8 Tips For Sticking To A Blog Post Schedule

blog post scheduleI 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

Comments

  1. Ted Villamarzo says:

    Hi, Ms. Liz,

    I had to smile to myself reading the section in your blog “blog post schedule gone seriously wrong”. Sounds like me, except that most of my time is taken up by my work at the office. Still, I try. This brings to mind my 3 “wouldn’t it be nice”: 1. Wouldn’t it be nice if I had the TIME for writing? But when I do have the time I use it for playing games, reading ebooks, and so on, in short I don’t really do the productive things I intended to do, which brings me to No. 2: Wouldn’t it be nice if I DID some writing? Which is followed by No. 3: Wouldn’t it be nice if I were more DISCIPLINED?

    The point of all these is to let you know that I DO read your blogs, and I like the way you present your blogs (since the time you have come back to the internet), even if I don’t comment or respond often.

    Please keep on posting. Your materials keep alive the inspiration of bloggers, even would-be bloggers who are lazy like me!

    Ted

    • Hey Ted,

      Thank you so much for visiting and commenting Ted. Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to find the time, energy and discipline. I think we can all relate to those things. But you have a job and I know how hard it is to devote your only free time to more work.

      But it makes me so happy that I’m helping inspire you. Believe it or not, that’s inspiration for me :-)

      Do keep your ideas alive. I look forward to seeing your blog some day.

      Blessings,
      Liz

  2. Hi Liz,

    Procrastination? Terrible. Shiny objects ? Horrible.
    I have just spot one big problem you have: emails. You are checking your email too much.
    When I started online I felt I had to opt-in to every lists available, download all the free gifts , read all the ebooks and check all the emails. It was a huge task. Especially the emails.

    One day I opened my email accounts and found out an army of about 200 internet marketers writing to me each and every day, inviting me to webinars, presenting me opportunities of a lifetime etc. 10000 emails in just one account. 30000 emails in total! I was shocked.
    That day I deleted them all. ALL! Then I started to unsubscribe. Soon my email accounts looked clean like a baby.
    Today I’m checking my emails 2 times a day: in the morning and in the evening. Rarely more.

    You wake up at 5.00 a.am and start working at 6.. a.m. What an interesting idea! I should do this, too.

    Good, very good post. Thank you

    Have a nice day

    • Hi Silviu,

      I know, reading emails is a BAD habit I have, and I do it without even thinking about it. I’m trying to break the habit though. Twice a day is plenty.

      I like getting up at 5:00, that’s one of my better habits :-) It gives me time to just prepare for the day. It’s also my time; we all need a little time to ourselves.

      Thanks for your feedback Silviu. It’s so great of you to stop by :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz

  3. Hey Liz,

    I know how hard it is to brush distractions off your shoulder. If you’re the queen of it, at one point I was the king of getting distracted.

    My biggest distraction was the online distractions which you mentioned. I would start writing while I have facebook open. Big NO NO. I had to find out what was going on within my newsfeed. This could take 30min of my time. So it definitely would be wise to not only log out of facebook, but leave the internet alone all together.

    Another thing I did to make sure I stay on schedule was schedule my posts in advanced. I use to write something everyday, which I don’t recommend, but I have so many scheduled post that I created 3 months of content in advanced. Some people don’t recommend it, but this what works for me. Now I usually just write on the weekends and schedule in advance.

    Thanks for sharing these tips Liz!

    • Hey Sherman,

      I think the key is to do what works for you. We all work at different paces, have different struggles and priorities. But as long as you have goals and plan accordingly it’s easier to get things done. It’s the weeks I don’t have a plan that get me into trouble.

      Thanks for your feedback Sherman :-)
      Liz

  4. Love this post!!
    My goal, too, is to post every Wednesday! Although I try very hard, I usually end up getting the post later in the evening or Thursday morning. I’ve even gone so far as creating a daily blog post To Do List. You think that would help? No! :)

    I’ve been successful and minimizing distractions — only checking facebook maybe once or twice a day. I’ve also had success with setting a timer.

    I’ve just recently set a reminder every afternoon around my lunch time to remind myself to spend a few moments on my next blog post!

    Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to implementing some!

    • Hey Jennifer,

      It takes self-discipline to stick to getting something done, particularly when writing. My weak points are when I’m at a spot where I’m not sure how to proceed next. That’s when I’ll wander over to check my email, FB, Twitter, etc. It’s a discipline to not do another thing until I finish the task at hand.

      Anyway, I hope these things help you and others and thanks so much for your feedback.

      Liz :-)

  5. Liz, Liz, Liz…

    I would have never thought you would be the one that would be writing a post like this. OMG, I thought you had it all together girl. I’m so surprised.

    Okay, I periodically let distractions get me because I also work at home. I also live in a condominium complex and I’m on the board of directors. Unfortunately for me, whenever workers need to be lead around I get that job because our property manager has 8 other properties too and I’m always here. My neighbor also loves to talk so she’s hard to turn off at times.

    I do check my email often I admit but not the other sites. I plan to respond to them as well but I mainly check for my blog comments. I’m quick to respond to those.

    I do not keep Faebook or Twitter open and I’m only on those sites a few times a day. I’m really good with those because they can suck all your attention if you let them. I also have o issue writing posts and I haven’t missed a post since I’ve been writing this blog. That’s right, never missed a post so that’s something I’m pretty spot on about.

    I also have a timer but I take breaks throughout the day to take my dog outside and then I go next door to my Mom’s each day and have lunch and dinner with her. I get my work done though, no playing around here.

    So are you going to stick to your own advice this time Liz? I bet you will now that you called yourself out. LOL!!! I’m so loving this. You’re not perfect! ;-)

    ~Adrienne

    • Hey Adrienne! Hey, when I stumble I do it right, LOL!

      But who’s going to call me on being bad if I don’t call myself on it? It’s actually good self reflection and a lesson for others in what NOT to do and ways to keep this from happening to them.

      So no, I’m not perfect, who is? We all have bad days; this was mine.

      Believe it or not, you’re someone that I look to when I do feel a little out of sorts or need an energy boost. You help keep me centered Adrienne and that’s been a big help to me :-)

      Liz

  6. Hi Liz! My goodness! What a day! I don’t work at home but I do work in an office and keep myself very organized and disciplined, most of the time. However, my cellphone will beep with a Facebook or Google+ update, and email which could be one of 2 blog comments, text message from whomever, Tweet notification, or Tumblr comment, and much more. When I grab my phone, I see all those little notifications icon at the top of my Note 2 and then it happens. I get distracted for at least 10 minutes clearing notifications. hehe However, at work I do welcome those breaks cause they actually help keep my sanity! :)

    I am looking for a work at home job but am a tad scared about keeping myself disciplined. How easy to sit in your jammies all day, play on the net, play with my dog, pig out on snacks and not get any real work done. I think I’d definitely have to have my own office and zone out while I work. Scary thought for sure!

    So I can totally envision how tough it is for those, like yourself, who work at home. I know some very diligent ones and others who are easily distracted. I’m sure it’s tough to spank your own bum but is that what’s in order? :)

    Awesome post and thanks for sharing it! Sheds some light on the day-to-day of a work at home business woman.

    • Hey Bren,

      Luckily this isn’t my normal routine. It was just one of those days that can get away from you. And of course if you have personal things going on or you’re preoccupied with things, days like this can happen, hence the blog post.

      But my real goal for the post was for people that do this all the time, and there are lots of them.

      Your fears of working at home are justified. Many people just don’t have the discipline it takes to stay focused and get their tasks done.

      You have a great blog Bren, you have some great posts and you’re consistent. Is it part of your job away from home or do you work on it in your spare time? Somehow I think that if you were to work at home, you’d do fine ;-)

      Liz

  7. Hey Liz!

    This your list of your day is awesome! Lol! Love it!

    For me what I will do first with a blog is compose it, format it so that it looks nice and spaced out evenly, then I go to google image search and start looking for images. Every now and then I will create my own, and that’s if I can’t find any on google images.

    I usually do this late at night after I train at the gym. I usually set this up for the next day and I’ll save the draft, then when I wake up, I’ll publish it.

    I’m glad I found your blog. :-)

    • Hey Nate,

      I’m so glad you like my 8 tips list. I just hope you don’t have those bad days I outlined in the post. That’s really where these tips help out ;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and don’t be a stranger :-)

      Blessings,
      Liz

  8. Hi Liz,
    These are indeed useful tips. Taking into considerations all distractions and dealing with them is indeed very key.

    • So True Emmanuel,

      When we work for ourselves, every minute counts so it’s so important to take into account what we are doing and not waste time.

      Thanks for visiting.

      Blessings,
      Liz

  9. Hi Liz!

    What a great post and very timely. I recently put together a lovely blog schedule for the next three months, but did I write what I planned? No. Did I make my deadline of Friday. Sometimes but not always. :-)

    I’m guilty of # 3, however it’s not so much playing with graphics as trying to figure them out. LOL!

    • Hey Elke,

      I’m glad I’m not the only one this isn’t always timely. I think I’ve surprised some people as to my ‘bad day’, but unfortunately it happens.

      The graphics get me too. There are so many warnings on how to use them that they can be hard to figure out.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Good to hear from you :-)

  10. This were totally great, Ms Liz! I could really identify – except the drinking coffee part. I’m a tea girl myself and only two cups a day. But this was hilarious. I have three blogs and try to post one post on each one every Monday. I think your tips will really help me a lot. So glad to meet you here. blessings, Amy

    • Hi Amy,

      I’m a wanna be tea drinker. I love tea but I always rely on coffee. Maybe it’s an addiction thing.

      I’m so glad you feel these tips will help you and I’m so glad you stopped by. Don’t be a stranger, OK?

      Blessings,
      Liz

  11. Liz,

    i have experienced many times being busy all day long, but accomplishing nothing. Still working on it. I think that it is very important to plan the next day before we go to bed. This way the mind can marinate on the tasks for the day and even come up with better ideas. Great tips! Thank you!

    • I like that Margarita, letting our minds marinate on the tasks for the next day :-)

      That’s actually a good thing for me. If I know what I’ll be doing the next day, if I have a good plan I do tend to think about it beforehand, and that helps us write better and create better content.

      Thanks for your feedback.
      Liz

  12. Kevin J Railsback says:

    I know that this is something that I really need to focus on and work hard at.
    If I am able to publish on a regular schedule I always see a growth in traffic as people expect new content on a regular basis.
    It’s far too easy to just check Facebook for a moment and have an hour or two go by.

    My issue has been stopping to think when writing a post and before you know it I’m on Facebook or watching Netflix. I’ve solved that to a certain degree by having several posts in various stages of being finished. So now when I have to stop to think about what I want to write, I switch over to another post and work on it for a while until I’m able to come back to the previous post and continue.

    So, getting better but still not where I want to be as far as being consistent goes.

    Kevin

    • Hey Kevin,

      Yes, stopping to think sort of lets your mind wander, but switching over to work on another post is a good idea. I’ll have to try that.

      Being consistent with getting things done is important but as long as you’re working at it, you’ll get there :-)

      Liz

  13. Oh my goodness Liz… sooooooooooooo true! LOL

    Lot’s of great tips here. I especially agree with your idea of a timer. I use a Pomodoro timer on my phone (or PC). It breaks the day into focused, intense work slots of 25 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks (ideal for coffee!), It still requires some discipline – but it’s helped me a lot!

    Great article. Thanks Liz,

    ~Robin~

    • Hey Robin,

      The timer idea works well for me. I’m one of those people that if there’s a deadline I can get moving, and a timer is sort of a short term deadline :-)

      But yes, it still requires discipline and some days it just goes out the window, hence my bad day in the post LOL!

      Thanks for your great comments and stopping by :-)

      Liz

  14. Carolyn says:

    Hey Liz, Were you looking over my shoulder? That’s my schedule too, lol! You’re right, I am guilty of absolutely all of those sins you listed above. I love your idea of a timer. That’s a great way for me to get focus. That gives a sense of urgency that doesn’t seem to exist otherwise.

    I also like Wordie. Thanks so much for letting us know about that useful tool. I will try really hard not to let that be another distraction!

    • Hey Carolyn,

      LOL! Whew, I’m glad I’m not the only one:-) At least we’re trying to be good, right?

      I’m glad you like Wordie. I thought it was a pretty cool graphic tool and I use it quite a bit actually.

      Anyway, keep fighting those distractions :-)

      Liz

  15. Hi Liz!

    I loved the way you shared that distracting day! It could happen to all of us …if we let it!

    I think the most important thing we can do while working from home is to stick to our schedule. Sure life gets in the way, but we must make strong boundaries to our family and friends. That can be difficult for some.

    Have a home office! When my office door is shut, no one dares to come in lol. If you can’t have a home office, set a space in the house where no one can cross that line other than a life and death situation.

    Get all important tasks done BEFORE you get on Facebook otherwise it will eat you up and spit you out! Whatever it is – like your graphics – it has to go to the bottom of the list.

    Rewarding yourself is the best of all! Each time I can check off my check list in a timely fashion, I do reward myself….so much so, that after I comment on this, I’m off to purchase some new makeup Voila!

    -Donna

    • Donna, you hit the nail on the head. It can happen to all of us “if we let it”.

      We have to be strict enough with ourselves NOT to let it happen. And honestly the real disappointment of that day was not that I wasted so much time, that was bad too, but that I let it happen :-(

      Thanks for your awesome insight Donna.

      Blessings,
      Liz :-)

  16. Hi Liz,

    Great sharing your interesting distracted day! Haven’t we all have our unique shiny objects? Thanks to the internet. To deal with distraction, I agree with Donna that having a schedule helps. I do not time myself. However, I focus. I turned my mobile on silent and closed the door of my home office so that the cat cannot come in :)

    When it comes to schedules, the initial plan is important. Say, can we honestly do three blog posts a week? If not, is it because we do not have enough time? Or, is it because we need to improve on our time management? I find Brian Tracy’s teachings particularly helpful.

    Great sharing, Liz! Thanks!

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    • Hi Viola,

      Yes, eliminating those distractions is so important. The interesting thing to me is that i know what I need to do yet there are just those days I don’t do it.

      Trying to do several blog posts a week is a real commitment and there can be lots of reasons we don’t get them done. Everyone has their own individual shortcomings. Whatever they are though you need to recognize them, then figure out a way to fix them.

      I haven’t taken any of Brian Tracy’s courses or seminars, but if obstacles are a consistent problem for setting goals and getting things done, he’d be a great place to start simply because of his track record.

      Thanks for your great feedback Viola. Good to have you here :-)

      Liz

  17. Thanks for sharing! I love the tooltip for the tab timer. I’ve used http://www.e.ggtimer.com before, but it doesn’t show up in the tab so you have to leave it open to see it. Your recommendation works much better! Great post, I can totally relate to letting a day get away like that!!
    -Wesley

    • Hey Wesley,

      There are days when things don’t go as planned, but I think that’s OK. As long as you have a general post schedule and stick to it as much as you can you should do fine.

      Glad you liked the post and found it useful.

      Blessings,
      Liz

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