I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have trouble sticking to a blog post schedule.
I try each week to write and publish at least one blog post, but I’m the queen of giving in to distractions, so I’m lucky to get even one blog post published a week.
If I really I put my mind to it I can get a ton of work done, but it’s the distractions that keep me from getting even one blog post published on the day I want to publish it, which is Wednesday. Instead I end up publishing on Friday, just like today’s post. Argggh!
And when distractions settle in, good luck getting any additional posts or even guest posts written.
That’s when you know it’s time for a good kick in the you know what.
It’s not that I don’t know what to do, in fact I’ve written posts in the past about planning, getting organized, tips for writing blog post faster and more efficiently; so I know what to do, I don’t always do it. Sound familiar
So I confess, I don’t always follow my own advice and often procrastinate. Case in point — a day I totally wasted last week. There’s a day I’ll never get back.
Try not to laugh too hard, but here’s how my day progressed.
Blog Post Schedule Gone Seriously Wrong
- 5:00 – I get up, have my coffee, I also take a little prayer time in the morning so I got to work about 6:00am.
- 6:00 – 6:23 Checked my email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, made a few comments as well as some blog comments.
- 6:23 Got dressed and ready for a 5 mile walk I take every day.
- 640 checked email again, answered 2 emails from readers.
- 7:12 Headed out to walk.
- 9:05 Got home then was stopped by a neighbor who I talked to for about 15 minutes.
- 9:08 Made another cup of coffee.
- 9:11 Looked at email again, checked Facebook making silly useless comments that had nothing to do with work.
- 9:37 Opened WordPress post to start writing.
- 9:56 Facebook dinged and off I went following several feeds. Decided to check email again. Got an email from a friend and checked into writing an email to my list about a new promotion.
- 10:47 My daughter called and we chatted for about 20 minutes.
- 11:10 Made another cup of coffee. Yep, I drink a lot of coffee.
- 11:15 Checked email again, make a few comments and posts on Facebook. Hit an ad about new deals on Zappos so clicked on those. Didn’t buy anything though.
- 11:42 Back in WordPress to finish my post.
- 12:03 Remembered I forgot to do my sit-ups after my walk, so did those.
- 12:22 Stood in front of the pantry for something to eat. Made a PB&J sandwich and while eating made a few tweets, got on Facebook again, then made some tea.
- 12:56 Got back to blog post. Almost finished with post but it needs a graphic. So I decided to make one using Wordie.net. (love that tool but it can take me 30 minutes or more to create a graphic because I like to play.
- 1:40 Went back to my post added the graphic and started editing.
- 2:10 Kitties are dancing around my computer, so I got up and we all went outside as it’s a beautiful day. Watered a few plants, clipped some flowers, sat in my hammock a little until I decided it was time to back to work.
- 2:45 Back on computer, checked email and looked at Facebook. Had a few shares from my son. Engaged in a few conversations with friends.
- 3:10 Door bell rings, my next door neighbor wants to borrow a table for a party and show me her new party gadgets, so off I went.
- 3:45 Back to work on my blog. Back to editing, realized there were a few more things I wanted to add, so did a little research on Google.
- 4:30 Hubby walks in, wants to chat. Open a glass of wine, chat, ate dinner.
- 6:20 Check email again.
- 6:25 Get ready for an evening commitment at 7:00.
- 9:30 Home and off to bed.
Blog post NOT done Seriously? How could I get anything done on that schedule? Duh!!
So what happened?
It’s obvious what happened, but how did I let that happen when I know better?
Working from home is the ideal environment for distractions, and I’m the queen of giving in to distractions. It’s one thing to plan and write down your schedule to follow each day, it’s entirely another thing to actually follow it.
I’ve always been impressed by people who can run their highly successful business on just a few hours a week. They do it because they stick to the schedule and don’t do another thing until they’ve finished their task list.
We all have bad days. We have stresses and anxieties that can impact our productivity, that’s a given. But in general we need to really focus on getting our tasks completed and do it in a timely manner.
I’ve gone back to basics. That means making realistic plans each week and disciplining myself to stick with them. If this is an area you need help with as well, here’s what my back to basics plan will consist of.
8 tips for sticking to a blog post schedule and avoid distractions
1. Don’t eat at your desk. Slot out a minimum of 30 minutes for lunch. If weather permits get outside or take a walk. If you can’t get outside, jump on your treadmill or do some indoor exercise. Maybe even watch the noon time news. Don’t spend your break time on social media or on your computer at all. Also don’t spend your break reading, online or off. You do enough reading; give your eyes a break.
2. Eliminate online distractions. When writing your blog post, close down email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or anything that can potentially distract you. It’s OK to read email and get on social marketing as often as you like, just don’t let it interfere with the time you’ve devoted to getting your blog post written and completed.
3. Don’t play with graphics. This is a big one for me. I can spend a half an hour or more fiddling with finding or creating graphics. One thing that’s helped me be efficient in the graphics department is adding the graphic at the time I create my blog post draft. I don’t always practice what I preach but when I do this, I can get my post written and published that much faster because I already have the graphic there.
4. Don’t allow interruptions. This can be hard. Someone when a friend or relative calls or stops by it’s hard to resist. But if you give in, before you know it you just lost an hour or more. Let people know you’re in the middle of something and that you’ll get back to them. Let your answering machine do its job. When people know you work at home they tend to take your time for granted. They don’t mean to, it’s just something they do, so remind them you are busy.
5. Use A Timer. This really works for me when I use it. Key phrase “when I use it“. Don’t use physical timers that sit on your desk. They can disappear, hide behind things, etc. I use an online timer like timer tab. I like this one because it has an audio alarm when time is up. Try it!
6. Plan your day carefully. If you plan your day it’s harder to waste time. Not that you won’t ever waste time, but if you’ve committed yourself to getting specific tasks done ,you’re more likely to actually get them done.
7. Do your most important task first. Start your day by doing the most tasks first. My mornings are when I’m most alert and energetic and have the most enthusiasm so it’s the best time for me to get important things out of the way. Don’t do anything else until the tasks that are the most important to you are completed.
8. Reward Yourself. Reserve a reward for finishing a task. That could be anything that motivates you to get something done. For me it’s a frothy hazelnut latte. But I don’t get it until I finish the job.
We all have days like the one I had this past week. On occasion that’s OK, but if we don’t do things like take adequate breaks, eliminate distractions and interruptions, effectively plan and make good use of our time, we’ll get deeper into our bad habits; then they become a lot harder to overcome.
I hope these tips have helped motivate you to stay on task.
Hey I’ve finished my blog post, even though it is Friday So I’m off to make my frothy hazelnut latte
Ever had a bad day like mine? What things keep you from sticking to your blog post schedule?
Photo courtesy of stock images at freedigitalphotos.net