Do you have a time management problem? Do you dream of a time when you get blog content written well in advance? Do you struggle to find time for digital marketing?
If so this week’s episode of the Blogcentric podcast, part one of a series if for you:
Last week I published a blog post I wasn’t happy with, not in a perfectionist way but in a this just isn’t up to scratch kind of way.
I’ve been kicking myself ever since. How could I let my schedule get so out of control again that I’m writing posts at the last minute without time for editing, images, improving?
So this time I mean it. I’m going to get ahead with my blog content. Will you join me in my quest to get a month ahead with your blogging content?
I’ve been doing this job long enough to know that I can’t just decide to do something, things don’t simply happen by wishing they will. You’ve got to have a plan.
So over the next month or so I’m proactively going to work towards better productivity. And hopefully, by listening to this series of podcasts you’ll be able to follow and learn what I learn whilst avoiding any mistakes I make.
I’m going to be recording an audio diary as I go.
I’d also love your ideas and feedback. How do you manage your productivity? Share your ideas with me and I’ll give them a go.
This is part one.
The Small Business Owners Problem
Someone at Social Media Summit last week said.
“Small business owners give up a 40-hour working week to pursue their dream of working a 100 hour week”
(I may be paraphrasing)
It made me laugh out loud. I remember when I decided to start my first business. I imagined it would give me more time off and looked forward to that time off.
I wasn’t entirely wrong, I often do take a lot of holiday days but as you know, those holiday days come at a price. You need to work every hour you can before and after the break.
Small business owners have to:
Service clients to the best of their ability – After all the best marketing is word of mouth. We have to work hard to keep our customers happy so they can tell other people about us.
Do admin – everyone’s favourite part of running a business (yeah, look at my sarcastic face)
Do marketing – We need customers, we have to attract them. That’s what our digital marketing is all about.
Do sales – This could be direct sales or following up leads attained by marketing
Learn – Courses, training, reading. Anything that helps us grow personally within our businesses
We need to find time in our weekly schedule for all this and try and find time for ourselves as well.
Working flat out is a must in the first few years of starting a business but after the grind is over you need to find a work-life balance and that should include looking after your body, your mind and your relationships.
Unbelievably, I used to think that didn’t matter but I was wrong.
[Tweet “My to-do lists still seem to be aspirational rather than based on reality.”]
I’ve been working on my productivity for a long time and more intensively since January. I have paper to-do lists, whiteboards, calendars, schedules, goals, strategy, all that stuff people tell you will help.
And I am productive. I turn out a lot of work every week but my to-do lists still seem to be aspirational rather than based on reality. At the end of each day I may be looking at a lot of ticked items on that to-do list but it’s the non-ticked items that keep me awake at night.
And then there’s that blog post last week the one that wasn’t up to scratch. I need to get ahead with content.
I figure if I can nail this, not just my productivity but my time management, I’ll be able to:
- Work out a better pricing structure by knowing exactly how long work takes to complete
- Eliminate pointless tasks
- Find more tasks to outsource to my VA (and others)
- Find more downtime
I’m sure I’ll find other benefits along the way
I’m starting with a goal:
Get one month ahead with blog content
But I’m adding a caveat:
Without sacrificing the quality of client work
Here are the steps I’m planning to take, they may evolve along the way:
1. Measure where I am
I’m doing a time study on myself to see how long it actually takes to do tasks. I have a feeling my estimates are way off.
Once I know where I am I’ll be able to allocate time better and stop overpacking my days with work.
I’ve created a basic timesheet that I’m working from. I’ll talk you through that further in the next episode.
2. Formulate a schedule
Using the data I collect in part one I’ll put together a more realistic weekly schedule. Because I have to travel for work it’s hard to nail a weekly regime but I try and spend Monday and Friday of each week in the office.
I can focus on these days first and then have a floating schedule of tasks that have to be completed on mid week days.
After a month of implementing my new strategy, what results am I seeing? Am I being realistic about my time? Are the fees I charge clients in line with the time I spend with them? What jobs can I outsource?
Is my blog content better? Is it properly edited? Does it pass my strict standards?
I already do quarterly content reviews. I’m going to add a productivity review to this by re-implementing stage one.
So are you with me?
Will you join me in the challenge to get a month ahead with content and become a better business along the way? Be sure to subscribe to my podcast.
Don’t forget, I want your input. What strategies do you have? What tools work for you? How do you allocate time? Share them with me and I’ll give them a go.
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