Time management and productivity


#1

I am a working mom with two kids, having started this PF blog, which I am so excited about. I love to do so much more, but time is limited. Can someone, who is in a similar situation like me, please share ideas on their productivity on how they manage their blogging time. Sometimes I get overwhelmed that there is so much to do, and so many people to meet/network with, and that I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.
Any pointers or ideas would be much appreciated.
Thank you so much!


#2

Dear Shivika, you’re #*cked.

Sincerely,

Dad w/ toddler AND 3 month old

Edit: KIDDING. But it is super difficult.

I can only speak on my own experience, but my biggest thought is this: Make sure your family is totally on board.

Explain how important this is to you (if indeed it is), and make sure they know you still love them if you spend 2 hours blogging one night.

Practical tip: If you’re anything like me, you struggle with being a perfectionist. Battling that urge and shipping content saves a ton of time, at the cost of quality of course. The key is finding a balance.

Thought exercise: If you could only work 4 hours a week on your blog…seriously…what would you do? Brainstorm the answer and you might be surprised what you find out!

Hope that helped. You’re not #*cked :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


#3

Hi @Shivika!

I am in a similar situation. I work full time, have a 17mo old son and am pregnant with boy #2, and run a PF blog.

It is super hard, but doable. I echo @pete_mcpherson on making sure your family is on board. My husband is willing to let me write and focus on the blog after our son goes to bed each night (around 6:30-7) which gives me 3-4 hours a night. Then I usually pick one morning or afternoon on the weekends to work on the blog.

I have an editorial calendar and running to do list in Google Sheets. I assign each post and task a date to work on it and try to only focus on one or two tasks a day. I schedule social media ahead of time, usually about once every two-three weeks for Pinterest and Twitter.

You also just have to be willing to admit you can’t do everything. After 4 months I gave in and signed up for a monthly WordPress tech maintenance plan with Grayson Bell. The tech stuff was stressing me out and one issue could eat up several hours (or days) of my precious time. You don’t want to burn out so ask for help when you need it and only commit time to things that really matter.

Good luck!

Chelsea


#4

I wake up at 6am- put an hour in reading and commenting on other blogs. Kid wakes up at 7 to 7:30. Play with him. Go to work from 8 to 5. Then go home. Play with kids. Put him to bed at 8 and then go back to work for an hour or 2 on the blog…

Its a lot. Is it worth it? Who knows. I am enjoying it for now. Keep on keeping on but a s always, moderate your life and focus on whats important…the fam.


#5

With a 2.5 yr old and 2 month old I’d say have realistic expectations. I just take everything one step at a time. Social media, marketing, and site upgrades.
I’ve just been making small updates in those since I started.

I also limit to only posting on Tuesday for now. I might add more later.


#6

Mm. This is a good thread. Would love to interview each of you for 5 mins for a podcast episode :wink:


#7

@pete_mcpherson - great stuff! I agree, my family is totally on board, its just its also an internal pressure on myself. I am a go getter and when things do not move at the speed I want, I feel overwhelmed. I honestly I feel I am getting too distracted by a) What I am supposed to be doing b) what I need to be doing c) what I intend to do
If I could work 4 hours a week - I would like to spend 2 hours with great kick ass content and then 2 hours marketing the beejesus out of it. Yeah, and a podcast on this would be uber helpful!

@MamaFishSaves Chelsea, congratulations on your second baby! I am a mother of two boys too - oh they are just sooo much work but so worth it!! I like the idea of editorial calendar, and infact I created a project and task list at Asana too. So, it sends me reminders when I am getting close to the due date. Social media is where I am stuck. I don’t feel the need to be on every platform - right now on Twitter and Google Profile and perhaps use Instagram for marketing. And, my, you are so right about tech maintenance. This forum is proof, I spend a whole day just fixing the entire look of the blog, etc. Ah, thank you soooo much for your insight, I truly appreciate. Much love and hugs!

@Dads_Dollars_Debts I want to enjoy the experience too and so I am trying to find my own path…my own speed. I thought that as a new blogger you are supposed to publish every couple of days, and that’s where the pressure mounted. I have thoughts and ideas and I want them in front of people as soon as possible - so you see the dilemma. But, as I work through I am confident I’ll be ok. Thank you for sharing your insights. Hugs!

@budgetOnaStick Yup, need to remember to breathe, I guess! :slight_smile: I have a 1.5 hour commute each way to work, so my day only gets started when I am back from work. hehehhe. My weekends are now being dedicated to the blog (morning and evenings), so I think I am heading somewhere that feels good. Thank you so much for your thoughts! :pray:


#8

@Shivika As a dad to 3 kids, I definitely relate to the other parents on this thread, it’s tough to carve out the time. I have to say, some great advice from @pete_mcpherson, @MamaFishSaves and the others who have posted here.

Because it can be such a time consuming part of blogging, I’ll add a couple of “social media/networking” tips that have worked for me

  1. Focus on mastering 1 social media platform at a time, DON’T feel pressured to do it all! I started with Twitter months before I tackled Pinterest, and then Instagram. It took me at least 6-8 months to get comfortable with all three platforms. My presence on Facebook is still VERY limited. That will be next, but there’s no rush.

  2. Automate your social media wherever possible. I automate my Pinterest posts via Board Booster, a service that I pay a few dollars/month to use, but it takes all of the work out of my Pinterest posts on a day to day basis. Once I create a Pin and save it to my group boards, my work is done.
    I also use Buffer (the free version) to re-post my blog posts on Twitter. It takes me 5 minutes to set up every day, then I’m good to go. All I need to do at that point is check in to engage with others when I have downtime.

3.I use my Instagram account to post personal content only, meaning I don’t actively promote blog posts there. Of course there is a link to the blog, but it’s very passive. This makes it fun, and takes the pressure out of having to be posting something every day or two. It’s a great place to just connect with other bloggers, see what they’re up to! : )

Oh, and if anyone on this thread is on Instagram, hit me up here: https://www.instagram.com/mysterymoneymanofficial/, and I’ll follow you back. Would love to connect. : )


#9

My comment is not advice but an observation. One perk of the government desk type job is much downtime and access to the internet. I like to think of my blog as the taxpayers blog as well.


#10

I’ve found the work of two people particularly helpful.

First, is Laurea Vanderkam who has written about how you have more time than you think (you can search for her TED Talk):

Second, is Cal Newport, who writes about the power of what he calls Deep Work (i.e. focused work). You can also find some youtube and TED talk videos from him as well.


#11

@Shivika one thing you might want to consider is your medium. Is blogging the most conducive to your life, or could a different style work?

As someone with a family the answer for me was not to blog. I started vlogging because:

  • I can film super fast from anyplace, and it’s ok (and kinda nice) when my family life pops through.
  • I can edit with professional level (and affordable) software from my phone.

The same can apply to a podcast though. You can record anyplace and there are pro-level editing software for mobile phones. In addition the Anchor.fm app is like the youtube of podcasting, and they’ll even set up and distribute your podcast through itunes and stuff free.

If blogging is really what you want to do though:

  • Set yourself up to write from your phone
  • Practice using built in dictation in your phone so you can toss headphones on the move
  • Chillax and accept that as parents this is all harder, and will take us longer.

On the flip side 2 things work in your favor:

  • most people who succeed online do so because they stuck it out longer than their peers
  • I’m amazed at how much procrastinating and whining people without kids do about not having time

#12

I work in finance and have downtime here and there, all of which is directly funneled to the blog. I look at it as the ultimate heist. Getting paid to work while building my blog!


#13

Hi @Shivika!

I work ~50-60 hours a week and have a 10 month old that I love spending time with at home. A normal day for me is to wake up around 5am and I generally spend 20-30 minutes on the blog. Then, I get a quick workout in and I am into work from ~7 am to 5pm. My job also requires an evening event or two per week. Once I get home, it is family time until about 8:30pm. I try to work on my blog for a bit at night and mainly on the weekends. It is difficult, but if you have the passion to write about PF topics you will find the time!


#14

This is a great thread! I have a 7-month-old so this is great seeing how everyone else prioritizes their time. I follow a schedule that is pretty similar to most of you. Work for 30 - 60 min in the morning before everyone else wakes up. Usually, that is time spent commenting, planning social media or publishing a post for the day.

During the day I take a lot of notes in Trello as ideas pop into my head. I try to keep them organized within actionable items but that doesn’t always work out so well. I also try to stay active on social media as the day allows. I also usually try to write during my lunch break. It’s amazing how much content I can type up when I stay focused for a solid hour.

In the evening I can usually work in an hour or two as well once again once everyone has gone to bed. This is usually site work, setting up images for posts/Pinterest, editing posts, etc.

The biggest difficulty for me in the evenings is staying focused. My mind is usually thinking about everything from the day so I tend to jump all over the place rather than focusing on the task at hand.


#15

I haven’t slept since I started my site in 2008…

I only have one child, but if you enjoy spending time with your kids and have a full time job it means your options for blog time are before and after work, or on the weekends… For me I typically work on my site late at night. I play with my son when i get home from work, and then spend some time with my wife after the kiddo is in bed. After that I usually get in an 2-3 hours of blogging or other site tasks. Some days at work I may do some things on my site during my lunch break or if i have some down time.

I joke that I haven’t slept in years, but honestly there are many nights where i’m up until 1-2 am working on my sites. Thankfully I enjoy all the blog stuff, so it’s more like an enjoyable hobby, but it is a time consuming hobby.

The key to me is just prioritizing what you’re working on, and making sure the important stuff gets done - like writing good content and promoting that content. If you want you could waste years on all of the other miscellaneous side stuff- but to me it’s important to focus on the important things.


#16

Haha I want to page Mr. Groovy this but he totally already knows.


#17

great pointers and insight here – thank you! I like @sethdrebitko ‘s comment on back tracking and understanding what you are trying to achieve, is blogging that right vehicle for that. Hmmm…got me thinking, and I will be exploring this down the road. @MysteryMoneyMan oh, I completely agree. Right now I am building my twitter world, and have no Facebook or instagram…I might go the instagram route, but need to think through how. @OthalaFehu hehhehe, I have few friends in the government industry, and man, they are lucky. @BiglawInvestor thank you for the book suggestions. I would love to have more time than I think and I know that book has some amazing insights. Thanks. @Groundedengineer and @MbDDerek I cannot work in the morning at all, even when I get up at 4am. i meditate for about 30 minutes, work on my intentions and goals, then rush to get ready, get kids’ ready for school, make breakfast, and head out, while hubby takes care of dropping them off, get their lunches together. So honestly, I can’t bring my brain around to working on the blog in the am. I worked over the weekend in the evenings, thankfully didn’t have much plans so it worked out.
But, all in all, I think I am feeling a bit better about the pressure I had earlier. And, love love the discussion here!
yayyy!!


#18

Let me know…I am in


#19

Me as well! Would love to participate!


#20

Love this thread! I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old so I know the feeling of not having enough time. I write on my phone here and there when I get a free second. I highly suggest Evernote. I use a combination of Evernote, Google Docs and the Wordpress app to write draft posts on my phone. Then I finalize posts on my computer. I primarily write on the subway to and from work (I live in NYC). Thats how I make it work.