If I gave you $168, how would you spend it? This is the question you should ask yourself on a daily basis because, if time is money, then the 168 hours you have in a week is as good as money, am I right? What do you do with your 168 hours? If it was money in your wallet, how carefully would you spend it? Would you save it? Would you bank it? While you can’t really “bank” your time, you can find ways to spend it that help you achieve your pet blogging goals.
In this Blogging 101: how to be an organized writer, we explore quick and easy ways to gain control of your writing life and spend your 168 hours productively! Remember, just as not everyone would spend their $168 in the same way, neither will all bloggers spend their 168 hours in the same way. You need to pick and choose time and task management tips that resonate with you and incorporate them into your daily, weekly and monthly pet blogging routines. Knowing which tasks to complete will be based on your editorial calendar as well as your pet blogging business plan; these items form the foundation for your entire pet blogging business.
Ready. Set. Go.
Know your goals.
If you have a goal to quit your full time job and become a full time pet blogger you need to have milestones on place by which you can measure your successes. In this case “success” likely means making enough money to allow you to quit your full time job and undertake the job of full time pet blogging entrepreneur. Make note of your monthly expenses. Write down the income amount you need to help meet your expenses. If you have a spouse or significant other, have a talk with him or her to help formulate a financial plan that will allow you to live your dream.
Set your priorities.
Having goals means you need to set your priorities to meet them. What are your priorities? To write a book? To become a BlogPaws Influencer and get into paid blogging programs? To become a speaker at conferences? To seek out sponsors for blogs on your own behalf? To dig up clients with whom you can work and perform your services for? If you’re a blogger or a social media guru you may find clients willing to pay for your help in keeping up with their blogging duties — this could be great side income or a full time job, depending on how you structure it. Note: Make certain if you’re seeking out clients that you are able to perform at the highest level for them and that you have the skills and expertise to perform the tasks you say you can. Don’t tarnish your reputation by doing shoddy work.
Note how many hours a day you’re working.
Do you work full time outside of the house? Are you grabbing hours here and there to focus on your business? Note all of the hours you’re working and for whom. If you don’t track your hours you can find yourself either working way too many hours and not being a healthy entrepreneur or you can find yourself whiling away the hours on Pinterest or Instagram and truthfully getting nothing accomplished. Make note of when you start work and then add to that, what you accomplished during that work time. You may be surprised to find you’re spending more time on non essential tasks (recipes that you will never cook, ahem… yep, that’s me!).
Write down your to-do list.
I cannot stress highly or strongly enough that if you write it down your goals will be more likely to come to fruition. Grab a physical notebook or open a text doc on your computer and make note of all you want to accomplish that day. Even if you have recurring tasks, “perform social media tasks for clients” or “write a blog post” or “comment on the blogs of others” writing it down will keep you on task and it is a great feeling when you can cross those items off of your list! Celebrate those little wins of a to-do list that is completely done! You’ve earned it.
This can be an eye-opening endeavor. If you’re prone to lengthy social media updates, add those words to the mix. Simply tracking how many words you write a day/week/month is a great way to know exactly how much you’re doing. It is amazing when you realize that you have written 5,000 words in one day — and that isn’t out of the realm of the ordinary for a full time writer. Add your total daily word counts to your to-do list. I do this because on those days when I feel I have accomplished nothing I look at that and realize, “I kicked words’ butt today!”
Tidy up your workspace.
Even if you’re working on the corner of the kitchen table, keep it neat and organized. I know. I know. There are those of you who pride yourselves on being able to work in a workspace that looks as though a clowder of kittens has been on a rampage, but truthfully you will get more done if you work in a neat area. The physical clutter becomes emotional clutter and even though you’re not consciously aware of it, clutter can be oppressive. File paperwork in file folders and in drawers. Stack paperwork so it isn’t falling off the desk and onto the floor. While you’re at it, tidy up your computer desktop. Put documents into folders, organize the desktop into folders and come up with naming conventions that make sense to you so you can find items when you’re looking for them at a later time.
What is your biggest organizational hassle? Where do you feel you fall down? What is your biggest organizational win? I’d love to know!
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking on Time Management Tips For The Blogger at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter and is the Media Manager for Big Barker, maker of premium beds for big dogs.