Today I’m going to teach you about how to find time for blogging. If we look at the most common challenges and struggles people have in their journey into becoming a better blogger, and having a successful blog, finding time to do this, to do it right, to do this efficiently and effectively obviously is really one of the main struggles and challenges people have.
One of the most common questions I get from my students is of course how to find time. Yes, because 24 hours a day it seems like not enough. We have so many things we have to achieve, to do. We have to take care of our families, to take care of work obligations. We have some hobbies we need to also practice.
Some people also want to relax in the evenings, after the hard day’s work. When we think about it it’s really a matter of finding the time to do this. If we had let’s say maybe five extra hours a day that would solve our problems, it seems.
But, actually it’s not, because it’s not the matter of how many hours a day we have, but it’s the matter of how well we use these hours, this time we have. Because everybody has the same amount of time. You and me, and your friends, and my colleagues, everyone.
Your competitors also have 24 hours a day and also have family obligations, work obligations. Anything that you are struggling with other people also are struggling with. So how to get out of this circle of finding time? This is today’s topic for teaching.
1. Time Management
I think we have to realize that when we deal with time issues lots of people teach that we have to manage our time better, to do some productivity hacks, how to write faster, how to create faster, how to do everything more productively. But, this is not necessarily a true perspective, at least in my experience.
Because, I don’t usually need to do things faster than anybody else. I just have to choose the right things to do. Let’s say I get a call from a stranger asking me to do some errands for him or her, to do some projects. The question is should I say yes or no? Because when I say yes then of course I might limit my possibility to do some work on my blogging projects, blogging business.
It seems like time management is not necessarily an answer to this problem. It seems like prioritizing your time is more important. Setting your priorities straight. There is a famous Pareto principle or rule you might have heard, 80/20 principle, which means that 20% of your actions give 80% of your results. Think about it.
In your day, 20% of what you do means that you also get 80% of value in your creative endeavors, anything you do. For example, 20% of your food. Yes also food intake, average food, also has 80% of your impact on your health. On average, anything you do, minority of your actions give majority of results.
The thing for you and me in our blogging experience is to set our priorities straight so that basically we would find our 20%. 20%, the most important tasks in the day that would give 80% of the achievement, of the success. Some people also teach and go even one step further than this.
If we find 20% of the 20%, which give 80% of the 80%, you see, so then we would get 4% really of your actions, amount to 64% of your results. 4/64 percent rule, not 20/80, but 4 versus 64.
This is even more advanced way of thinking, and I would say that it’s true for me, because I might have some really important activities in my day, but even from that 20% they’re not all that equally important. My 4% activities in the day give 64% of results, and that might be quite enough.
So I think what you could do is really evaluate your day-to-day activities and find either your 80/20 percent activities or 64 versus 4%. Maybe if it’s really difficult for you to go 4/64, maybe look at your day simplistically and find simply 20% of the most important actions that you have. That’s for starters. Then you could have one step further later on if you don’t feel comfortable of omitting really your actions during the day.
Here is a good exercise for setting your priorities straight, and applying this 4/64 rule or 20/80 rule. Take out a sheet of paper, one sheet of paper and write out all of the things you need to do in your day. Write like in a diary, a list of maybe 25 ideas, what you’re doing in the day.
It’s creatively, and mentally, and physically, and socially, and emotionally, and even spiritually. Anything you write you really are doing during the day. Think about what’s the most important few things, five things. You might have a list of 25 things you are doing every day.
If you’re really serious about your blogging success I really recommend you choose to do top five things, that’s all, that’s it. That’s it. You don’t need to do everything, but top five things are very, very enough for you to be successful in blogging, in life in general.
But you have to be very strict with yourself, and limit the possibilities for you to do everything, because we don’t have a time in our lives eternally. Everything is limited. Resources are limited. So applying this 80/20 rule, or 64/4 rule is really the key, the key in success in finding time for blogging.
3. Limit Distractions
Once you do that, once you can honestly say here is my list of 25 things I do in my day, and here are the top five things I’m doing, and once you are honestly crossing out all the unnecessary things, this means that you have to limit distractions.
Distractions are the things that other people want you to do, but they don’t contribute to your goals and dreams. They don’t contribute to your blogging success. They don’t contribute to your purpose in life. We call it putting out fires, basically.
You receive an email for example from your colleague, or a stranger even, asking you to do something for him or her. Usually this means these things are urgent, labeled urgent. What we usually do is we usually reply all the time, and right away to things that are urgent.
Urgent necessarily means important. Here is the very, very crucial rule that I use. So, you have to limit your input so that your output would be the greatest possible output you can have in your day.
These words have been written by Tim Ferriss, a very famous blogger and entrepreneur, so you can look him up. Tim Ferriss, and he writes about basically limiting distractions and doing what’s really, really important first. Limiting your input so that your output would be the most, the greatest possible.
By the way, about 64/4 rule, you can read on James Altucher’s website. He also is very, very famous entrepreneur and blogger too. He constantly applies this strict regiment of limiting distractions, limiting activities during his time, which means that he can focus on issues and things that really have a tremendous impact on his activities, on his success, and in his business, and his life too.
So, limit distractions. Distractions basically means we are reacting to the urgent calls to other people, urgent desires of other people. Here’s the thing, never prioritize your family. Your family is probably the most important thing in your life. Your family, your spouse, your children.
So, if you have let’s say a request from your spouse or your children, I would think you should do this first, because you’re surrounded by people who really love you, and this really would be rude to neglect your family at the expense of your relationship with them, and to work on your business, blogging business instead. We should not do this.
Yes, we should perhaps talk to our family members, and explain that what we’re doing is really important to us as human beings, and maybe we setup boundaries. The time in the day, or in the morning, or in the evening when we are at work, working on our blogging business.
Unless it is an emergency they should respect your time. In normally family situation people should usually understand this, and this is something we could talk about with our family members. But again, do not really prioritize them.
If it’s something like an emergency, and if your lets say kid wants you to read a book for her or let’s say check her homework, I would say you should do this, because we should not neglect our family members.
Other than that really are things that other people want us to do, and we could really limit those distractions quite easily and even omit them from our days.
One of the distractions is email, of course. Email is one of the pains of modern people. We always have a tendency to check an email first thing in the email, when we first wake up, and to see if everything is okay. The first idea when we check our smartphone or really check the computer, our email inbox, to see if everything is okay. This is what email is doing to us.
But this is not necessary at all, because what you get, what we get in our email inboxes are things we have to reply urgently. Urgently basically means that they are very important for other people, but for our goals it’s not necessarily true.
There is a rule not to check your email in the morning, because in the morning when you wake up you are probably feeling the most creative, and feeling the most energized in your day. If the first thing in the morning you do is checking your email to make sure everything is still okay, then you just say, I’ll just check an email for five minutes or two minutes.
But, very soon you get immersed into your email and you can get lost in your other applications, go to social media easily and surf the internet, although you just a minute ago said it will be just a couple of minutes for me checking email. You forget. I forget too. So, we can avoid.
We can avoid checking emails for a long period of time. Maybe we could set boundaries. If in your day checking emails is really one of the important activities you don’t have to do this every hour. You can set maybe two times a day, twice. Maybe before lunch, and after your workday basically at the end of the workday.
You can set boundaries. I will check email at those particular times, 15 minutes at a time. Or even if you are braver than that you can say I can check my email only on certain days of the week, not everyday. I know people who are successful bloggers, and they check email and work on, and process email, reply to emails only once a week.
This is possible. Only, it requires tremendous discipline. Not to panic when you are receiving a ton of emails, a mountain of incoming emails. You just simply wait until the right time in your schedule to this, and you process email in batches.
The best way to reply on mail is in bulk, not one-on-one. Here is an example. You receive a message and you read this message and you reply right away. Then five minutes later if you receive another message you read this message and reply right away. The third message comes in after five more minutes, you read this message, it’s important message or even urgent message. You read it and reply right away. This is putting out fires.
Very soon you will discover after replying to four or five emails that you don’t have energy left to create. You don’t have enough creativity left in your power, and you will want to take a break. Your break will mean that you will not work on your blogging business during your half an hour or an hour that you have in your daily activities that you scheduled in advance specifically for blogging. Because you just used very important energy to reply to email, although it seemed like an urgent email.
For starters I don’t recommend checking email just once a week. It’s maybe more advanced technique, but for starters you could limit checking email just twice a day. Set really two times a day when you’re doing this, and make sure those times of the day are the times after you did something creatively.
Because you have to create, write, record, anything, before you’re tired. Then after that you can process your email a little bit, and then go to lunch or something. Do some other errands, but never ever work on seemingly urgent things first, because they don’t contribute to your goals. Be strict with yourself.
5. Social media
Isn’t this a terrible distraction today? It’s a very powerful tool to connect with people, to really have conversations with our friends, family members, and even strangers from across the globe in real time, but it is a tremendous time sucker. This is also one of the greatest distractions we face today.
Don’t we all have this feeling in our hearts or even hands that whenever we have a free five minutes with our time we tend to check our phone and check for social media status updates, right? It might be Facebook. It might be Twitter for anybody. For everybody it’s different, but in general we tend to check our phones and sort of the social media very, very often.
If this is something you’re struggling with, just turn off notifications on your phone. Turn it off completely. Make your phone notification free, and believe me nothing will change, nothing will really happen if you limit your social media activities. Especially those activities when you’re just looking, and liking, and commenting, and sharing things that other people have created. Remember I’m not talking about doing social media activities or limiting social media activities when you’re doing something creatively.
For example, writing a blog post on Facebook, or inspiring idea on Twitter. No. If this is the path you have chosen to take, Facebook and Twitter, this is your business, and you are creating something. What I mean is the opposite, when you react. When you like, mindlessly scroll through other people’s profile feeds.
You just mindlessly like the pictures mostly, sometimes videos. This is not creative activity. You’re not creating value at all surfing the social media, so I suggest we limit this Facebook, and Twitter, and other social media distractions. You will not believe how much time we will save during the day, really.
Believe me, people, you will not feel neglected when you do this.
Actually you will feel the opposite. You will feel very calm when you limit social media activities, distractions, because we usually engage in social media when we have this fear of missing out, FOMO. Fear of missing out. Something is happening, what is very, very exciting, and I’m sitting here and missing it out. So I have to check my phone if it’s okay, if I’m on top of things, if my friends like me, things like that. Or, how my posts on Facebook are doing. Do they receive many likes, or shares, or comments? I check, right?
This is distraction because it doesn’t really create value at all. When you are creating and posting on social media this is different. You’re working on your business, on your blogging projects, and that might contribute to the success of your blogging activities, but when you’re just checking things, reacting to things in fear of missing out, this is a simple distraction. Simple distraction which we could easily eliminate if we choose to. It’s nothing really too sophisticated to turn off the notifications, and make our phone cleaner this way.
How about TV? TV is another time sucker that many people have these days, and you could save actually hours a day without watching the TV. Can you go without TV in your day? I know a lot of bloggers, a lot of entrepreneurs, very successful people who don’t watch television all together.
Because not only they distract us from our work, distract us from our creative activities, and they don’t really give us value, because what we’re looking at TV is what other people have created. This is not necessarily a thing that matters in our lives. We are just reacting to the moving pictures.
We could save hours a day by not watching television. I know this is really difficult for people to stay out of television influence, and media influence, and news influence, but believe me you will feel calmer, more focused, and you will have more creative creativity this way if you don’t watch television.
If you like movies you can choose going to the theater, and watching movies, or watching movies in the right time when you’re specifically set certain amount of hours during your week when you are free to do those things, but not necessarily every day, but not necessarily when you feel like you want to watch TV.
Because we need to do creative things first, and only then things that are urgent. If you still have enough time maybe talk to your family members. This is more important. This is things that they will appreciate. Take a walk with your spouse. Take a walk with your children. Have a conversation with your daughter or something. They will really appreciate it. But TV, it’s just a box sitting in your living room, and really nothing will be worse if you choose to eliminate it from your life.
I know it’s very difficult, so maybe you could do it very gradually. Say maybe instead of watching television for three hours a day you could do it just one show a day. Very gradually. You still have this influence but not so much, and you still will free your day from those distractions very gradually, if you are not brave, or not advanced enough to cut it out from your life all together.
When you’re ready you will, but maybe not right now. Okay, so email, social media, and TV are tremendously important things to limit in your day, and then you will find enough time for blogging.
7. Waking Up Earlier
Another idea is to wake up earlier. When your family is still asleep, and if you wake up an hour earlier you can really work on your business. You can really create articles, posts, videos, recordings, anything you like when your family is asleep. You go to the quiet room and simply do your creative activities. It requires discipline.
It requires getting to bed in the evening earlier than normal, because you still have to have eight or nine hours of quality sleep, so I suggest you go to bed at maybe 9:00, 10 o’clock in the evening, and then you will have good quality sleep for eight or nine hours, and you can wake up at five or six and work on your blogging activities.
Your kids, your family will still be asleep and this will be quiet in your day. This is completely possible. A lot of people who feel creative in the morning do this very first thing when they wake up, work on their creative activities first.
But you have to ask yourself, are you a morning person or are you an evening person? Because a lot of people might feel more creative after their family is asleep.
Maybe you have to ask yourself, for now I am assuming that a lot of people are more creative when they just first wake up, so I think it will be very great for your blogging success to write first, to work on articles when you first wake up, when your family is still asleep. Maybe one hour earlier. But make sure you get enough quality sleep by going to bed earlier than usual, maybe between 9:00 or 10 o’clock in the evening.
8. Staying Up Later
Another idea which would help to find time for blogging is also to stay up later than your entire family. For example, if you’re not a morning person and you would like to really work more in the evenings, or even later evenings, this is a very valuable time, because your family is asleep, and you will only need maybe a half an hour or an hour working on your blogging business.
Basically it’s very quiet in the house. Nobody is disturbing you. You can go to your separate room, separate office, and setup your basically either recording studio or your writing studio, whatever you need to do in that particular blog.
Little by little your blogging activities will add up. Imagine you did this for 30 minutes a day, or one hour a day in the evening. Let’s say from 10 to 11 when your family is sort of asleep. What can you do during the time? You can write quite a few articles. You can record quite a few audio recordings, trainings for your target audience. You can do it in videos if you have the equipment at hand. Basically entire evening is for yourself this hour.
Of course it’s important that you don’t spend this hour by checking your emails, surfing the internet, social media. You have to close all those distractions. Shut the distractions from your evening activities and work only on your blog. Work only on your blogging business. This will make with time you a better writer, a better blogger, and eventually you will basically achieve more successful future for yourself.
9. Ideas Notebook
Another thing to think about is carrying with yourself the 10 ideas notebook. A notebook to notate 10 ideas for your blogging activities everyday. The thing I like to do is to have a small pocket notebook which would fit in my basically pocket, and I carry with me at all times this little, small notebook. In fact, I’m looking at it right now while I’m basically teaching you today.
I’m also looking at the ideas I have written this morning in my blogging notebook. This is very, very important, because if you do this regularly you won’t have to suffer in finding ideas for your blog. You will have many ideas.
It’s just a matter of practicing. Practicing the right amount of ideas to come up everyday.
Let’s say 10. It’s a very great number to work with, but you could come up with 12, 15, or even 20 ideas. It’s very common for me to setup a list of 10 ideas at first, but then as my idea muscle so to say warms up, I begin to write, notate many more ideas in my notebook for that particular day, and I hardly can keep up with this. So I no longer have to suffer with ideas, where to find ideas for a blogging business. They are always in my notebook.
And the reason it is particularly important for you if you’re struggling to find time for blogging is that when you’re notating ideas down you’re not blogging. You are just coming up with ideas, either for your blog topics, or for trainings, or for any other blog related activities.
But when that actual time in the morning, in the day, or in the afternoon, or in the evening comes to you to write, to work on your blog, you won’t have to look for ideas. The ideas, your so to say to-do list, will be there all the time. You will just have to open your notebook and those ideas will be with you all the time.
I recommend you notate your ideas on paper, and not on the computer. There are quite a few software to do that, but I recommend keeping a pen at hand and a notebook. This physical act of writing somehow works together with your brain much better than your typing it on the keyboard, or even dictating to your microphone.
It’s much better. Of course, if you are in a hurry, or driving a car, and you cannot really write but you come up with ideas while driving, while commuting, it’s very good to save the time and press the record button on your phone, for example, so that you could record a few ideas which could later be used in your blogging business. Use every tool that you have to come up with ideas, and one of them is very important, ideas notebook for you.
10. Learn to Say “No”
When we live our days and we work on our blogging business, many times we face a situation when somebody comes up to us and asks us to do a certain task. This might be an urgent task for them, and it might seem like an important task for us, but you have to differentiate between urgent and important, and more importantly, more often than not, you have to learn how to say no.
How to decline politely so that you’re no longer working on the ideas of others, but you are taking full charge of your initiative, of your life, and doing the creative work that matters the most for you, your business, and the people around you, the people that you are influencing.
You have to learn to politely say no to people. Let’s say you received a call asking to do a certain task, to do a certain project, to have an interview or something, which would seem like it’s in alignment with your short-term perhaps goals. It would work well for your ego to have this interview and maybe somehow it would pay off in the short future very well, but if that takes the energy and time from your blogging business, and if you’re really looking seriously at your blogging activities, you should view it as a business.
If you are taking this seriously, and doing it with your full energy and strength, then probably it’s very important for you to reevaluate all those calls and reevaluate all the demands that you’re facing during the day, and diminish them to the minimum. I’m not saying you will completely cut out all the distractions, and all the other people’s demands from your life.
You will not probably. You will not be able to live your life in solitude and work on your blogging business this way sustainably. No, but learning how to differentiate between those shiny objects and basically have a good sense of discernment, this will really help you to find much more time for your blogging activities, for your real blogging business, which actually creates value.
11. Pro Attitude
When you struggle to find time for blogging, a lot of times you think that you are blogging as a hobby. You have a great idea. You have a passion for some area, for some activity, you have a skill to teach, and it’s a nice pastime. Basically in your free time you like to blog, but little by little you discover that more often than not it’s very difficult to blog sustainably this way, to create value for people if you’re not taking it seriously, if you’re not thinking as a professional. So, you have to have this pro mindset, professional attitude.
It’s not that difficult to have this professional attitude. It’s just the matter of simply doing the things that really create value in your business at the right time, in the right way, for the right people, and doing this no matter what. Imagine you are let’s say a carpenter, and your business is to help people with your carpenter skills.
So, if you receive a call to your customer or a client, and it rings, you still have to do this. If you receive a call and you are not feeling very inspired to go to do the business you still have to work.
You still have to do the work, as Steven Pressfield says. It’s another author that’s very, very important to take notice to. Imagine yourself as a professional blogger. You don’t have to be literally a professional at this moment in your life. You can really have as a side project. I’m not saying you should quit your job or something and do the blogging full-time. Not at all. It’s not how it works, but really thinking in your mind that you’re professional and you will complete the tasks no matter what.
Let’s imagine a scenario that you have in your idea notebook, written down 10 tasks you have to do today, 10 blogging activities which would tremendously add value for your blogging success today, and you only complete five of them. Something comes up, you get distracted. You receive a phone call or a demand from somebody asking for you to do something.
Guess what wan amateur blogger would do? He or she would really forget about blogging responsibility, and postpone it for the future, maybe indefinite future. Because let’s face it, five things, it’s very good for today, right?
Here’s what a professional would do. If the call you received is high priority on your list, then you will say yes to this activity, and you do that, but you will not forget that you have to complete five other tasks today on your blogging business.
Maybe if your original idea was to work on those additional five things in your blogging in the afternoon you will have to stay up later, maybe half an hour, maybe one hour longer than you planned, just to make sure you completed this. And face the new day with new priorities, a new set of valuable and important activities that would add value for your blogging business, and for the people who are around you whom you are trying to help with your blogging.
Pro attitude is basically doing those crucial and important tasks. This 80/20 rule or even 4/64 rule in your life, no matter what, no matter what the situation is, no matter what anybody else asks you to do. For example, as I’m teaching you right now my original idea was really to do a full training this morning, but I got sidetracked by my colleague, and I had to help my colleague in a number of unexpected ways.
I didn’t say no because this colleague is important person in my life, but I said to myself, okay I will finish this training later today, whenever I will find additional time to do this.
Here we are. I’m teaching you right now and keeping this professional attitude. No matter what this is what makes or breaks the blogging success in the long run basically. Because one of the most important reasons people fail at blogging is that they want to have quick results, and in blogging results don’t happen overnight. It might require you months before you really feel the traction. Months, and even sometimes years, and so amateurs get discouraged.
Those challenges, real natural challenges, they become insurmountable. But, if you’re keeping this professional attitude, if you are keeping this long-term vision for you, then obviously short-term distractions and set backs are no longer so important. You complete the tasks for yourself, no matter what.
Maybe, initially you plan to do too much for your day. Maybe 10 things a day is too much for you. Maybe you only need five things. I don’t know? It depends on your situation. Maybe you only need to work on three things or four things. It’s really up to you, but remember to finish what you started. This is professional attitude, which will eventually make great success for your blogging business, and make finding the time for actual blogging activities much, much easier.
12. Finding Your Purpose
Many bloggers, when they start to write the blog posts, struggle in doing this long-term for months or years, because they think that the success will come faster than they deserve. But in today’s over saturated market in many niches that really have great competition, you have to be very patient, and do the activities in your blogging business one thing at a time.
What helps in sustaining this activity over time is really finding your purpose and by finding your purpose you will actually find time, make time for your blogging activities much easier, because this is probably the ultimate professional mindset, which has a vision. You have a vision which actually sort of passes yourself, and you want your vision, your purpose be in front of you at all times.
Especially when you’re facing challenges and the short-term setbacks, struggles.
For example, for the first few weeks you might feel very optimistic with your blogging and you write posts every day, and you’re feeling inspired to come up with great ideas, or you feel like they are great ideas. But, in those few months you discover nobody really sees your blog.
You then most likely will feel discouraged and think, oh blogging is not for me, not for my niche. Perhaps not for my abilities. I don’t have what it takes. And you give up, because you didn’t create a purpose, initial purpose for yourself. In order not to quit, and easier find time for your blogging activities, you really have to think about why you are doing this.
It’s this vision that will keep you going. For me blogging is always about helping people. Helping people solve their problems. Like today hopefully I’m helping you solve your problem in finding time for blogging. By finding your purpose as I’m saying, you will make this tasks of scheduling time in your day much easier, because this is a high priority in your daily activities, your blogging.
Because you’re doing this with a high purpose, to help people, and in any way you can with your skills that you currently have, with your expertise that you currently have or with the expertise that you are hoping to achieve while studying a certain area. Always try to have a higher purpose, which will eventually facilitate your blogging success, and help find time for writing and blogging.
13. Having a Drive
Another thing bloggers struggle is really having a drive, so to say, a focus. A focus of mind when thinking about blogging in their days. Not only they get distracted, but during the difficult times, during the night, so to say, basically they are having a difficult time in keeping it going, pushing it through the challenges. Basically without having the drive no blogger can succeed. So where do you find this drive which will help you actually find and to make time for blogging itself?
The drive to me comes from my first thought in the morning when I wake up with the idea of who can I help today. This is my drive. I really think about that activity and I carry this idea of helping people throughout my day.
I hope you will also do this with your blogging activities because having this initial drive to help people in whatever way you can not only will make the task of finding the time for blogging and making the time for blogging easier, but it actually will help you produce so much helpful content, so much helpful training for people that you actually won’t be able to keep up with this.
You will become an idea machine, as James Altucher says, so you have to not only find your purpose, your higher calling so to say, but also find this inner drive to help people. That’s what I wish to you today, and that’s what helped me in finding time for my blogging activities. That’s what I believe will be tremendously valuable to you too.
Which of the above 13 techniques have you been using in your blogging lately? Or maybe I forgot something? I would love to read your comments.
Dr. Vidas Pinkevicius is the creator of Vidas Blog Academy where he teaches people to empower themselves one post at a time. If you want to become a successful blogger, download his free PDF report "Overcoming 12 Challenges Beginner Bloggers Face".