Time management and productivity


#21

The best book I ever read around time management and productivity is Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen.

I would recommend it to anyone. Previously, when I worked as a manager for a software company I gave a copy to all my employees and we used the concept from the book to ensure everyone felt ahead of their schedule despite somewhat stressful environment. It has worked out very well for me and the people I introduced it to.

I also use a tool called Asana to organize all my work into projects and lists, it´s very easy to apply the concepts from the book to Asana to keep everything online and organized. It´s free and available here
https://app.asana.com


#22

TBH, although I am not a single parent I recently discovered blogging during my lunch hour. I have had a couple of surgeries that have prevented me from walking during my lunch (a previous favourite) so I just substituted writing. I figure when I am weight-bearing again I may do a 20-min walk, a 10 minute+ lunch, and then write for the rest of the time.


#23

Count me in as well!


#24

This is so true!!! Sometimes I feel so guilty…


#25

I’d say think about why you are blogging and what you are trying to achieve. Then figure out which activities are helping you get there, and which are just burning time.

For instance a lot of folks experience hassle/stress/expense using WordPress on their own hosted site. If your goal was producing really good content then Medium (no techie stuff) or Google Blogger (little techie stuff) may saving you some time and hosting fees. Examples of blogs using these free platforms include Signal v Noise, Of Data and Dollars, the Netflix technology blog, Retirement Investing Today and Cantankerous.Life to name just a few.

Social media is a real time suck for most bloggers. Quantify the results you are achieving against the effort required. Remember content is king, much of the rest is just noise.

Ultimately remember blogging is a hobby (for all of us but a very select few, many of whom are really successful salespeople flogging coaching/infoproducts/advertorials), a prioritisation decision, and above all else supposed to be fun.

If it gets stressful or time pressured ask yourself why? Where is that pressure originating from? Almost certainly it will be from within, which means you are in control of your deadlines, publishing schedules, and the like… all of which are arbitrary when you think about it, after all nobody will die if a post takes an extra day or two to polish.

To make this response actionable:

  • Use an RSS reader like Feedly to follow your favourite blogs. It will collate new content for you, saving you a bunch of time.
  • Regularly prune your reading list as your knowledge grows. There aren’t that many unique topics in the Personal Finance space, so things quickly become repetitive and eventually you will outgrow many of the early bloggers you initially followed. There is also a lot of bad (and badly written) content out there, life is too short to keep subjecting yourself to it!
  • Use curated aggregate lists/feeds/posts as an input to your reading list, let curators you trust sift through the blogosphere haystack to find the needles… so you don’t have to. Saves a huge amount of time. Some examples include Monevator’s weekend reading post, PoF’s Sunday best, or my “Time Well Spent” live RSS feed
  • Objectively assess the value of spending a lot of time making/responding to comments. The majority will be made by other PF bloggers, who are a friendly bunch, but mean you’re likely preaching to the converted. Of course the back links are nice, but again quantify the effort versus the reward.
  • Check if your goals align with your message. Espousing frugality, high saving rates, not buying crap you don’t need, and investing everything leftover in low cost Vanguard funds is PF community dogma… but if people are listening to your message then you won’t be generating too many affiliate commissions!

Good luck with it, just remember blogging is supposed to be fun.


#26

This thoughtful response touches me at so many levels. So, thank you for taking the time and sharing your well organized pointers with me!

Here’s the thing: I need to separate what I really really want to do vs. what is expected of a PF blogger. Precisely why so many times I feel compelled to change my tone on the blog, but I won’t because it doesn’t feel like me.
I still have to make sure my six month goals are all buttoned up, but I am on this path now, and I trust it will be nice to me.

Thank you soooo much!!


#27

Your blog, your rules.

If you write “what is expected” then you’ll likely just be churning out yet another “me too” personal finance blog along the lines of:

  • the magic of compound interest
  • have an emergency fund
  • buy low cost index trackers
  • spend less than you earn / savings rate / blah blah
  • pay yourself first
  • max out your pension plan and tax advantaged accounts
  • live in a low cost area
  • frugality blah blah

After that you’ve run out of content to cover, and it has all been done to death already.

Instead why not write what you have to say, in your own voice? Some people will love it, share it with their friends, and come back from more. Everyone else may well leave, but at least you’ll have a receptive audience who is genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say.