8 ways to make time for blogging in English
Do you find it difficult to make time for blogging in English?
Running a blog successfully requires a commitment to writing and publishing our blog posts regularly.
But with so many things competing for our attention it’s easy to feel we don’t have time for writing.
The key to our success as bloggers is identifying our priorities and practising good time management.
This is particularly important if you are a non-native English speaker blogging in English. As well as the challenges all bloggers face, such as:
- coming up with fresh ideas for content
- writing with a unique and interesting angle
- adding images, videos, and external and internal links
- apply good SEO so posts are visible to search engines
- and promoting our posts to various social media platforms
…you have the added challenge of writing in a language that’s not your first language and, most likely, you will also want to make time for improving your English writing skills.
You have enough challenges already without adding time management issues to the mix!
Small changes make a big difference
When I was studying for my degrees, I had three small children and a job, and I found it difficult to make time for my coursework.
I worked out where I could find or make some study time, and my strategies looked like this:
- reading my course books while sitting in the bathroom watching over my children at bath time
- studying during their daytime nap times, or at night when they were asleep
- getting up early to grab half an hour to study before they woke up in the morning.
I even bought an electric dishwasher so that I could save the half an hour a day I spent washing the dishes and use this for studying instead!
These small blocks of time soon add up.
Even 15 minutes a day adds up to over 91 hours in a year – that’s a lot of potential blogging time.
Now that my children are adults I have much more time for work, but I certainly still need to manage that time and the basic principles remain the same – know which are my priority tasks, then make or find time for those priorities.
Poor time management often starts with or manifests itself as procrastination.
We all sometimes put things off until tomorrow when we know we should be doing them today.
We know it’s self-sabotage, but we do it anyway.
Procrastination isn’t caused by laziness or lack of willpower, it’s a way of coping with the emotions we feel when faced with tasks we find daunting.
There are various causes of these negative emotions, including:
- not having clearly defined and meaningful goals
- feeling overwhelmed by the size/difficulty of the task ahead
Effective time management helps you stop procrastinating.
You will feel much less overwhelmed, have time to do what you need to do, be organised, and have clear goals to work towards.
Here are 8 simple things you can do today to help you work more efficiently and make time for blogging in English:
“Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
~ John C. Maxwell
Priority management or time management?
Whether you call it time management or priority management, the fact is in order to get our priority tasks done we have to think about how and where we currently spend our time, and how and where we can make or find time for our important tasks.
The first step is to identify what’s most important from a long to-do list.
Narrow down everything you have to do to just three to five manageable items.
Put these tasks in order from most to least important so that you’re focusing on what’s essential. If you do this, you’ll eliminate nonessential, time-wasting activities.
You’ll stay focused and have a motivating sense of achievement as you make good progress on your important tasks.
2. Keep track of your daily activities
Perform a time audit. Over the course of several days keep track of how you spend your time. Include everything, time each activity and write down the results.
You may be surprised at those results. You’ll be able to see where you might be wasting time, how much time you could save, and times when you could make time for blogging in English.
3. Create time blocks
The secret to modern life is finding the measure in time management. I have two kids, career, and I travel, and I don’t think my life is any different than most couples. The most valuable commodity now for many people is time and how to parcel that out.
~ Hugh Jackman
Create a block of time for each task you have to do and decide exactly how long you’ll do it.
For example, one hour per day on an ongoing project or thirty minutes a day on Facebook. This keeps you on track and prevents you from spending too long on any one task.
I find this approach in particular very helpful because I often have multiple projects on the go, and because I know I can spend too long on things like project research if I don’t decide in advance how much time I will allocate to it.
4. Choose the best time of day for working on each task
There’s an optimal time of day for each type of task.
For example, you may be most adept at communications in the late morning or most creative in the evening. There may also be a time of day when you’re at your most productive. Identify these times and use them to schedule your daily tasks more effectively.
I’m at my most productive first thing in the morning, but I can do creative work best last thing at night. How about you?
5. Get organized
Make it as easy as possible to get your important tasks done by having your work space and resources organized and easily accessible.
This will cut down on the time you spend searching for things and doing on-the-spot organizing. Set aside a little time daily or weekly to clean up, organize, and put things away.
6. Remove Distractions
You don’t need me to tell you that distractions are a big problem these days.
Your tasks may be taking too long because you’re allowing yourself to be distracted by emails, social media, your mobile phone, and other people.
- Turn off your mobile phone.
- Sign out of social media.
- Close your emails and turn off all notifications.
- If you don’t need it for the task you’re working on, disconnect from the internet.
- Work somewhere where you will not be disturbed. Let people know that you’re working and not to be bothered.
7. Keep Your Goals in Mind
“Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.”
~ Zig Ziglar
Blogging is a long-term commitment and many people find their blogging efforts simply fade away.
Don’t lose sight of your blogging goals. What do you want to achieve with your blog in one year’s time, two years’ time? What difference will achieving your goals make to your life?
For each task you have to do in a day, take a moment to consider whether it’s directly helping you reach a specific goal or not.
If it’s not, consider eliminating it from your list, moving it to a later time, or delegating it to somebody else.
8. Take regular breaks
If you work too long doing something you can lose focus.
Make sure you give yourself a couple of good breaks in the day to do non-work things. This has to be enjoyable too.
Then you can get back to what you’re doing with renewed energy and use your time better.
How do you make time for blogging in English? Do you have any tips to share? Where do you struggle most with managing your time?