You don’t have to be a part-time blogger to want to get more done, but if you ARE a part-time blogger because your blog hasn’t made it possible for you to give up your day job, you need to discover ways to get more done in less time.
How Part-Time Bloggers Can Get More Done
When you’re a part-time entrepreneur you have the best and the worst of two worlds – you are earning a paycheck and that affords you the opportunity to pursue your pet blogging passion. But, you’re working full-time, and that means you have to carve out pockets of time to pursue your true passion – to be an entrepreneur.
The secret to getting more done in your limited hours includes:
Know how you spend your time.
If you want to know where your money is going, you prepare a budget, correct? If you want to know where and how you’re spending your time when you’re not at work, you need to track your hours. It’s easy to say, “I don’t have any time to write a blog post,” but if you look at your “time budget” you may notice you’re spending six hours a night watching television. Hhhmmm it’s hard to say you have “no time” if you’re spending that much time staring at the TV. This was my biggest downfall when I started my business. I’d been working my writing business as a side gig for close to a year and bemoaned the fact that I had no additional hours to devote to it, but when I looked at my schedule, I found I watched a LOT of television. I cut back and got a lot more done and my business went from side hustle to full-time entrepreneur.
ACTION STEP: Use either high-tech or low-tech to track your hours. Write down what you do in a 24-hour day. From the hours spent at your job, to walking the dog, to grooming the cat, to cooking dinner, doing laundry, watching television, spending time with friends and family and the hours you’re devoting to your business. Track your hours for a week. It could be very eye opening.
Use time-blocking for critical tasks.
If you have tasks for your business that you have to get done every day or every week, you need to block that time in your calendar and make that a non-negotiable block of time.
ACTION STEP: Create time blocks for your high- and low-priority tasks, for client phone calls, for blogging tasks, to create images for your blog posts, to post, share and comment on social media… and write it down. A Harvard study showed that of 100 people, 84 of them didn’t write down their goals, 13 of them kept their goals in their head and three of them wrote down the goals. The three who wrote them down were more successful than the 97 who didn’t. You’re more likely to complete a task if you’ve written it down.
Plan your day the night before.
When you know what you’re going to do the following day, you save valuable time. When you go to your workspace without a plan or a time-blocked schedule, you are more likely to “stare into space” or poke around on social media than you are to jump right into a necessary task.
Start your part-time day by knowing what you need to accomplish in the hours you have set aside. Doing this will help you more consistently meet your goals and complete your tasks.
ACTION STEP: Get into the habit of planning your day before you leave your office that night. Time-block your priorities so you work more productively.
Do you notice how some people: do laundry on Monday, vacuum on Tuesday, run errands on Wednesday, go to book club on Thursday, etc.? This is because routine is a powerful tool. When you know when you’re going to do something and it becomes habit, your mind will begin to crave the routine. Your routine could be: write blog posts on Sunday, create images on Monday, fill in your editorial calendar on Tuesday, interview sources for a post on Wednesday, schedule your social media on Thursday, etc. Time-blocking will help you build routines and get more done.
ACTION STEP: Batch your tasks to get more done. Don’t write part of a blog post on Monday, then finish it on Tuesday because you have phone calls to make on Monday as well. See where I am going with this? Batch like tasks and work through them without interruption. Interruption is the productivity killer of the part-time (and full-time) entrepreneur.
Give yourself grace.
When you’re working outside of the home and then coming home and working on growing your passion project, you need to give yourself the grace of knowing there will be weeks that–no matter how well you have blocked your time–you just won’t get to it all. Don’t write off the whole week just because you have one day that gets away from you. Chalk the “lost” day up to life happening and get back into it the next day.
Talk with any pet blogger who went from full-time employee to full-time entrepreneur and they will tell you they had to make sacrifices, but that it was worth it. I hope these tips will help you get more done in less time so you, too, can be a full-time entrepreneur.
I’d love to know – if you’re a full-time pet entrepreneur, how you made it happen. If you’re still struggling to make it to being a full-time entrepreneur, where are your challenges?
Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru. She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter. If you’re interested in time blocking, email me and I’ll send you a sample page. (Robbi AT PositivelyWoof DOT COM)