If you own your own company, it’s easy to put your own content marketing at the bottom of the list. But that will cost your business! Here are four time management techniques to assure you always meet your blogging goals…
Guest post by Mark Maric
Smart Time Management Techniques At Workplace – Even If You Blog From Home
Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution to “improve your writing game” in the coming year? You felt enthusiastic, made a plan on how you’ll get your blog to rank first in Google, how you’ll reach 50,000 subscribers, and have people fill your comments’ section with compliments about how much they love your content. But, after what seems a blink of an eye, it’s already 31st December NEXT year, and you haven’t really achieved any of this.
You simply had no time.
To help you fulfill your resolutions and make the most of the time you spend writing, here are four time management techniques for bloggers to try…
Write Every Day
Practice makes perfect – and, in order to improve your writing abilities and make sure you write faster, you should make it a habit to write every day.
One of the great time management techniques to help you with this is the “Seinfeld Method,” which proposes you:
- Buy a large calendar and hang it on your wall
- Mark every day you write something new with a red pen
- Be consistent with your writing, in order to form a chain of red days
- Find time to write every day – don’t break the chain!
To make your writing efforts tangible, track exactly how much time you spend writing per day with a time card calculator – you’ll get the exact numbers for the hours you spend writing per day and week, which may prompt you to work on increasing these hours.
In the end, writing every day will help you:
- Improve your writing skills
- Find the perfect writing routine
- Conduct research
And write faster, in general.
So, you’ve just had a great idea for your next blog post, or found the perfect metaphor for the article you’re currently working on. And, just as you’re about to write it down, the doorbell rings, your sister pops in to ask a quick question, or you get a text on your phone – and the great idea is gone in a snap.
Such interruptions happen regularly to any great writer – but there are ways you can minimize them. You’ve got to implement clever time management techniques.
Inform your sister and other family members of your working hours beforehand, and tell them to call you only for emergencies and during your breaks.
For this purpose, you can use the Inform/Negotiate/Call Back technique:
- Inform the person who wants to ask you a question/talk to you that you’re currently busy
- Negotiate the time when you’ll be able to talk about what’s worrying them
- Call them back at the arranged time
For your phone troubles, it’s best that you mute your phone and leave it in another room – this way, you’ll be less likely to check it.
If you’re really pressed with a deadline, and don’t have time for visitors, disconnect your doorbell – you may be working from home, but you’re still working, so, most of the time, it’s perfectly fine to act as if you’re physically not at home.
Set Up A Dedicated Workspace For Writing
So, we covered what you should do when you get an idea, and don’t want anyone interrupting you before you write it down. But what if you don’t have anything to write it down with?
When you’re a writer, it’s important that you set up a dedicated place for work – one that is stacked with all the equipment you’ll need, and comfortable enough for long writing sessions.
First, you’re advised to find a quiet room or corner in your home, as far away from distractions as possible. If you’re working in a small apartment, you can invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones, to help you keep your focus even when your family is watching TV.
Equip your room/corner with a comfortable, ergonomic working chair, and a reliable desk, preferably with drawers. Here, in the drawers, you can keep all your important documents, to always have within hand’s reach. Make sure to keep a pen and paper close to you at all times to jot down great ideas, whenever they spur into your mind.
And for last, it would be nice if you were to include a resting place in your dedicated workspace, for breaks. This can be a cozy chair or sofa, perhaps even with built-in storage for your favorite books. So, every time you feel overwhelmed with work, and need to recollect your focus, go to that chair/sofa and relax for a bit, before resuming work, refreshed.
Have A Productivity Journal
This is a key complement to the time management techniques examples above.
If you write about your writing in a productivity journal, you’ll get a great perspective of what you’ve achieved so far in terms of your writing goals.
Every morning, consider what you want to achieve as a writer for that day.
Set concrete achievable goals, such as:
- Perform research for the next blog post
- Finish a guest post
- Send a pitch to five targeted blogs
Write down these goals in your to-do list, and aim to cross off each item by the end of the day.
Then, once your work day is over, answer the following questions for an entry in your productivity journal:
- What writing tasks were you able to accomplish?
- How many words you have written and edited today?
- What issues have you encountered while writing?
- Were you able to overcome said issues?
- What areas in your work can you improve on?
If you spend 20-30 minutes every day filling out your journal, you’ll soon have an archive that chronicles your progress as a writer – this will help highlight your strengths and identify your weak areas, so you’ll be able to work on improving them.
More time for quality writing isn’t a distant dream for bloggers – if they strategically implement smart time management techniques.
In order to spend your writing time in a quality way, it’s best that you minimize interruptions and set up a dedicated workspace that will inspire you to write. In order to train yourself to write faster, It’s best that you write every day, and reflect on your writing in a productivity journal.
Once you include these time management techniques in your writing routine, you’ll streamline your writing efforts, and be one step closer to fulfilling the famous promise many make: To improve your writing game.
Mark Maric is a marketing manager and a blogger. In his writings, he mostly covers topics that revolve around business, management, and productivity. Follow him on Twitter.