to face reality, even though it's hard.

And finally you admit to yourself that if you don't take care of the problem now, it will silently choke your dear blog to death.

What's the monster terrorizing you at night?

Lack of time.

If you have felt this way, no worries. I've been there too.

Relax, there's still hope.

You can cure this illness once and for all.

 1. Decide to do something about the problem

Having been able to identify the problem is just the first part, but the problem doesn't miraculous disappear by itself.

You have to decide to do something about it.

Notice that I didn't use the words wish, want or try in the sentence above. Those words are for daydreamers.

I used the word decide, which means to cut off all other options. When you decide, the choice has been chiseled into a stone tablet.

You will see the plan through, no matter what.

Do you know who's the most important person in your life?

If you answered, yourself, then it's a high five for you.

*Slap*

Of course, you probably love your family more than anything in the world. However, only you can make the decision and take the control of your own life.

Are you ready to take charge of your life?

Good.

In order for you to do that, it's important that you find your why.

2. Finding your why

Regarding any type of goal you set and any decision you make, your true why will be the most important factor when it comes to following through.

The stronger your why is, the higher is the chance that you will achieve the goal.

Let`s say that you have a little girl and she's with you in the grocery store. She wants candy, even though it's not Saturday. (When I grew up in Norway, we had a tradition called Saturday's candy, which resulted in that we, the kids, were only allowed candy on Saturdays.)

At first, you say no to your little girl, because there is no reason she should get candy that day.

And we all know, that giving candy to your children every day, would only transfer the money from your kid's college fund to the dentist.

Good for the dentist and double bad for your kids.

Having dentures and starting to work at McDonald's, while your friends go to college with nice looking teeth, is a bad start for your kids' teenage years.

Then your girl starts giving you the cute Bambi eyes, and you realize that you are only human, and that giving her candy just for today, couldn't really hurt.

On the flip side, if your little girl wants to put her hands into the fireplace, it doesn't matter how cute her eyes are, the answer is no.

Why?

Because there is a strong reason behind the decision. You get the point. You need to find a strong reason for WHY you should make more time for your blogging.

Maybe your situation is one of the following:

  • You blog on the side, so you can earn money for your kids college funds
  • You blog part-time in order to quit your full-time job, which you hate
  • You have taken the leap and quit your job in order to do blogging full-time

No matter what the reason is, it`s crucial that it's a very strong reason for YOU. A strong enough reason that will kick you in the butt, so you can make time for blogging.

Have you found your reason?

Great, let's continue.

3. Analyze your current schedule

There are two parts of the analyzing process:

  1. Identify how many extra hours you want to free up
  2. Get an overview of your weekly schedule (include details on all your activities each day of the week)

Once you have set your goal, you know how many hours you have to free up from your existing schedule.

Since we can't produce more hours per day, we have to prioritize differently.

Let`s say your goal is to free up 4 more hours per week.

Then it's over to part 2.

A nice method is to use a spreadsheet (in excel) and make a detailed plan of ALL the activities that you need to do EVERY SINGLE day, each day of the week.

I will now show you a method that has increase my productivity by 100 %.

Prioritize the tasks using the ABCDE method

A :Tasks I must do – serious consequences if it doesn't get done
B: Tasks I should do – mild consequences if it doesn't get done
C: Tasks I could do – no consequences if it doesn't get done
D: Tasks I delegate
E: Tasks I never do

Never do a B task before you have done all the A tasks, and you never do a C task before you have done all the B tasks, etc.

The 80/20 rule

Apply the 80/20 rule: you need to identify each day, which 20% of the tasks on your to do list will give you 80% of the results.

Example of Tuesday:

Time          Activity          Priority      Amount of time
07-08:       Activity 1         Priority C          1 hour
08-10:       Activity 2         Priority B          2 hours
10-12:       Activity 3         Priority C          2 hours
12-14:       Activity 4         Priority C          2 hours
14-17:       Activity 5         Priority A          3 hours
17-18:       Activity 6         Priority D          1 hour
18-19:       Activity 7         Priority E          1 hour

Total amount of working hours this day: 12 hours.

4. Reschedule

If we apply the ABCDE method I mentioned above, your day should look like this.

Example of rescheduled Tuesday

Time Activity           Priority         Amount of time

07-10: Activity 5        Priority A          3 hours
10-12: Activity 2        Priority B          2 hours
12-13: Activity 1        Priority C          1 hour
13-15: Activity 3        Priority C          2 hours
15-17: Activity 4        Priority C          2 hours

Total amount of working hours this day: 10 hours.

What happened to the tasks with priority D and E?

One task was delegated and the other eliminated. Perhaps you're not able to move around all the tasks as you like, but you get the point.

Your schedule will probably consist of several smaller activities, and they will probably be harder to categorize (ABCDE). However, practice makes you better.

In the example above, you managed free up 2 more hours per day. That's 10 more hours per week!

Let`s say that you only managed to free up 1 more hour per day, that`s still great. That gives you up to 5 hours more per week to spend on your blog.

5. Make the sacrifice

Everything has a price.This is the price for your extra amount of blogging hours. If your why is strong, this should now be an easy choice for you to make.

6. Work on your blog

Since you now have made a big sacrifice and freed up X amount of more hours for your blog, I have to say please…Let me say that again…PLEASE, for your own sake, do spend the time correctly on your blog.

Spend them on the most income generating tasks for your blog. Which would probably be networking with other bloggers, creating content and products.

7. Be proud and sleep tight

You have made it! Pat yourself on the back.

Now you can finally get a good night sleep.

To be quite honest. I didn't really have the time to write this blog post today. But I made time.

Why?

Because creating content is one of the most important activities for bloggers.

How?

I rescheduled other tasks.

If I can do it, you can too.

You have the recipe. Good luck!

Do you have any experience with having too little time for blogging? What did you do to fix it?

Here’s what to do next…

I've got something special for you. It’s a blogging calendar that will help you plan your content and goals for 2015.

Click on the picture below to download the free PDF calendar.

This is a guest post by Tor Refsland. Tor decided to leave his six-figure job in order to follow his passion – to help online entrepreneurs free up more time, so they can do what they love. Want to become more productive? Download his free Productivity System and learn how to double your productivity in 7 days.

Comments

  1. says

    [ Smiles ] Sue Anne, in my case, I make the time for blogging.

    Also, scheduling my posts makes it easier for me to have the time to do other things. If more people scheduled their posts (setting the date and the time in which they would like to have their articles posted at a future date on their blogs), they would have more time for themselves, their family, their friends and of course, work.

    Great post!
    Renard Moreau recently posted…A Classic Hit From MadonnaMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Renard,

      I also schedule my posts. It keeps me sane!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Renard,

      thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it 🙂

      I also schedule my posts. That certainly is one key activity that will keep the “lack of time” monster under control.

      It`s important to set a deadline for all important activities.

      Tor

      • says

        [ Smiles ] Thank you, Tor. It is nice to know that you also schedule your posts.

        I guess that most experienced bloggers are good at time management.

        Also, I wish you all the best for 2015!
        Renard Moreau recently posted…My Amazing Blogging JourneyMy Profile

        • says

          I think we all struggle at times with time management, Renard 🙂

          Thanks for commenting,
          Sue

        • says

          Hi Renard,

          I agree with Sue.

          We all struggle a bit with time management. However, planning, focus and consistency are key factors when it comes to managing your time.

          It will become easier once you get a hold of it 🙂

          Tor

  2. says

    While I am organized with my work, I tend to be slightly erratic in my planning with my blogs. Luckily, I am never at a loss for something to say and constantly create drafts and often, face the problem of plenty to post. 🙂 And typically get stuck trying to choose.

    Planning, for me, involves a to-do list. Lists literally drive my life.

    Thank you Tor – those are good tips there!

    Thank you Sue 🙂
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Thank Outside The Box With GratitudeMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Vidya,

      It sounds like you are organized in that you have drafts created and have plenty of posts. We each have our own way!

      Thanks so much for stopping by today and commenting,
      Sue

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Vidya.

      Having a master to do list is powerful 🙂

      Tor

  3. says

    Thanks Sue Anne, This comes at exactly the right moment for me. I’ve been really struggling with time management over the holiday period but at the same time haven’t wanted to lose momentum on my new blog. My solution has been to focus on quality over quantity. I dropped the posts down to one per week, where I was doing three before. When things calm down I can ramp things back up again. Thanks again for another inspiring post…. Faith
    Faith recently posted…Squares in synastry: how to make them workMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Faith,

      I wish I could take credit for the post, but my friend and colleague Tor Refsland wrote it. It also helped me to remember that quality is better than quantity.

      Thanks so much for coming by to comment!
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Faith,

      thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I`m glad that the blog post was giving you some value.

      Quality beats quantity every time.

      It`s better to spend 20 % creating your post and about 80 % to promote it. What`s the point in creating great content, if no one knows it exists?

      You would want your readers to get premium quality content when they visit your website.
      True content marketing and quality content will make you stand out from the rest.

      Tor

    • says

      Tor did a great job on this post. Thanks for commenting, Jassica!

      Sue

  4. says

    Hi Tor (and Sue).

    I loved it. That was very practical and attainable.

    Good discipline is a very important aspect of life, and used well, it yield great results. I shall try to use a similar system.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. Tweeting soon.

    Nathan.
    Nathan Ambrose recently posted…Does My Business Need a Blog?My Profile

    • says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Nathan. Self-discipline is the key, right?

      Sue

    • says

      Thanks a lot for stopping by, Nathan.

      I really appreciate your feedback.

      System and self-discipline are key.

      That type of system have helped me improve my productivity with about 200 %, and I was quite productive initially 😉

      Tor

  5. says

    All great advice Tor!!!

    As a project manager by trade, I often use the ABC approach to prioritizing tasks. You can even take it down another level by prioritizing your A’s, B’s, & C’s. That way you work on your A-1, than your A-2, etc…

    The one area that I differ slightly from your advice is I don’t necessarily complete all my A’s before moving down to the B’s. My A tasks are typically more complex, and therefore take longer to complete. So if I only have 5 – 10 minutes before my next meeting, I’ll jump down and bang out a B or C item just to get it off my list. I’d rather complete something quick than having to restart a longer task after a break. That’s just me…

    Now, I just need to remember to use the skills that I use in my full time job and apply those same skills to my blogging. Sounds like a good New Years resolution to me.

    • says

      It’s amazing how many corporate skills translate to blogging, Craig!

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Craig,

      thanks for your great comment.

      The A, B and C tasks can definitely be narrowed down to subtasks, like A-1, A-2, etc.
      There are different variations of how the ABC method can be applied. If you only have 5-10 minutes, knocking of a B and C tasks is okay. Whatever works for you 🙂

      Personally I like to narrow down the tasks into subtasks. So for instance if I have a large A task, I divide it into several pieces.

      Let`s say I`ve got an A task that takes 2 hours to complete.

      I`m only able to work 1 hour and 5 minutes before my next meeting. Then I divide the A task into A-1 and A-2.

      Example:
      A-1: Important task part 1/2 (1 hour and 5 minutes)
      A-2: Meeting (1 hour)
      A-3: Important task part 2/2 (55 minutes)

      I used this technique when I was working in my previous corporate job, so it can be applied to almost any area.

      Tor

  6. says

    I have been “trying” to make time for my blogging the last quarter of 2014 but it was a real challenge.

    Ive been using pomodoro and things to get me organized but it hasnt been enough. I found out that Ive been prioritizing some other stuff that I could just be putting into blogging but sometimes, some tasks are just more relaxing to do.

    which brings me to this post. My Why needs to be better and my prioritization needs to improve.

    When I usually start my day a little later than normal, I get to miss my scheduled “important” task hence making me work on lesser important things. IT needs to change.

    Ill give the abcde method a try with my pomodoro. I feel that this can complete my productivity method 🙂

    Thanks Tor and Sue!

    Happy new year! Let’s all crush 2015!

    • says

      Hi, Dennis,

      I’ve also done that where I start on email and not my most important task. Then the whole day gets away from you, right?

      That’s my plan this year – writing before email.

      Happy New Year!
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Dennis,

      thanks a lot for your comment.

      Studies have shown that people in general are most productive the first 2 hours in the morning right after they get out of bed.

      That means that those 2 hours should be used for your most important tasks (A tasks), not checking e-mails and checking your latest social media updates.

      I know it`s hard.

      The experts say that it`s a constant struggle each day to eat the biggest and ugliest frogs first. It becomes only a little bit easier each day, when you manage to follow the ABC method.

      But hey! Who said running your business was supposed to be easy? 😉

      Anyway, finding your why and following the ABC method, will work like charm, once you get used to it.

      Do the activity for 21 days and it will become like a habit (with a little bit struggle, though).
      Yes, together we will make 2015 the best year so far 🙂

      Tor

  7. says

    Hi Tor and Sue
    Great post and I resonated with each of your tips. As a personal development blogger, I write a whole lot about tips for changing our ways, and making the time to do what is important to us. The ‘why’ tip really resonated with me because that is one thing I always drive home to people. I actually just wrote about that in my post today. When we lack that clarity, our efforts are scattered, we are reluctant to venture outside of our comfort zone, and we just generally don’t do what is needed to get the results we want. Great post!
    kelli recently posted…New Year’s Resolutions Always Falling Flat? Tips for Cultivating Real Change and ProgressMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Kelli,

      I read your post earlier today and it helped me to realize why I always hated New Year’s resolutions. Your idea of focusing on my energy really resonated with me. I highly recommend your article!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Kelli,

      thanks for your great comment.

      No big goal has ever been achieved by a person without a strong WHY 🙂

      I just read your article and it was great.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kelli.

      Tor

  8. says

    I like the general idea of the post. And I really like the idea of figuring out what the purpose of your decisions are. Too often it seems to me people get trapped into doing stuff just because they think they should be haven’t really thought out the implications.

    One thing I find a bit awkward about these types of posts though is the implications that is it easy to classify tasks in some A, B, C, D way. A few task fit that way, but I think the real world is most often much more murky. So you can get a top couple tasks and a bottom couple tasks but the jumble in the middle could be B, C, D even A and E sometimes depending on how you look at it, what your mood is, what else you do (for example if marketing is important you can have 10 tasks none of which are super critical but if you do 0 that is super critical, if you do 4 of them it is ok if you do 7 it is very good and those other 3 are not so important). To some extent which of those 10 you do is impacted by the others but not completely (if you do task 7 then the need to do task 4 is less…).

    This complexity makes it so many people struggle with seemingly logical prioritization schemes. The idea is fine assuming tasks are truly A,B,C,D,E but they are not often very close to that. So people need to take the concept but apply it to a big mess of tasks and that doesn’t really translate to a simple do A then B then C tasks, in my opinion.
    John Hunter recently posted…Sunday Market, Chiang Mai ThailandMy Profile

    • says

      Hi John,

      thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      The challenge you are mentioning, that it can be hard to classify the different type of tasks, is a common struggle.

      I never said that it was easy to classify the tasks, but you do become better at classifying them, the more time you spend on doing it.

      Let me use an example.

      Let`s say it`s Monday morning and I got 10 C tasks on my plate. They all consist in the category of marketing, and they do all play a vital role of completing the main marketing tasks, which have a deadline on Wednesday.

      On Monday, you take a look at the tasks and see if there are any tasks that need to be done before the others, due to dependencies.

      If so, C-1 and C-2 have to be done first, then the others can be done in the order you decide.

      On the other hand, if it doesn`t matter in which order you do the 10 C tasks, you just have to pick a task and start.

      In other words, by Wednesday 5pm, all your 10 C tasks have to be completed. If you don`t have any more important tasks, then the 10 C tasks, you should start to finish as many C tasks as possible on Monday.

      Why?

      Because there will be falling new shitty tasks from the sky on Tuesday and Wednesday. They may also be of bigger importance than your current C tasks.

      So while you got time, complete as many C tasks as you can.

      In addition, the priority of the tasks will most likely increase in priority the next days, since the deadline is becoming shorter.

      Monday:
      10 C tasks
      – You complete 4 C tasks

      Tuesday:
      Your remaining 6 C tasks, has now become B tasks, because the deadline is on Wednesday

      6 B tasks
      – You complete 3 B tasks

      Wednesday:
      Your remaining 3 B tasks, has now become A tasks, because the deadline is due today.

      3 A tasks
      – You complete 3 A tasks

      I hope that makes sense.

      Tor

  9. says

    I am digging the tips Tor and Sue.

    The WHY one jumps out at me.

    When you know why you’ll build your day around your why.

    Like I love being free so I build my day around being free. Writing daily and networking are the 2 cornerstones around which I build that freedom online but spending 1 hour in personal development – before I touch my laptop – sets MY WHOLE LIFE up.

    The inner world molds the outer world so I spend my time how I wish to spend it by getting uber strict with my personal development time.

    Of course I do have fun with my personal development time lol.

    Thanks guys,

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…12 Tips to Gain TrustMy Profile

    • says

      Ryan, you are so all about the “why”! I’m learning a lot from you about personal development by reading your blog and eBooks – even though that’s not your main topic. You are teaching me to have my personal development time in the morning – I usually say “I’ll do it later” and than skip it 1/2 the time.

      Thanks for stopping by to comment!
      Sue

    • says

      Hi Ryan,

      thanks for stopping by to comment.

      The WHY part is the “secret” ingredient to whether people actually follow through with the plans they have set. Only by having a strong why, will people be motivated enough to persevere the countless waves of obstacles that the life is throwing against us, and to finally achieve our goal… if we are willing to make the sacrifice and stick to the game plan until the end.

      Personal development is definitely key to every successful person`s life.

      Thanks, Ryan.

      Tor

  10. says

    Hello, Sue and Tor,

    How wonderful to see a guest article by Tor – and am very glad to have connected with him, so thanks for introducing us on Triberr. 🙂

    Time management has and always will be an area that folks will need help in. I think our human nature causes us to be prone to wander and lose focus. The eye gate is allured by many things and unless there is a structured plan set in motion, it’s a difficult challenge to stay focused.

    The last few years have proved to be huge periods of growth for me in this area, and I’ve found my rhythm, thank the Lord!

    Doing a ‘brain dump’ and setting up my ‘three rocks’ for the next day completely relieves me of any pressure or anxiety when lying down to sleep.

    And if by a slim chance something does come into my mind that I had forgotten, I reach for my iPhone and make a quick recording so as to ‘empty’ my mind of anything but pleasantries – allowing me to fall to sleep peacefully. I’ve worked very hard at accomplishing this. Exercise really helps too.

    Your detailed analysis/help is awesome, and I’m sure you’re going to help lots of folks, Tor – great job!

    Have an awesome weekend. 🙂

    ˜Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…Give Yourself an Advantage in 2015 – Business Makeover VideoMy Profile

    • says

      I also like the “brain dump” way of life, Carol! The 3 rocks is something I’ve always heard but haven’t put into practice. I’m going to try that this week.

      Thanks for coming by to read and comment,
      Sue

    • says

      Carol, thanks a lot for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

      I really appreciate it.

      The “brain dump” and “three rocks” sounds like a good plan.

      When new to do tasks appear in my head after normal work hours, I just write them quickly down on the calendar on my mobile. Then I transfer them to my master to do list (excel document stored in Dropbox) the next day.

      This works like a charm 🙂

      Thanks again, Carol.

      Tor

  11. says

    I needed this, particularly today! I am at home sick and it’s giving me time to THINK-what do I want for my blog, what are my priorities? As amazing as your course is, I haven’t done the top 2 things: Prioritize and then make the time! So I’m in my sick bed, doing just that. I hope to sleep easier tonight and put my new plan into action tomorrow!
    Moni recently posted…The Secret Life of Lies (A Book Review)My Profile

    • says

      Sorry to hear you are sick, Moni!

      Sometimes you need to step away from the computer (like when you are sick) and just think. Coming up with a plan of action is key before taking the action.

      I’m glad you have a plan in place. Keep in touch and thanks for commenting!
      Sue

    • says

      Thanks a lot for stopping by to comment, Moni.

      Great to hear that this post could be of help.

      Nothing gets done unless you plan and prioritize 😉

      Tor

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂

      Sue`s blog is awesome. I`m glad you liked the post.

      Tor

  12. says

    Hi Tor! I love reading your tips, you’re just awesome. Making time to blog (well, my own blog) is one area I really need to work on. I do client work first and if something needs to get bumped off the schedule, it’s my own blog unfortunately. This year, I want to manage my time better and get it all done!
    Corinne recently posted…Deciding What Products to Sell This YearMy Profile

    • says

      Tor’s article really helped, right, Corinne? Client work always come first but scheduling will help.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Sue

    • says

      Thanks a lot for your great comment, Corinne.

      It warms my heart when people appreciate what I write 🙂

      As Sue says, planning and scheduling works really well.

      Planning will increase your productivity and help you to work smarter, not harder.

      Tor

    • says

      Thanks for commenting.

      I`m glad that you found this article useful 🙂

      Tor

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