Last week all my child care help fell through, leaving me no childless work time. It sucked, because child care or not, I’ve still got a load of client blogs, some articles, and my own blogs to work on, only now, far less time to get it all done. On the up side, it made my brain start scrambling for solutions. On another up side, or maybe more the lucky side, Darren posted a very timely post that you may have seen; How Batch Processing Made Me 10 Times More Productive.
This was just the right post for me to read last week because it made me realize I go about blogging time a little backwards. What I normally do is estimate how much time I’ll need to spend on each project, or blog per week, then I divvy that time up. What I started considering after reading Darren’s post, is that maybe I should divvy time up first, and work blogs into the time frame I absolutely can afford, not the time frame I think I need.
Example: I have 6 blogs that need around 28 posts each per week, 1 blog that needs 5 posts a week, and 2 others that get around 7 posts a week. Previously, I’ve been thinking this way, “I NEED 50 hours a week of work time, and that includes posting, networking, all that jazz.” What happens when I think this way is I run out of time, and I’m working 50+ hours a week, which leaves me little free time.
Solution: For the last few days I’ve been timing my posts – how long it takes me to write them. I’ve also been logging my networking / other task time. (a simple hand timer works good for this). I realized that on a good day, when I’m in top notch shape, 28 posts take me around 4 – 5.5 hours to write, depending on the blog. That’s a mix of short and mid-length posts. If you do the math that works out to around 34 hours of writing time. If I tack on a good 8 hours of networking and other blog tasks, that’s still only 40-43 hours per week of total work time. I win some time if I use this system. Yay.
My new plan: Since I timed myself, I know what I can blog on a good day. I decided to allow time for blogs, not make time for them. I’m giving myself a set amount of time each week to post at each blog. I’ll just set a timer and work for the alloted time. If I get done great; if not, well that blog’s time is spent, and I better pick up the pace, right? Because clearly each blog can be managed in the set time frame. I think this move should save me time, and allow for more me time.
How do you divvy up blogging time? Do you allow a set amount of work time per blog or project?
If you haven’t seen it, you really should read the batch processing post linked above. It’s one of the best blogging posts I’ve read in a while.