Who needs time management tips? Everyone! Who knows good time management tricks? Bloggers!
Bloggers often have day jobs, young families and tight schedules. Here are some practical time management tips from my fellow bloggers I met at FinCon13, a personal finance bloggers conference.
1. Write it down. If you don’t write it down somewhere, you will probably forget it. You can carry a small notebook with you or save it electronically.
2. Think of time as a commodity, like money. You only have so much of it. “Spend” it in ways that work toward your goals. As you make your schedule, spend your time for the most important things first.
3. Use Google Calendar to schedule everything in specific time slots. This is particularly useful when you need to remember to do something after a certain amount of time.
For example, say Blogger B leaves a comment on Blogger A’s blog. Blogger A wants to return the favor, but not too quickly. Blogger A puts on his Google Calendar to leave a comment on Blogger B’s blog on a day 10 days from now.
4. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize! I guess we all know this, but it’s easy to forget. Make that To-Do List and then rewrite it with the most urgent/important items at the top. Try to get the top item done early in the day. (Thanks to Susan Neal who shared this tip in a comment.) It will make you feel great the rest of the day and may motivate you to knock off the next item on the list.
5. When you have items of equal importance on the list, prioritize the one that you prefer to do. You’re more likely to do it early in the day and may be ready to tackle the other item after that. Another blogger says to choose the one you dislike to do first. This is known as “eating the frog.” Find out what works for you.
6. If you are having a bad day and don’t want to do any of the top items on your list, pick something further down the list. Something–anything–is better than doing nothing. After you’ve knocked something off the list you might feel energized enough to tackle one of the more challenging items.
7. One very busy blogger says it helps him use his time well when he can see his entire week at a glance. On the left side he makes a schedule of the week. At the top right is his To-Do List, with tasks in order of importance. Below the To-Do List are his goals for the week. Keeping what’s important to you written where you’ll see it often is a great reminder and motivator!
8. Schedule 15 minutes each day to do some kind of organizing. It takes time to make and prioritize a list or to update the next day’s schedule or list of contacts.
9. Use Gmail Boomerang to check when an email you sent was read. That way you will know when to contact the person again.
10. Don’t let your email overwhelm you. Try to check it just twice a day: once in the morning and again late in the day. A fellow blogger whom I really respect does this and has this message at the bottom of each email: