Guest post from Tanya of Blogelina.com
Have you ever followed a blog and wondered how a mom can possibly manage to find the time to run a successful blog on top of everything else that goes into being a mom? I know I have – and so I set out to find some answers!
It has been an honor for me to be able to interact with so many amazing blogger moms, and get their insight into how they manage working from home and family life!
My Biggest Take Away…
It’s really a simple concept – but one that I fail to do so often… Write down what I need to do.
So many of these mom bloggers said that the most important thing that boosts their productivity is making a list for each week and each day of what they need to accomplish that day. Having your tasks written down (and even better – prioritized!) will give you so much focus as you make choices throughout your day on how to spend your time.
Here are 19 other time-management tips from busy blogging moms!
1. Integrate Family Life With Work Life
I’ve heard of that concept before: instead of trying some time for both, it makes sense to try and integrate the two commitments one into another…
Here’s an example: When my child was a few months old, I spent a ridiculous amount of time outside (because she slept best there), so I purchased the smallest laptop I could find and worked outside.
It was both healthy and enjoyable. I still have good memories of that time and by the time we got home, I had some of my work items done.
I learned to work while she was crawling around paying attention so that she didn’t hurt herself. I’ve learned to work in my car while my husband was driving us to a family trip. I have developed lots of little habits that made combining motherhood and work actually enjoyable.
I haven’t missed a day of my kid growing up thanks to that. Yet, I was also following my passion and building my business online! – Ann Smarty, InternetMarketingNinjas.com
2. Use Your Early Morning Hours – And Don’t Over-do it!
I get up at 4 a.m. every single day (even on the weekends!) Those early morning hours are always my most productive, and by the time most people are getting started, I’ve already put in almost a full day of uninterrupted work.
I am a firm believer in written goals — yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily, and then having those goals posted somewhere I can refer to them often. Writing them down makes them real, and once they are real I can’t ignore them.
The biggest thing I am working on right now when it comes to time management is learning to say no, and letting the people I trust — my husband and team — help me make decisions on where to focus my time.
I have a habit of overloading myself and wanting to say yes to every opportunity, but becoming more vigilant about guarding my time has allowed me to stay focused on the big picture. At least most of the time! -Ruth Soukup, LivingWellSpendingLess.com
3. Watch For Time Zappers.
I’m all about streamlining processes. Whether I’m cleaning my bathrooms or working with my blog’s social media, I try to use systems that make the most of my time.
One big way that I keep my life uncluttered is to limit my time on social media. I know that, especially as a blogger, being on social media is a must, but I’ve found that if I’m not careful, it can be a huge time zapper, too.
I like to use timers. I set a timer for a set amount of time on social media and find that this really keeps me on task. I’m much less likely to end up on some tangent that ends up eating an hour of my day. – Tanya, Blogelina.com
4. Have Dedicated “Blogging Hours”.
Hands down, my top time management tip for mom bloggers is to have dedicated “office hours.” I have found that designating time to work helps me live in the present moment and get a lot more done — whether it be writing, managing the business part of my blog, or completing a load of laundry.
When I first started blogging, I worked in the cracks — in little snippets when my girls were napping or watching a movie or after they had gone to bed. While it was necessary during that season in my life, working “in the cracks” of life is not sustainable long-term.
When I stick to regular office hours, I am a better business owner and a better wife and mom. -Erin Odom, TheHumbledHomemaker.com
5. Use A Good Task Management Program
The best thing I have ever done to wrangle the issue of time management was to install a task management program (my favorite is Nozbe, but anything you like will do). I am able to enter tasks for projects and for reoccurring daily items, but the biggest plus is being able to get stuff off of my mind.
When I think of something that needs to be done, I don’t stop and do it. I simply add it to the list. This frees me up to think about the important things, without losing track of all the little details. -Kim Sorgius, NotConsumed.com
6. Create A Weekly Plan.
My best time management tip is to create a weekly plan. Schedule a time every weekend to decide your top goals and priorities for the upcoming week (self-care, family time, home management, business projects, appointments, etc.) and then schedule those tasks into your calendar.
Every night before you go to bed, review your goals and plans for the next day and then refer to them throughout the day as you work.
Having a plan relieves stress, increases your productivity and ensures that you are living your true priorities. – Kimberlee, ThePeacefulMom.com
7. Plan For More Time Than You Think…
Time management is no easy task to master with children. You always have to expect the unexpected and buffer your schedule accordingly.
The first thing I ask myself before accepting any blog work is, “How long will it take me to reasonably complete this project?” Then I add a few extra hours (or days) to ensure I can deal with the last-minute school project or tummy ache and still make my deadline. -Barb Webb, RuralMom.com
8. Batch Your Tasks
Be more productive by time chunking. In short, do like tasks together.
For example, instead of preparing one blog post from start to finish and then moving on to the next, spend one chunk of time outlining multiple posts at once. Then, carve out another chunk of time to flesh them out, and another to edit them.
Prepare your images all at once, create your social media promos at once and so forth. Think assembly line – a picture of efficiency. – Amy, AmyLynnAndrews.com
9. Delegate (aka. Don’t Try To Do It All!)
Working together for the good of the whole is a great family lesson to teach at home. This is what delegation is all about – dividing up the work to share the load.
As moms we often feel we have to ‘do it all’ which is a complete lie and will exhaust us. Determine what other family members can contribute and allow them to participate in making your house a home! – Susan Heid, TheConfidentMom.com
10. Use Your Smartphone
Take advantage of that tiny computer in your pocket!
When you get home from running errands and the kids are miraculously asleep in their car seats, when your teething newborn wants nothing more than to be rocked quietly for the next ten hours in the rocking chair, when one kid’s coloring and the other’s quietly playing with his Legos. That’s your golden ticket to knocking out a quick blog post on your smartphone’s WordPress app!
It may not be a post that’s perfectly tweaked for SEO, but it can help keep you from going ten months without writing a thing. -Steph Calvert, HeartsAndLaserBeams.com
Finding and keeping focus while being a stay at home mom can be extremely difficult. My quick “get in the zone” tip, is to ensure you have a prioritized daily to-do list (make this the night before). That way, when a free moment hits, you can jump right to it.
My second favorite tip is to use Focus@Will! It is designed to get you focused immediately, which allows you to tackle that to-do list in just a portion of the time. You may even complete your list before nap time is over – then you’re left with a few precious moments to yourself. Enjoy them! – Jillian, BabyDoodah.com
Make a to-do list that prioritizes by urgency. Start with your top 3 tasks that must be completed and then any additional tasks can be carried over to another day if you don’t get to them the first day. – Janel Case, AMomsTake.com
13. Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself!
My number one tip for time management is forgiveness.
Never be so hard on yourself about not getting everything you wanted to get done in one day that it stresses you out and sets you up for a bad day the next day.
Be proud of every little bit you get done in a day and approach each day with a smile. You get a lot more done when you are in a good mood, trust me. -Eschelle, Mumfection.com
13. Eliminate Distractions (As Much As Possible)
One of the most important time management tips for me is to focus in on what I am working on at the moment. The top thing that kills my productivity is distraction.
I close all browsers that don’t pertain to that task and I turn off all notifications on my phone. It is amazing what I can get done when I am focused on one task at a time! -Kelly Hancock, FaithfulProvisions.com
14. Jot Down Memories In Your Day Planner
As a busy working mother of two, I find it nearly impossible to keep up with a baby book or scrapbook similar to what my mother created for me. Still, I think that kind of memorabilia is really important.
So, I’ve started jotting down whatever I would typically add to a baby book directly into my day planner or online calendar. It is so much easier to sit down once every six months (or even once a year) to add all that has been compiled.
It removes the guilt of not keeping up with something I cherish as a mother and takes mere seconds to do. -Karri-Leigh Mastrangelo, DirtyLaundryandDirtyDiapers.blogspot.com
15. Use Apps To Manage Your Social Media
A lot of my blog traffic comes from social media platforms, and scheduling those shares is important. However, I often get “sucked into” scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, or checking my email.
I now do all of my scheduling through apps or plugins (I use Ahalogy and CoSchedule) and try to focus only on the task at hand (no tabs open with any other websites or email). I also do this when writing blog posts. Otherwise it’s too easy to get distracted! -Ruth, VivaVeltoro.com
16. Learn To Count Backwards
If you struggle with being punctual, counting time backwards is an excellent way to get where you need to be on time. Start with the time you need to be somewhere and continue to subtract blocks of time for each individual activity that needs to happen before you get there so you know when you need to leave.
For instance, things like getting dressed, stopping for coffee, going to the bank, finding parking, texting a friend, etc. Most people make the mistake of not allocating enough time for these types of activities so be generous and give yourself buffer time too.
The more realistic you are with your time budget the more likely you are to be on time! -Laura, Orgjunkie.com
17. Schedule Specific Tasks Each Day
To manage my blogging time efficiently, I set up times for different tasks.
For instance, from 8 a.m.-9 a.m., I go through my emails and reply as needed. From 10 a.m.-11 a.m., I work on pending blog posts. I take a break for an hour or so, then for the next hour, I take photos for upcoming projects (this happens to be the time with the best lighting at my house). I take a quick lunch break and a short walk, then get back to the grind!
I break up the afternoon by hours, making sure I take a break in between tasks. I do my social media promotion, check and reply to emails emails again. -Jennifer Regan, EightyMPHMom.com
18. Get The Kids Involved!
When it comes to cleaning the house get everyone involved, have fun, and make it a contest so that the time files. With more people working it will get done faster. For example I will give each of my children a taste and yell go to see who finishes first. We always crank up the music and have fun!
When it comes to blogging, set aside specific times like work and focus on what you need to do to get it done. This lets your children know when mom is working, let her focus. When she is not working it is time to play!
If you have older children get them to help out when you can, for example I have my children do their own laundry which cuts down on what I need to do. -Colleen, ShibleySmiles.com
19. One Final Tip:
Consider taking Crystal’s Make Over Your Mornings Online Course! You will be amazed and encouraged to see how just a few little tweaks to your day can completely change your outlook on life; and how productive your day can be.
What Time Management Tips Do YOU Have?
Tanya Peterson earns a full-time income working from home as a blogger. She blogs at Blogelina.com where she follows her passion to help other moms build money-making blogs. Her popular online class, Profitable Blogging For Beginners, has helped hundreds learn what it takes to start and maintain a successful, profitable blog. While blogging on the side, Tanya is also a homeschooling mom to four little ones, loves hosting gatherings in her home, and just recently has become obsessed with her new hobby – chalk paint!
This is a great list. I think my favorite is the one about counting backwards. I do that now and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve backed right into the current time. It’s so easy to overestimate how much time I have compared to how many things I want to try to squeeze in.
I like number 2. The quietness of the morning hours is awesome.
Sandy @ModernSimplicity says
Very helpful round-up of tips here! I definitely rely on my planner and to-do list so nothing slips through the cracks. Thanks Crystal!
Great tips. Thank you for sharing these. Time management is an area that I am working on. I need more hours in my day.
I need to get better with many of these tips. I am bad about keeping dedicated blogging hours. I do get the kids involved and have a VA for help too.
This was a very interesting post. These tips are great even for the bloggers who have moved into grandma mode. I use digital and planner methods for scheduling my day, week etc. This helps me keep focused. I am a social media person, but have found that using my hootsuite dashboard is a tremendous time saver. Thanks for the great tips.
So many great tips! I know I love my to-do list – I do try to keep it manageable each day, and there is such satisfaction on checking items off!
Only check your stats once a day!!!
Rachel @ Engineering A Joyful Family says
Wonderful tips! The overwhelming majority seem to be singing the praises of recording and keeping a task list/calendar! Thank you!
I found this post at just the right time! We home school and our school year started last week so between that, blogging everyday and husband out of town life has been hectic and crazy! I’m usually a stickler about having a list and a schedule but over the last couple of weeks I haven’t and it shows. This is a perfect reminder of what works for me and to get back on track…plus a couple of new great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing this!
Regina Robbins says
These are awesome ideas!
I came across this article at exactly the right time – I was stressing about this today! #4 really hit home – I seem to be working in the “cracks” of time and was just telling my husband how it is so dang difficult to write in interrupted spurts. Thanks for this post – pinning for future reference and inspiration! 🙂
Tanya @ Blogelina says
Erin, so glad the post was helpful! Thanks for commenting!
I agree with them all! I have actually involved my kids in my blogging, too. Some of my older kids take on some of my social media and even my email responses at times, especially if I just need to send attachments. Right now I am running a challenge on my blog for the month of August. As new people join, I have my daughter sent them the email to welcome them and send the attachments of the days they missed!
I have always involved my kids in housework (homeschooling family of 9), but I love that my blogging is becoming a family affair as well!
Tanya @ Blogelina says
Jennifer – how FUN that your family gets to be involved in your blogging! And, what a great way to teach some entrepreneurial skills!
#16 is fabulous!!!
This one tip can be applied in so many ways. It is easy to think we have more time than we do and we either over commit ourselves or get distracted.
Tanya @ Blogelina says
I agree, Heather! And if you love that tip, you should definitely check out Laura’s blog through her link under #16 – she has amazing organizational skills and is kind enough to share them there!
What a fabulous list of helpful tips!
I love Ruth’s advice to get up early, and in fact, is my greatest blogging asset. Working in the early hours when the house is quiet makes so much difference. I can accomplish tons more than if I wait until the day starts rolling with everyone else.
I’m intrigued by Amy’s advice to batch projects, and plan to start this one tomorrow morning.
Thanks for a great list.
Tanya @ Blogelina says
Glad the tips were helpful, Karen! The early morning hours are an amazing time to get work done – I just wish it didn’t have to be so hard to actually make it out of bed that early! Any tips for us non-morning people? 🙂
Kalie @ Pretend to Be Poor says
Great tips! I agree social media can be very distracting. Using apps to limit this is super helpful. I want my blog to helpful to others with taking time away from my family. Thanks for these ideas.
Tanya @ Blogelina says
Kalie – you’re so right – family always needs to come first! Glad the post was helpful!
Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels says
Tip #9 is the most important for me. It is sometimes hard to delegate, however, it really is the only way to focus on things that matter the most.
Tanya @ Blogelina says
So true, Reelika – plus, it’s so freeing to be able to focus on doing the things that are your strengths – and the things that you love doing!
These are all great tips! I definitely took notes 🙂
Tanya @ Blogelina says
So glad it was helpful, MacKenzie! Thanks for commenting!