I may get paid commission for purchases made after clicking a link in this post.
Do you feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do on your blog? Do you feel like there is never enough time to do everything? What if you could achieve more and have more free time? Here’s how to get more done in less time on your blog…
The trouble with blogging is there is always too much to do and never enough time. As bloggers we are constantly being told to:
- ‘do this new thing to get more traffic’
- ‘do this other new thing to earn more money from your blog’
- ‘do more video’
- ‘be active on every social media channel under the sun’
- ‘use AI’
- ‘diversify your revenue streams’
- ‘write more blog posts’
- ‘pitch for sponsored posts’
- ‘sell printables’
- ‘publish an ebook’
- ‘create a tripwire’
- ‘start a podcast’
All around you there are voices pulling you in 100 different directions. And it’s hard to know who to listen to or what to focus on. So you double down and work even harder – trying your best to do a little bit of everything…
…but trying to do a little bit of everything is exhausting!
Trying to do a little bit of everything is the route to overwhelm, stress and burnout.
But what if there was another way?
What if you could achieve more AND have more free time?
What is there was a way to achieve your blogging dreams by working LESS?
Here’s how to get more done in less time on your blog…
Be goal focused
The absolute key to achieving more while working less is to be more goal focused. The biggest reason why bloggers find themselves overwhelmed and frustrated by their workload is because they have never really stopped to think what they are ultimately trying to achieve with their blogging business.
If you have never done this, stop for a minute and ask yourself… ‘What do I actually want to achieve with my blog?‘
For most bloggers it boils down to some combination of:
- Making a good income,
- Having the flexibility to work the hours they want to work
- Having a job that gives them plenty of free time for friends, family and hobbies
- Having a job that they enjoy and get satisfaction from
- Being able to ‘give back’ in some way and have a positive influence in the world
(That’s certainly my aim!)
But, all too often, bloggers find themselves in the exact opposite scenario: blogging takes up way too much time, stops being enjoyable and starts to feel like a chore, AND doesn’t provide them with the income they hoped for.
The key to flipping that scenario on its head is to ‘begin with the end in mind‘, as Steven Covey says in his productivity classic The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People*.
Start by thinking about what your ultimate goals are and then work backwards from there until you get to your to do list.
Ensure that everything on your to do list is truly taking you towards your ultimate blogging goals. (And cross off everything that isn’t!)
READ MORE >>> Why setting goals will make you more successful
Make a 12 month action plan
Once you know where you are ultimately heading, then next most important step is making a rock solid plan for how you will get from where you are today to where you ultimately want to be.
As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish‘.
In other words, if you want to actually ACHIEVE your goals, you need a plan!
The first thing you need to do is take a long hard look at all those things on your overflowing to do list and identify the tasks, activities and projects that will get you to your goals in the shortest amount of time. Because the truth is not all tasks will move the dial by the same amount. Some tasks will move the dial a lot. Some will move the dial a little. And some won’t move the dial at all. You need to first identify which tasks will move the dial the most and then focus the majority of your time on those things.
Once you have identified WHAT you need to do, you are ready to make a plan about WHEN you are going to do each of those things. In other words, you need to give yourself a series of mini deadlines. Without any kind of deadline, it’s easy to put things off until that mythical ‘one day’ that never actually happens. By giving yourself a series of mini deadlines, you are much more likely to complete all the tasks you have set yourself and finally start making real progress towards your goals.
I recommend making a clear plan for the next 12 months, detailing exactly what you will do each month – focusing exclusively on the tasks that will move the dial the most.
make monthly action plans
But simply having a Yearly Action Plan is not enough. Many bloggers create a plan for the next 12 months… but then what they do on a day-to-day basis bears little or no relation to their Yearly Action Plan.
So the next step is to break that Yearly Action Plan down into 12 individual Monthly Action Plans.
Start with Month 1. Take a look at what you hope to achieve by the end of Month 1, then break that down into a series of ‘sub-tasks’. Next, decide exactly WHEN you will do each sub task – essentially giving yourself a series of mini deadlines.
Deadlines are incredibly powerful motivators, by planning each month out like this, you will know that those mini deadlines are REAL deadlines… If you don’t get each task done by the deadline, that will have a knock on effect for the whole of the rest of the year… and ultimately on your goals!
For example, let’s say your main task for Month 1 is to write and launch an ebook. Your Month 1 Action Plan might look like this:
- WEEK 1 / DAY 1: Create outline
- WEEK 1 / DAY 2-4: Write first draft
- WEEK 2 / DAY 1-2: Edit first draft
- WEEK 2 / DAY 3: Research, choose and buy an ebook design template*
- WEEK 2 / DAY 4-5: Design ebook
- WEEK 3 / DAY 1: Proof-read ebook
- WEEK 3 / DAY 2-3: Create sales graphics and design sales page
- WEEK 3 / DAY 4-5: Write and schedule email launch sequence
- WEEK 4 / DAY 1-5: Launch ebook, send sales emails, promote launch on social media
Once you are happy with your Month 1 Action Plan, repeat for Months 2-12.
Remove (almost) everything else!
It’s not enough to plan what you WILL do. You also need to plan what you WON’T do.
As we covered earlier, not all blogging tasks will move the dial by the same amount. You have already identified which tasks will move the dial the most AND you have made a rock solid Yearly Action Plan detailing exactly WHEN you will do each of those high impact tasks AND you have made Monthly Action Plans which break up those high impact tasks into a series of sub-tasks and mini deadlines.
Now it’s time to remove (almost) everything else.
Take a long hard look at all the remaining tasks on your original to do list and give yourself permission to cross everything else off your list, UNLESS it is critical to the running of your business.
You should be left with only a few crucial admin tasks, like replying to emails, some social media, updating plugins, fixing broken links and so on.
If you are struggling with this activity and find yourself with a whole bunch of tasks you still want to ‘fit in’ somewhere. Ask yourself why they did not make the cut when you were making your Yearly Action Plan. If it is genuinely a high impact task, then it should be on your Yearly Action Plan. If not, then cross it off your to do list.
If you genuinely want to achieve more while working less, you need to STOP doing all those ‘nice to do’ tasks that don’t really move the dial all that much.
Automate, delegate AND minimize
Once you are left with only a few critical admin tasks, the next step is to automate, delegate and minimize as much as you can. This is an essential step if you want to achieve more in less time.
Start by identifying what can be automated. For example you could use a tool like CoSchedule to automate your social media posting. Or you could automate your product sales by setting up an Evergreen Sales Funnel.
Next identify what could be delegated. This could mean hiring a virtual assistant or social media manager. It could mean getting someone else to edit your videos or create graphics for you. Or it could mean hiring someone to look after the backend/tech side of your blog for you.
And don’t just think about delegating blog related tasks. It may be easier for you to delegate ‘real life’ tasks. For example, you could hire a cleaner or gardener, pay the kids to do more around the house, pay someone else to do your washing/ironing, get childcare a couple of days a week, get your other half to help out more, do a regular playdate swap with a friend – anything that frees up time, so you can focus more of your time on the things that really move the dial.
And finally, minimize everything else. For example, to minimize the time you spend on emails and social media, you could only check your emails and social media once a day and give yourself a strict time limit. To minimize the time you spend on backend jobs you could only do backend jobs once a week, and again, give yourself a strict time limit.
Radically reorganize your blogging time
One of the biggest reasons why bloggers and online business owners struggle to achieve their goals – even when they have a bullet proof plan – comes down to the way they organize their blogging time.
Most bloggers start with easy admin tasks like checking social media, checking their emails, replying to comments and checking stats. All too often these easy but low impact tasks somehow manage to take up all of your blogging time. And those high impact tasks that would really move the dial keep falling off the bottom of the to do list.
The antidote? Flip your day around.
Always START your day (or however much time you have available) with goal-focused tasks: the tasks that are on your Monthly Action Plans. And don’t allow yourself do to any of those easy-but-low-impact tasks, like emails and social media, until you have done your Monthly Action Plan tasks for the day.
You will be AMAZED how much more you achieve, and how much progress you make on your goals, when you radically reorganize your blogging time to prioritize the tasks that truly move the dial.
READ MORE >>> How to plan your day for maximum productivity
It has been proven over and over again that multi-tasking is a myth. Our brains are physically incapable of multi-tasking. What we believe is multi-tasking is, in fact, our brains switching back and forth between different tasks.
And there is a huge cost associated with switching between tasks! Research shows that it takes an average of 15 minutes to re-orient to a primary task after a distraction such as an email.
If you are serious about improving your productivity and achieving your goals faster, you need to STOP multi-tasking and learn how to mono-task.
What is mono-tasking?
Mono-tasking is simply the opposite of multi-tasking. Mono-tasking is doing one task at a time until it is completed and then moving onto the next task.
Sounds simple, right? But most people are so used to trying to do more than one thing at a time that it’s actually a lot harder than it sounds.
This is partly because of the culture we live in, partly because social media companies and app creators spend billions trying to hijack your attention so they can monetize it, and partly because, as this excellent Guardian article puts it…
“Multi-tasking creates a dopamine-addiction feedback loop, effectively rewarding the brain for losing focus and for constantly searching for external stimulation.”
But mono-tasking is ESSENTIAL if you want to achieve more in less time. In fact mono-tasking has been shown to improve productivity by as much as 80%!
While mono-tasking can be hard at first, fortunately mono-tasking is a skill that improves with practice. Better still, once you see how much more productive you are when you mono-task, you’ll be even more more motivated to do it!
(Think you’re the exception? This study by researchers at the University of Utah showed that the BETTER people think they are at multitasking, the WORSE they are at it in reality!)
Learn to batch your blogging tasks
This is like mono-tasking taken to the next level. Don’t just focus on one activity at once and then move onto the next, take it one step further and batch up similar activities for a super productivity boost!
Good examples of this would be scheduling all your social media posts once a week, rather than in dribs and drabs throughout the week; using a Pinterest scheduling tool like Tailwind* to schedule all your pins for the week in one go, rather than doing a few each day; writing all your blog posts for a month in one sitting, rather than writing one a week…
You will be amazed how much more you achieve with each hour of your blogging time when you harness the power of batching!
Create processes for the things you do often
Have you ever sat down to write a blog post and then thought, ‘Now what do I do next? Oh yes, edit the photos… Now what do I do next? Oh yes, fill in tags and categories…’
Even with activities we do super often, like writing blog posts, our memories are terrible at remembering the process… and, consequently, we waste precious time trying to recall what to do and/or going back and adding things in later when we remember we forgot to do them. (That ‘Yikes, I forgot to upload a featured image!’ moment!)
For these repetitive activities, one of the best ways to do them more quickly and efficiently is to first write down the process you use and then, each time you do that activity, use your process checklist and cross off each activity when it’s done. You will be amazed at how much more quickly you do these kind of multi-step tasks when you actually have the process written down.
You can use this technique for all sorts of blog related activities: blog posts, writing newsletters, editing photos and videos, accounts, creating opt in offers or products, onboarding new customers…
Here’s an example of a process checklist for writing a recipe post:
- Make recipe and take photos
- Edit photos
- Write first draft in Word
- Edit first draft
- Copy and paste into WordPress
- Format the text correctly
- Add internal links
- Create recipe card
- Upload photos
- Create and upload a pinnable image
- Set publish day/time, tags, categories and featured image
- Add meta description and assign keyword (using the Yoast plugin)
- Final proof-read
- Schedule blog post
- Schedule social media shares (using CoSchedule*)
- Schedule pins (using Tailwind*)
- Write and schedule newsletter
You can create your processes in a simple word document or you can use a tool like CoSchedule* (which is what I do), Asana or Trello. You can even just use good ol’ pen and paper – it works almost as well!
Schedule regular time off and don’t forget to sleep!
The final key to getting more done in less time is REST!
It sounds counter-intuitive, no? Surely you should be burning the midnight oil and working all the hours there are to be super productive?
But no, quite the opposite. If you take time out to rest, spend time with your family and friends, curl up with a book or zone out in front of Netflix, you will almost certainly get more done in less time – because you are always at your productive best when you are well rested.
And – even more importantly – make sure you are getting regular quality sleep. Mounting evidence suggests that a good night’s sleep seriously boosts productivity. And if you are more productive in each hour of the day, you will get more done in less time!
Over to you
How do you get more done in less time on your blog? Let us know in the comments below!
Get my FREE productivity guide for bloggers
- How to organize your blogging week
- 7 things to do on Sunday evening that will make your week way more productive
- 10 ways to be a more productive blogger
- How to write blog posts faster
- 10 ways to stop wasting time and actually get stuff done!
Don’t miss a thing!
Pin this post to read later
*This blog post contains affiliate links, this means if you click on a link and go on to buy the product I recommend, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!