What are the advantages of keeping a time journal? It seems a bit backward on the surface to log what you have done rather than write a to do list. But, it’s a strategy I have tried with success recently. Through keeping a log of how much time I have spent on activities for two weeks I became more productive and even healthier.
When I first started blogging nearly five years ago, it wasn’t as complicated as it is today. Aside from writing regular blog posts and producing YouTube videos regularly, there is now so much more to managing a successful blog than back then. In 2019, you feel like you have to keep up with Instagram’s changing algorithm and post stories every 24 hours, create livestream broadcasts on Facebook, and make story pins on Pinterest. It certainly can stack the deck high for anxiety issues!
And that’s exactly what happened to me during a recent check up with the GP. After several appointments and blood tests, I learned that my feeling of exhaustion and occasional vertigo is not being caused by a thyroid problem or need for an ear cleaning. Instead, I have neglected eating gluten free consistently and over committed at work and the Sunny in London blog.
Strategies for Time Management as a Blogger
The GP’s advice was simply to tell work ‘no’ more often and back off the blog challenges. She also suggested some nutritional changes and vitamin supplements. So, I have setup working with a nutritionist in the next few weeks and will keep you posted on that.
Cutting down on blog activity was the bigger challenge. I started by watching the videos of several YouTubers that I admire. Their suggestions for time management in this industry are quite useful. In summary, the strategies of setting fewer goals, keeping an electronic schedule, producing content in batches, avoiding distractions and allotting for empty time worked the best.
Setting Fewer Goals:
Earlier this year I was gifted an accountability journal from a company. It was great for recording my time on activities each day. However, the introduction of the book features pages for identifying three goals for the year. You also need to articulate quarterly marks of achievement you wish to attain. At the end of each week there is space to assess progress on the goals. Finally, each day you identify a goal and critical task.
Using this system really narrows your focus on what’s important.
Using Google Calendar:
After spending time learning my areas of focus and where I spent time, I needed to find a better scheduling system. I’ve always loved the paper calendars I have been using on Microsoft Publisher. But, after watching one of the YouTuber’s videos that outlined how she uses Google Calendar, I decided to make the electronic switch.
As I anticipated, it was quite easy to manipulate. I love having colour coded schedule boxes so I can easily see how much time I am spending on blog activities, enrichment opportunities and personal activities. Plus, I can easily move my blocks of time for writing to accommodate for a last minute invite to an afternoon tea or restaurant launch party in London.
Producing Batch Content:
What a time saver! Through this new scheduling system I have fully committed to batch producing content. This is what I works for me on a weekly basis and equals 20 hours of time:
- 4 hours writing 3 blog posts
- 2 hours editing photos (This includes Pinterest story pins and feature images embedded in blog posts)
- 3 hours learning new skills (FCPX editing, Adobe Photoshop, DSLR Photography)
- 8 hours filming and editing videos
- 1 hour scheduling social media and sending pitch emails to brands
- 1 hour scriptwriting
- 1 hour researching/planning products
One YouTuber’s video on how to edit fast indicated he isolates himself entirely from everything while working on a video. This includes his phone and email notifications.
While everyone thinks multi-tasking is the best approach to efficiency, his strategy proved useful in nearly every instance. Ironically, it was the exception of YouTube that worked for me.
Instead of watching YouTube videos in complete isolation, I found that many of them I could listen to while ironing, giving myself a manicure or pedicure, etc. So, the videos I have in my Watch Later list are viewed in two different settings. Group 1 is the tutorials for which I need to be 100% engaged. Group 2 are the videos that I can play while conducting other needs.
Rewarding Yourself with White Space:
Building in time to chill is essential. When I sit back and look at my Google calendar, I see loads of colour but I also see white space. The connotation of this is reassuring. Not every minute has to be accounted for in a schedule. You should aim to have one full day of white space each week.
Time Management Tips- Final Thoughts
What time management strategies do you use to make sure as a blogger or YouTuber that you stay efficient and not overwhelmed? Does a content calendar help? How do you reward yourself? Have you cut out any social media networking services entirely? Do you use an electronic calendar like I mentioned?