This post is based on episode 65 of the ProBlogger podcast.
A lot of people ask me how I manage to fit everything in – blogging, social media, speaking appearances, product development, family life, and so on.
Well, the truth is I don’t get to do everything I’d like to. But over the years I’ve developed skills and habits that have reduced the amount of overwhelm and stress about how I spend my time.
And today I’d like to share what I’ve learned, and help you focus on where to spend your blogging time to make your blog a success.
And it’s not just the things you do regularly – create content, post updates on social media, respond to comments, etc. – that you need to find time for. There are also the various opportunities that you need to content with.
Some of these opportunities are more traditional. Someone may offer you a guest post on their blog, or an interview on their podcast. You may be asked to speak at an event, or work with a major brand.
Then there are what I call perceived opportunities – something everything else seems to be doing that makes you think you should do it too. It could be a new social media site, a new medium, or perhaps another blog.
Real of perceived, these opportunities can lead to a serious case of FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. Could this be the lucky break I need? If I don’t start doing what everyone else is doing now, will I be forever trying to catch up?
They may well be. But they could also mean you end up taking on more than you should. which can lead to a drop in the quality of not only your content, but also your life.
Admittedly I can delegate/outsource some of the stuff that needs to be done, which gives me more time than someone who has to do everything themselves. But I still have to deal with various opportunities that come my way. And in a lot of cases I have to just say “No”, whether it’s to someone else or myself.
Yes or no?
Chances are you’re thinking, That/s all well and good. But how do you decide what to say “No” to and what to say “Yes” to?
Sometimes I just get a hunch that it’s something I should or shouldn’t do. But in most cases I ask myself a series of questions before I decide, such as…
Do I have time for this?
My life is pretty full, and so the answer to this question is usually “No”. People might think I have time to take it on, but I’ve deliberately created some empty space in my life so I can think, play, spend time with my family, and just be.
What would I give up to take it on?
There are only so many hours in a day, and so to take something new on usually means giving something else up. (This is where having a team can be useful, as I can sometimes give the opportunity to someone else on my team who would do a much better job than I would.)
Does it take me closer to my goals?
If the opportunity will take you closer to your goals, then you should definitely consider it. But if it will take you further away from them then you should probably say “No”, no matter how fun or interesting it might be.
Will I learn something or meet someone useful?
I often ask myself this question when I’m deciding whether or not to take on a speaking engagement.
Will this give me energy?
Some activities (such as doing live video) give me a real energy boost that lasts well after the event is over. And in that time I become super productive. So while I may need to spend a bit of time preparing, overall it’s a productivity win for me.
Will it make a difference to someone else?
While most of the questions I ask are centred around me and my goals, I’m also a big believer in helping others. It’s what both ProBlogger and Digital Photography School are all about.
Is it sustainable?
Yes, the opportunity might be a lot of fun and give me energy. But ultimately if it’s not sustainable (e.g. profitable, enjoyable, fulfilling), then it’s probably not something I should take on.
While it would great if we could take up every opportunity that comes our way, we simply can’t. And so we need to choose what will work best for us, our goals and our lives.
How do you decide where to spend your blogging time? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash.