How to Get More Done in Less Time as a Blogger (Part 2)

mode done in less time
If you missed it, be sure to read Part 1 here.

4. Limit Time-Wasting Online Activities

There are so many ways to be productive online, but there are a thousand more ways to waste enormous amounts of time online. If you’re struggling with being distracted online with time-wasting websites and activities, I’d encourage you to consider setting up safeguards. Here are some suggestions:

::Parental Controls: On most computers, you can set up parental controls with a time limit, where say, you only have two hours a day on the computer and it shuts off when the limit it up. Or, you can set it up so that your computer will only allow you to log on for certain hours of the day.

::Leechblock: This Firefox add-on will block any time-wasting sites you choose either entirely or for designated time periods in order to help you get focused work done.

::Rescue Time: Wondering where all your time is going online and why you’re not getting anything done? Rescue Time will track your online activities and you can also set limits for how much time you can spend on individual sites.

5. Take a Computer Sabbatical Regularly

There are so many good things you can learn and read and share and do online, but I think all of us need to step back and step away from time to time and just relish media-free quiet. It clears your mind, it helps put things in perspective and it allows you to come back refreshed!

A few years ago, we implemented media-free Sundays at our house and this has been one of the best things for our family. We don’t always 100% follow it as there are some Sundays when we break at a DVD for the children while Jesse and I spend time together or we’ll need to turn the computer on for something or other, but I don’t blog on Sundays and by and large the computers stay completely shut off.

This makes Sunday a very restful day at our home and allows us to spend extra time fellowshipping with friends and family at a leisurely pace. We also often get in Sunday afternoon naps!

6. Set Boundaries for Social Media

Twitter, Facebook and Skype have made it possible for us to have discussion and online interaction with dozens or even hundreds or thousands of people every day. If used wisely, social media can be a tool which helps to grow your blog and gives you an opportunity to minister and reach a wider audience. On the flip side, social media can suck up a great deal of time if not kept in check.

I’ve definitely struggled with this. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of young children, I found that the lure of social media was great. Here I could talk and interact with other moms in similar situations, we could share our funny kid stories, encourage one another in potty-training and homemaking, share blogging ideas and so much more.

The problem was, I wasn’t disciplined to shut it off. I constantly felt the need to check in on Skype to see what discussion were going on, or to check Twitter to see what I was missing out on.

About five months ago, God really convicted me of the need to do a better job of prioritization and I realized that I was spending too much time online social media. So I took some drastic measures: I disabled my Skype account and disabled my Tweetdeck account.

I set up my posts to auto-tweet to Twitter and now only check Twitter.com once or twice a day and respond to any messages on there, usually spending less than five minutes a few times per week on Twitter. I’ve found I’ve had a lot more time to focus on higher priorities now that I’ve really limited social media in my life — and it’s been a good thing (though I do miss the fun conversations and comradery!). I’ve also found that by limiting social media, I’ve been a lot more apt to pick up the phone or spend more time on real-life relationships, which should always trump online stuff!

7. Get Enough Rest

I used to think that burning the midnight oil would make me more productive, but I’ve actually found that I’m much more productive if I get at least seven hours of sleep almost every single night. I usually am most productive in the mornings so I make it my goal to go to bed by 10 p.m. and get up between 5 and 6 a.m.

It’s hard for me to shut things down at night but I’ve found that I’m much more prone to dawdle and waste time at night than I am in the mornings. You might be the other way around. Do what works best for you, but whatever you do, put getting enough rest high up on your priority list.

You’ll feel better and more energetic and I’d wager to guess that you’ll also find an extra hour or two of sleep at night helps you to be more productive than if you spent that time trying to pry your eyeballs open with toothpicks and get more work done.

{And to be brutally honest here, I wrote this a few weeks ago and I’m not preaching to myself as I’ve not done a good job of this the last few days and I’m suffering for it. I’ve been a ton less productive, more irritable and walking around like a zombie the last few days. Time to get back to early bedtimes — starting tonight!}

8. Say “No” Often

As women, we’re often afraid to say no. We fear we might miss out on a big opportunity and we worry about what other people might think of us. I know, because I’m there a lot.

I just want to encourage you (and myself!) to guiltlessly say “no”. If an opportunity is going to require time you don’t have or going to oblige you in a way you don’t feel comfortable with or is just not a good fit for you or your blog, say “no”.

Before committing to anything, count the costs. What are you going to have to give up in order to do this thing or attend this event or write this post or participate in this series?

Is it worth what you’re giving up? If you’re not 100% sure that it is, than say “no”.

The final installment of How to Get More Done in Less Time as a Blogger will be posted on Monday.

photos from Shutterstock

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Comments

  1. says

    I use Google Chrome instead of Firefox. If you’re looking for a Leechblock type of filter for Chrome, there is one called “Chrome Nanny” and I can set time limits for Facebook or any other web site. If absolutely WANT to spend more time, I have to type in a really long captcha code so I have to think long and hard about what I’m doing :)

  2. The Frugal Free Gal says

    Great post! Today I finally drove into a bigger town nearby and took my daughter to a Kids museum, where there were no computer distractions! I can’t even begin to describe how nice it was to do that and finally pry myself a way for three hours worth of playtime with just me and her. I find that when I do this I do feel refreshed when its time to get back into blogging, and I know she had a great time with Mom.

    I am guilty of checking Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo IM, Email, TwitterMoms.com, CafeMom.com, The Blog Frog, often–but have actually gotten a lot better about trying not to waste too much time at these places. Its so addicting! Some days I have wanted to lock my computer up somewhere but that hasn’t happened yet! What did we do years ago when the internet didn’t exist? I was 14 when it started getting popular!

    The Frugal Free Gal
    http://thefrugalfreegal.com

  3. Heather says

    Thank you!! As a professional blogger who works for a company I often find myself pulled so far into the working all the time trap. I love my job but burnout happens. I especially love the reminder to set a timer and a time budget.

  4. says

    I really need to take this to heart; and have been for the past few months! When I was pregnant with my youngest, I got addicted to FB games (yikes)! I continued for a month or so after he was born. I finally came to a realization (much too late in my opinion) when my children were arguing that I was on the computer far too much during the day! I didn’t realize until I made a pact with myself to STOP playing all the games that I really was depressed about not feeling like an adequate mother! When I started couponing, I had the same problem, spending way too much time online. I now try to limit myself to no more than 30 minutes a day while the children are awake! I check e-mail and FB in the morning before they get up, during nap time and after they go to bed. I write my blog posts during nap time, after they go to bed, or on the weekends when my husband is home! It’s amazing how limiting online distractions has made me feel better about myself (less depressed) and my mothering capabilities!

  5. says

    I really enjoyed reading your blog and agree that as women we do try to do it all. I too find myself trying to keep up with all that is happening on the web and find all of it overwhelming at times. Thanks for sharing .
    Annette Richardson

  6. says

    I set up more of a schedule for myself this past week and it’s been really freeing to do things during designated time slots. Of course the kids have been sick, so that kind of threw everything off. Next week is Thanksgiving…

    LOL. I am trying though!

  7. says

    Incredible post. I understand that setting boundaries even in your mind is tough especially when it is so easy just to check the site. This is tough because even the delaying the instant gratification of simply checking a post is quite tough. I’m not a woman, but I can understand the issue because it is hard for my wife to say no sometimes. I for one am working all the time and it is hard for me to say no to myself at times. Great Blog!

  8. Tonya Brown says

    I am an RN who has worked at a VERY stressful job for the last 18 years and put in looong hours. I was laid off last February and I did not know what to do with myself. I was already using facebook so of course I started using facebook even more and then I got into couponing. I was spending about 8 hours a day and sometimes more on my computer. It became my bestfriend. (Let me clarify something before I proceed, my daughters are grown with my oldest having two boys) Those first couple of months I really needed the down time because when you go from a very stressful job to nothing at all you feel lost. I did not know what to do with my self and at the time I was too “worn out” (tired) from working for so long and so hard So my computer was almost like my sabbatical. It was very hard to cut back on my computer time but I knew that I had to do it for myself since I really needed to start looking for a job (still have not found one – nursing positions are not as easy to obtain as you hear on the news). AND for my sanity I needed to get out of my bedroom where I would use my computer. I make sure that I get out of the house for a little while each day. My mother who is 90 years old loves to go so I will get her and we will go bargain hunting. Yes my coupons go with me. Sometimes we find somthing but other times we don’t find anything at all. But it is fun and great therapy just to get out. ( I don’t always go to high end stores, alot of times we go to yard sales, consignment shops and places similar to Goodwill but is called the Samaritan Center) AND since school started in August, I pick up my grandson from school each day and make sure his homework gets done and take him to whereever he needs to go. I also, take my 2 year old grandson to his doctor appointments.
    I know alot of you have small children and would find it difficult to do some of the things that I have done to get away from the computer but for us “older” generation I just thought I would offer this suggestion.
    Sorry this is so long, I just got to typing and could not stop.
    If and when I do go back to work I know I will continue couponing. It is a way of live with me now and I will never ever be able to pay full price for my groceries at all.

  9. says

    Thanks, I just started my blog and I need all the help I can get. Hope it will be as big as yours someday. I still don’t know how to do much on it, such as links to other pages or adding them on to my page. Guess it will be a learning thing as I go.

  10. says

    My big time-waster as a blogger is checking my website’s statistics. It’s so tempting to check several times a day to see how many people are coming by! But I’ve come to realize that if you spend your time writing high-quality, helpful posts, the readers will visit, whether you check for them or not.

    — Laura at Frugal Follies

  11. says

    When I first started and was a little bit out of control, my husband set up the computer so it was just shut off at a certain time of day. It was hilarious. I don’t know how he did it so I didn’t know how to undo it!

  12. says

    I’m reading a great book about saying ‘no’ without destroying relationships or self-esteem. I wish I’d learned those skills earlier!

    Here’s the title: The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes by William Ury.

    Blessings,

    Annie Kate