Writing effectively and consistently, isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult either.
Most of the time, it’s just poor time management that leads you to be scatter brained and pressured over what to write about next.
Then, there’s the day-to-day business that keeps you from sitting down to get the writing done to begin with. Phone calls, emails, meetings, et cetera. You know you have to publish something, but there’s just not enough hours in the day.
Well, if you feel like your blog has gotten the better of you, check out the following tips on how to make the most of the little time you do have to write something and hit publish more often…
- Take lots of notes all the time. Use your phone, keep a notebook or simply write ideas on a sticky note. Any time you get a new idea for post, write it down. It’s called keeping a “swipe file.” A library of ideas that you can reference at any given time when you’re running short on things to write about.
- Stop checking email every five minutes. I’m not saying email is not important – it is. But make a habit of checking it in batches (once in the morning, in the afternoon and then again in the evening – or whatever works for you). But please, stop checking it every 5 minutes. It’s hurting more than it’s helping. And most times, it’s never really that urgent. By cutting down on the amount of times you check your email, you’ll actually increase your productivity time and produce better content, faster.
- Turn off notifications. You don’t need to check an alert every time you get a new @reply or someone tags you on Facebook. This is even worse than checking your email every 5 minutes. These are distractions and it’s killing your productivity. Make a commitment to turning all your notifications off (or ignoring them) until you’ve published something new and you’ve gotten all other important tasks done for the day. Read: Are You Measuring Ego Instead of Results.
- Screen calls with a service like Google Voice. Often times people will ask to schedule a call to discuss something that could have very well been answered via a quick email. Spending an hour (or more) no a call for something that could have been addressed in 10 minutes is very unproductive. Needless to say, screening your calls can lead to a boost in productivity. But don’t screen calls by letting them go to voicemail and then wait 24 hours or more to check it and respond. Responsiveness is important. Instead, apply for an account with a service like Google Voice that will transcribe your voicemails to text. You’ll have to apply for an account and the transcription isn’t exactly accurate, but it works just fine and gets the job done.
- Start using a timer. I use a variation of the pomodoro technique to discipline myself to write. Only instead of setting the timer to 25 minutes, I set it to 12 minutes and I focus on doing one thing and one thing only in those 12 minutes. When I’m writing, I have one tab open and I write for 12 minutes. Then, I take a 2-3 minutes break and read my post out-loud while in preview mode to look for spelling errors and to make sure everything flows properly. Write for 12 minutes, break for 2-3 then write for 12 minutes and again break for 2-3. I do that four times or until my post is published.
What other time management tips do you have for busy bloggers such as yourself? How do you stay consistent?
[Photo Credit: Markus Rödder]