A simple time-management tool for bloggers

This QuickTip shares a template that I used to help me be productive when I was working as a free-lance blogger (and a other things besides).

Blogging can seem overwhelming: there just is so much to learn, to do, to read

And if you don't have a boss, official work-hours or school-pickup-times to structure the day, it can be easy to get to the end of the week and discover that you've done lots of research, but nothing has actually been finished and published..

I had a few months between jobs, and found that it really helped to plan my week, by:

  • setting very small, achievable goals for each of my blogs, 
  • allocating my time in two hour blocks.
  • writing this all down on old-fashioned pen-and-paper on a one-page-at-a-glance sheet that I could hang on the wall, tick of my achievements and keep track of the progress.

A week-planner template

Here's the template that I used to do my planning every Sunday night.  

 It's licensed under Creative Commons, so you are free to copy, adapt and share it.

My tips for being productive:

  • Choose a set time to review your plan each week.   Mine was Sunday night - but any time is fine, so long as it's consistent.
  • If your blog is not your Number One priority, then allocate time, before you set goals. There's no point getting six goals for your blog if you can only spend two hours working on it this week!
  • Make sure that there are some small, totally-achievable-in-one-hour goals, and some that are simply steps toward doing a bigger project.
  • If you need to be flexible, fill it in using a pencil and adapt as the week goes on:  this is a tool to make life better, not a way to overburden yourself.
  • Make sure you allow time for meals, housework, exercise, socialising and relaxation - and even sleeping in sometimes (but not every day).
  • Give yourself some weekends and "annual leave" days: ones when you choose not to schedule all your time, or any of it.

What has worked for you?

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